What is it with tattoos and being cool??
Just last week, while walking on the beaches of Goa, I was shocked when my friend suddenly announced she just had to have a tattoo because it was “sooooooooo cool”!
Before gaining popularity as a fashion statement, tattoos were used more or less in a negative sense. An indelible mark sketched on your body as a punishment or to make you unattractive to rival tribes like among Arunachal Pradesh’s Apatani tribe or even to exhibit what a person can do as seen in the case of the Atayal tribe in Taiwan. Tattoos in some cases were a sign of power and fearlessness. But mostly tattoos were marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts or they were a form of amulet, talisman or map!! During the Holocaust people were forcefully tattooed. I’m assuming that would still be a raw memory for some.
Yet, these days’ youngsters as well as working adults feel, having a tattoo is a mark of being ‘cool’ and ‘strong’! Without realizing the history of cruelty, pain and torture behind these marks so many boys and girls flock towards getting a temporary or even permanent tattoo. It’s all for THE Moment – ‘NOW’ is the mantra! A fad, a style statement – It is pretty in some cases and creating it is an art, I agree. But it is really not too hard to imagine the sight of these tattoos as years progress and people age. Try visualizing the wrinkly, droopy, dried out skin which once used to boast of a huge and fierce tattoo of a dragon! Yew! I wouldn’t want a second look at that, I’m sure.
People get tattooed all over their body. I don’t think there is a single part of the body which the general tattoo has not been!
There is this incident that occurred to one of my colleagues at work – Recently he went to a parlour and got himself a tattoo symbolizing his undying love for his girlfriend as a surprise Valentines Day gift for her. On Valentines Day, he gave her a bunch of roses and showed her the tattoo on his chest. This is when his girlfriend told him that she no longer thought he was the one and that she had met someone else. The rest of the story is history. She broke up with him leaving him shell shocked and with an intricate tattoo of her face and name on his chest!!!!
Now, he’s trying to get someone to remove the tattoo!! A swimming enthusiast, he no longer jumps into a pool these days!! Poor fellow. Depression and consternation is wasting him away.
There are very rare cases where some misinterpret a word or symbol and get themselves tattooed with it only to realize much later on that it was not what they had in mind. Else it must be one of those drunken tattooes. You know the ones I mean – where you are drunk and peer pressure or absolute craziness makes you get a tattoo!!!
All for what? To look cool? To be hep? To appear macho and sexy and impress the opposite sex??! Pathetic!