One quarter of the US population is tattooed. That is according to the stats found in an article(more like a memo) at theweek.com.
It shouldn’t be all too surprising that tattoos are that prevalent. Naturally tats are most common amongst the younger segments of the population where they are on over 35% of bodies. To the younger crowd they’re a fashion accessory like any other, no big deal.
Except it kind of ruins the mystique. As the saying goes, when everyone is special no one is special, well when everyone is tattooed, they really aren’t cool or special anymore. In fact they become quite lame.
I’m not anti-tat. My take on tats is much the same as it is on gays. Do what you want it’s got nothing to do with me, but it still says something about you.
Mostly what tattoos say today is that I want to be cool. Tattoos are a way to get attention, but in todays “individual” society that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
I know a lot of folks with a tattoo and a few folks who are quite tatted up. The difference between them is that the ones who are tatted up and in the navy and the single tat group are just regular folks who decided to get inked with a cross, flower, or star.
Tats used to mean something, they held symbolic value, which is why they were confined largely to particular groups of people, like sailors. Now there just a fashion accessory, a way to express yourself.
I didn’t know that flowers, and stars meant so much to what so many girls think about themselves.
I didn’t realize there was so many christian crusaders still kicking around with all the crosses I see on guys arms.
I didn’t realize we had so many chinese philosophy experts what will all the chinese characters/symbols non-chinese people get inked with.
Of course it will only get worse. The novelty may wear off(unlike the ink) at some point, and the number of new tats may shrink in the future, but not until they hit their peak.
Because tattoos are an expression of oneself the desire to express oneself more than others will take hold. That is the basic reason why the number of tattoos has risen, but for those already with tattoos they then have to get more and bigger ones to be the most expressive.
Having some beers with fellow travelers earlier this year the topic of tattoos came up. The Kiwi present said that Maori style tats were being found on some white people, but that a lot of them ended up getting their asses kicked, 1) for getting Maori style tats and 2) for not getting them done correctly.
Tattoos are supposed to be a manner of expression, but they are also supposed to mean something. Not necessarily to anyone else, but mostly to the other people in that qualifying group who can then understand that persons tale.
The real shame of course is that tattoo removal is becoming more effective and eventually will remove any mistakes and regrets these poor souls would have had to incur for stupid mistakes. Threat of permanence makes a perfect case against argument, but alas.
When everyone is expressing themselves, no one is expressing anything.