My thoughts on tattoos for Student Review

Tattoos – what’s all the fuss about?

In recent years, an increasing amount of people – especially young people – seem to be getting tattoos. Although tattoos aren’t exactly a new craze, they’ve certainly expanded their reach recently, and there are now multiple types available to fit whatever preference people may have.

And with this increased popularity has come the inevitable backlash that comes with any trend or fashion. “They make me uncomfortable,” say some. “They’re just ugly,” whine others. “Why would you do that to your body?” they gossip, disparagingly.

But really, who cares?

I mean, who cares if another person wants to change their body like that? Not me – it’s their body, not mine. Does it affect anybody else in any meaningful way? No. No it doesn’t. Instead of complaining about how “unprofessional” or “distasteful” tattoos supposedly are, we should be trying to change people’s attitudes towards them, so that they are not seen in such a way. Tattoos can be, and are, for many people, an effective and unique way of expressing themselves, or commemorating an important event in their life, or rebelling against uniformity, or just something pretty to look at and make their body more interesting, or-. The list could go on.

So what if that person has an unusual pattern up their arm? So what if that person has a colourful piece of art on their neck? Does it make them a worse person? Does it make them a less capable employee, or a more threatening presence to be around? Of course not. In fact, if you think having a tattoo makes someone a lesser person, then you yourself are the more dangerous presence: judging someone based on the tattoos they have is just the same, and indeed just as disgusting, as judging them on any other aspect of how they look.

I would hope that in today’s society we wouldn’t give people funny looks on the street because they were wearing a pair of atypical earrings, and we wouldn’t look down on someone for wearing an item of religious clothing. So why do so many people feel like they can do such things to people who have tattoos? It is not OK to do so, and if you do then, quite frankly, you should stop being so judgemental and learn to accept the fact that people look different to you, that they might like to express themselves in different ways to you, and that their character cannot be judged by how they look.

I haven’t got any tattoos myself, and I doubt I ever will – I prefer to express my feelings through other media. But I can at least accept the fact that for a growing number of people, they are the preferred mode of self-expression and a vital way in which many people choose to edit their appearance. And who cares if they’ll “look stupid” when we’re all old and wrinkly? So will that haircut you had when you were 13, and those clothes you wore back in the noughties. But nobody’s going to condemn or stigmatise you for those, so why would we do the same with tattoos?

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Author: Jack Taylor

Hey, I'm Jack, a 19 year old English student at the University of Nottingham. Writing goes from creative fiction to serious non-fiction. Hope you enjoy :)

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