By Alexandra Cochran
Blog Content Contributor
Ever look around and notice that most people might seem like they have tattoos rather than none? That’s because nice, ethical people have tattoos too. The people who are giving and receiving tattoos generally believe it’s a form of art. So why does society and corporate America continue to stifle this form of self-expression?
Now that spring and summer is upon us, more people are wearing less clothing and the number of people revealing their tattoos is really wonderful. I’ve see a lot of people passing judgment on what others choose to do with their body. But in my last few years I’ve come to realize that people with tattoos are just regular people — they’re responsible, hardworking, and well educated too and a lot of people forget about that because they’re prejudice. I decided to touch on the controversial subject of tattoos because ever since I knew what a tattoo was, I also knew my very parents would never allow me to have any as long as I was living under their roof.
Now that I have finally reached a point where I’ve grown to appreciate the tattoo culture, I’ve been able to overlook the times I was afraid of what other people would say about me. Because tattoos really hurt and are we’re allowing permanent ink onto our aging skin, it’s critical to do your research, pay more attention when seeking an artist and shop, look for professionalism and great detail rather than a cheap no-good, quick fix, permanent marking on your body. And yes, they do cost a lot of money, but you’re making a lifetime and permanent decision, so it should cost what it’s worth. If you want it to continue to look great 20 and 30 years down the road, it’s important to take great care of them.
Before the internet, a good tattoo shop was mostly word of mouth and reputation. Now most tattoo fanatics and those wanting to get tattooed discover each other through research and association through the internet and mutual friends on Instagram. With appreciation, I’ve been able to meet a few incredible artists who I’ve been lucky enough to be tattooed by. I’ve begun to notice a tad more of acceptance towards the community of people with tattoos and I think a lot of it has to do with it being more accessible, or really “in”. Maybe it’s because I’m in my mid 20’s, but I’m not writing this article to persuade you that everyone should have one, in fact it’s cool if you choose not to because it’s your choice just like it was mine!
With the visual pleasure, comes pain. Although, I would consider myself still pretty bare, getting tattooed is sometimes the most painful when chosen in the right places. I typically enjoy the style of traditional tattoos either in color or black and grey. In traditional tattooing, the saying is “bold will hold.” That being said, bold means heavy lines and heavy lines mean pain. In 2015, I decided that my first big tattoo would be on my ribs, easy to hide but still a tasteful place. In my opinion, the beginning of the tattoo is always the most difficult because the tattoo begins with the outlining and it’s usually done with a heavy hand and a lot of relaxation techniques to get you through it.
Some people choose to get fluids injected to rid their skin of wrinkles, some choose breast implants, and some people choose tattoos. To me, all forms of self-alteration are accepted, so why are tattoos still widely viewed as trashy or gang-related? Those who are less understanding usually don’t have friends or neighbors with tattoos and are more led to seeing them in a negative way. A lot of people who are more accepting, tend to know people of value with tattoos and therefore appreciate the form of expression much more clearly. A few badass people with tattoos that are making a great living in society: Dr. Angela Angemi, not only a superb mom, but a coroner who updates her Instagram, @mrs_angemi, with the latest in her world of “cutting people up” as she puts it while “nothing is off limits to me.” Not only is she a respectable doctor, she is tattooed head to toe! Yes, her page can sometimes be disturbing but I always learn something! Another great example, Angelina Jolie — not only know for her famous role in Hollywood, Jolie is also a humanitarian and has more than a few interesting and memorable tattoos. Although an ultimate beauty, she’s continuously criticized for these tattoos. I admire the effort and dedication Jolie has put towards her work in over 30 countries with helping refugees and bringing awareness to war zones that have left many with nothing to survive. She also holds a private pilot license to fly herself and her aid workers with food, around the world. Certainly, this is actually just a small percentage of what she does for others; she’s just an amazing person who just so happens to have tattoos.
Tattoos aren’t just about rebelling from the norm, it’s a way of displaying artwork in a way you appreciate it. There will always be people who won’t like them on you and there are plenty of people who won’t think twice and see you for who you are. In my opinion, it solely depends on how experienced people are. So tattoos or none, respect people for who they are and what they bring to society, not by how they choose to self express.
Featured image by Alexandra Cochran.