Invisible Ink

Posted by Anthony Mango Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've been wondering...what's the deal with all these tattoos lately? Why does everybody and their mother seem to want a tattoo? Not even the so-called "normal, good girls" can hit the age of twenty without having a tramp-stamp or something on their ankle or hip

Apparently, surveys have said that the main reason people claim to do it is to "express their independence".....despite the fact that everybody else is doing it. Nobody sees the flaw in that? The point of doing something based on individuality is to maintain said individuality, not to simply conform. Now I'm not one of those "anti-conformist 24/7" lunatics, because staying outside the crowds too long and having the limelight on your odd demeanor starts to fry your sanity. But why is there this unnecessary need to do what everyone else is doing, but still try as hard as you can to convince yourself that you're doing it for personal reasons and not just to fit in?

Women tend to get the same 5 things: stars, hearts, flowers, crosses, and animals. Why? I don't know. But apparently if you get 3 stars on your ankle, you're expressing the fact that you're...........what...........a fan of the star shape? See therein lies one of the faults of tattoos: your interpretation of whatever misguided creativity you think you have doesn't always reflect to everyone else the same way it reflects to you in the mirror. I'm sure the cross above your ass is a testament to your religious upbringing, correct? Show it to your minister or priest or whatever...I bet he'll be proud haha. Some girls think it enhances their appearance. Well, I could care less if you have a rose on your stomach. All it does is downgrade you in my book, not make you any sexier. Did you ever think for a moment that when you get to be older and your skin gets worse, you're going to look like you were ravaged by some horrible scar or birthmark, rather than "isn't it cute that I have this little heart on my stomach?" No. You're 40. You're not 16 anymore. If you're still trying to flirt around by showing off your gut, you've failed in life, and if you're not because you've already maintained a family, I doubt your husband is getting a hardon because of it after all these years.

Men tend to get tribal variations of their own name - as if they are going to forget it at some point and need to remember it (maybe they should start putting post-it notes on their foreheads to remind themselves they have a brain if that's the case). What's the purpose of getting your name tattooed on your body? To advertise? Oh, you're Bill, congrats, you look like a douchebag who is trying too hard to seem tough. Look...you sat through the process of getting stuck with a needle repetitively...good for you. Would I want that pain? No. But does that mean you're a badass? No, it certainly does not. In fact, its overcompensation. Rawrgh, I'm tough, you don't want to mess with me, I've got a tattoo of a lion which means I'm apparently like an animal in a fight, and I think anything with class is gay because I didn't see every yahoo jerkoff at the autoshop hooting and hollering about it. Stereotyping, much? Yeah, a little bit on my part, but the other group of men that get tattoos are the ones that are going along with mob mentality just as the women are. They want that conversation piece. Every other one of the guys has a tattoo, so why don't I get one so we can all talk about how many hours it took?

Foolish.

I can understand - sometimes - when SOME people get SOME tattoos. If you honestly, truly believe something is such an intense part of your personality that you feel you should represent it on your own skin for the rest of your life, then by all means, do it. For instance, pro-wrester Adam "Edge" Copeland has one of his logos tattooed on his arm. Why? Well, that's the character he's portrayed for years. Its who the world identifies with him as. He's had to play that part for such a long time that its become a second identity for him. Its his rise to success and the thing he will be remembered for. So I can see the reasoning behind that (although I still in that position wouldn't do it), as its at least conceptually logical. But far too many people think that they're being poetic or inspirational by just latching onto some pathetic idea. A dolphin on your arm because you like dolphins....ok...why did you need to get that permanently etched into your body? Couldn't you just continue to like dolphins the way you were doing before? Are the dolphins going to be more proud of you and like you more because of such? No. They're dolphins. Your dead relatives aren't going to be brought back to life because you got their name written on your back, nor am I going to consider you an interesting person just because you have some expensive and elaborate design.

All in all this comes down to a question of "why". Many people don't TRULY ask themselves that question. They would be happy enough to answer "because" or "I want it", but they don't think of WHY that is the case. So if you're someone with a tattoo reading this...why did you get it? Honestly, ask yourselves. Did you get it because you thought it was such an important part of your personality that was being hidden by your inability to express thoughts and emotions via language, thusly rendering it invisible to the naked eye, or is the reasoning behind the ink that which is invisible in the first place, effectively becoming a clear sheet of plastic to allow you to mesh with whatever you see through it?

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