Tattoos are taboo no longer.
When I was younger I would have never even dreamed about getting a tattoo. A tattoo? Why that was outrageous! Yet now celebrities are sporting tattoos everywhere. Even celebrities who are deemed as “child stars” have evidence of inkings done. Take Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, two extremely popular stars who got theirs done at the age of 17 and 16. It would seem that this taboo notion of tattoos is now changing from being societally unacceptable to trendy.
Growing up in a very conservative and traditional family, my parents drilled into my head that getting a tattoo was not most definitely not okay. They constantly reminded me that if I were to get a tattoo at a young age, I would regret it later on when my skin began to sag and become wrinkly. I didn’t think much of it because at that age I never even considered the possibility of getting a tattoo. So when I watched all these child stars get their first tattoo, I was in shock. I thought, “This is their downfall! Next thing you know it’s going to be sex tapes, scandals, and drug abuse.” Granted I was fourteen when this all happened, but it embedded a negative connotation of tattoos in my mind.
But then the idea just started creeping up on me. What really changed my mind was when I had gone into a piercing shop to get my friend’s belly button pierced and I saw the tattoo artist. The woman had crazy tattoos covering the majority of the upper half of her body. However, on her left shoulder there seemed to be a large empty area void of an inkings. Yet look a little closer and you could see that she actually had a beautiful white tattoo on her arm. It was a gorgeous floral designed tattoo that seemed to pop out from the skin and wrapped around her shoulder. It was absolutely stunning. Ever since then the idea of a tattoo just could not leave my head. I wrangled with my more rational side that kept reminding me of my parents warning to never get a tattoo, yet I wanted one so bad.
So came the year I turned eighteen. On a spur of the moment decision my friends and I had decided to go to a tattoo parlor on New Years Eve. Only one of our friends was actually planning on getting a tattoo and the rest of us were just there for moral support. Yet after hearing and talking to that tattoo artist, I warmed up to the idea and thought, “This was it! I’m going to get a tattoo.” So I did, and yes, I did get a white tattoo. I had gotten the word “Breathe” done in cursive on my left wrist. I think anyone who has ever gotten a tattoo can attest when I say that it does not feel enjoyable. It feels like what it is, a thousand needles going into your skin all at the same time. But I ended up loving it. The greatest part was that you couldn’t even see it from far away; in fact you can only see the tattoo when I specifically point it out or show you up close. It was my little secret.
A year later I decided to get another tattoo and the craze began. I ended up getting two swallows on my back right shoulder, which I’ve become very fond of. I realized that almost all my friends now had a tattoo, whether it be a small one or a big one that had each gotten some ink done. I met business professionals who sported their own inks and watched celebrities get an array of tattoos done. It seemed to me that tattoos were slowly transitioning from that taboo stigma and turning into something that is now deemed as hot and trendy. Now I just wonder if what my parents said will come true. I wonder if I or anyone else really will regret getting these done when the time comes…
photo: Debby / Flickr