Tattoos: What’s the fascination and is it cooler to not have one?

The part of that title that stood out to me the most was whether it’s cooler or not to have a one.

The part of that title that stood out to me the most was whether it’s cooler or not to have a one. I hear so many teenagers talk about getting a tattoo like it’s the ‘in thing’ that it’s worrying. Things go in and out of fashion every year, so if you’re getting one just because you think it’s cool then maybe you’re getting it for the wrong reason!

The fascination? For me it’s all about representing my life, my memories, my thoughts and attitudes and knowing I don’t just have to keep all that in my head, yet instead I can put that on my body in a way which I thinks cool. (OK I do feel cool as fuck knowing I have one so maybe that is part of the fascination!). People have stories behind their ink and feel so fond of those memories that they want to mark it by getting it permanently put on their body. Personally I think that’s great, a really creative way of representing what means the most to them in life.

I cannot ignore the other side though – the people who most certainly do not think tattoos are cool and refuse to see them as art, yet instead just a permanent scar which is unpleasant to the eye. Everyone’s got their opinion and I’m fine with the ones who aren’t fans; I appreciate they are an acquired taste, but it’s the people who are so narrow minded that get under my skin! Not so long back I watched an episode of Loose Women (#guiltypleasure) and they were discussing the controversial subject of tattoos. They focused on one individual in particular who had been asked to cover his up at work as it was off putting to the customers. Admittedly he was covered head-to-toe, but I say so what! If you don’t like them then that’s YOUR problem, so why should he have to suffer the consequences!? I mean with the world attempting to become a more diverse an accepting place then you should accept people as they come – tall, small, shy, confident, black, white, tattooed, not tattooed. Personally I love going into a shop and being served by someone with tats – they’re interesting to look at and sometimes inspire me for ideas. So for all you old fashioned judgmental so and so’s out there, stop trying to deny me the right to perv on a piece of hot tattooed manliness!

As controversial as this next comment may be, that man being asked to cover his tats up at work, in my opinion, is the same as asking a Indian man to cover himself up from the customers who may not like his race. A) That would be unjustifiably judgemental, racist and unfair, but B) it would send out an unrealistic message – that bodies don’t come in all shapes, forms and races, yet if they do and some people don’t like it, it’s OK to tell them to change. In this instance it could send out the message that people don’t get tattoos or that it’s wrong if they do. Therefore I think getting tattooed folk to hide their ink away is deceiving, false and critical and should not be allowed. I mean you may not like the way they look but do you always like someone’s outfit? No. Do you always like someone’s hairstyle? No. That doesn’t then mean people should have to get a refund on their Crocs (although really they should) or that they put a paper bag over your head!, it just means you shouldn’t have those things yourself, but if someone else does you should except that that’s what that individual likes and that we are all different … I believe that’s how tattoos should be seen.

In my case my tattoo has a very personal and significant meaning. It says ‘Strength’ and reminds me to stay strong when things get tough. That right there is the fascination – the effect that some ink and letters put together can have on mind/way of thinking and the way it can help me on my worst days. For me it’s not about whether it’s ‘cool or not’ to have one, it’s far more about the message.