Curious about tattoos

I’ve got a question that’s been bothering me for some time — what’s with the proliferation of tattoos??

Now I realize this will probably brand me an “old fogey” or worse, but I’m serious. Why do so many people today get tattoos?

They’re young, old, or in-between; they’re black, white, or Hispanic; they’re in little towns or big cities. They tattoo their arms, legs, backs, chests, and every possible place, visible or not.

There are butterflies, crosses, tribal insignia, hearts and flowers, somebody’s name, and fancy designs.

And it seems as if one isn’t enough. One leads to two, two leads to four, you get the idea.

I’m not standing in judgment here. Really. I’m merely curious. What’s the attraction?

Not so long ago, tattoos were frowned upon in the working world. Job applicants kept their tattoos covered until they were safely hired; and if their new position required them to interact with the public, they were told to keep them covered.

Tattoos used to be the decoration of sailors, bikers, hard rock band members, and such. Increasingly, I’m seeing more and more “regular people” sporting inky designs, and nobody seems to think a thing about it.

When did all this change?

The most recent statistic I could find was a 2006 study by the American Academy of Dermatology. In it, researchers found that almost one in four Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed! In addition, 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 are tattooed.

Does that boggle your mind like it does mine?

I mean, tattooing involves needles (pain) and an electronic machine that sounds like a dental drill. Where’s the fun in that?

And it’s not cheap. Even a small tattoo under one inch in size can set you back $50 to $100.

In the olden days, Old Testament law forbade the Israelite people from tattooing themselves (Leviticus 19:28). But the New Testament of the Bible doesn’t address tattooing so the only guideline we can use is to honestly ask ourselves whether it’s pleasing to God. Our bodies, after all, belong to Him, having been purchased at great price (the death of His only Son on the Cross).

I’m “un-inked” and fully intend to remain so. That’s my choice. I don’t like needles, and I’m just changeable enough to realize I’d never want anything permanently marked on me that I couldn’t easily get off.

But that doesn’t stop my curiosity! I still want to know, Why do people get tattoos? Any thoughts?

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3 thoughts on “Curious about tattoos

  1. For the same reason we all follow any fad: to express our individualism :)
    Seriously, I think they looked cool on the first couple dozen peeps I saw them on, but now it’s just kind of old. And they get seriously blurry as the skin ages. I’m wondering, tho, if I could start tattooing my age spots? You know, have a bunch of little butterflies etc instead of dark brown dots!

  2. I used to think it was a fad thing, too, but I’m seeing lots of sorry work lately. Maybe the artists are doing a lousy job, maybe it’s just a case of “you get what you pay for,” but at least in my little town, the pictures seem to come out fuzzy and undecipherable. You might be onto something, though; if they could convince Baby Boomers to tattoo age spots, somebody would probably make a killing!

  3. Some people even get tattoos to remember when they go to Cabo San Luca (turtle) and Vegas (don’t know what this one is). Tattooing to remember your vacation is ridiculous. So is much of the new tattooing. 20 year olds with full sleeve tats just because they think its cool. Its nuts.

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