Tattoos, A Culture, A Medication.
By Chloe Jenae on August 21, 2014
Tattoos, piercings, along with other forms of body art have been apart of history for more than a thousand years; acting as different right of passages for many different cultures, not just as a part of our own. To solidify marriages, to remember those we love who have passed on (In Hawiian cultures women had their tongues tattooed to mourn the loss of their husbands, a very painful thing to do), also to celebrate the birth of new lives. Despite these facts, much of this has been forgotten in the passing years. Many assumptions have been made about people who get tattoos, much of them being how people who get tattoos are deliquents or criminals, in some cases even procieved to be murderers. However, with shows like Ink Master, Best Ink, Tattoo Nightmares, and Tattoos After Dark, tattoos have begun to recieve a new level of acceptance more than ever before. This isn't a new phenominon. TLC began this climb with shows like Miami Ink, NY Ink, and LA Ink; where well known artist Kat Von Dee got her claim to fame. It's a possitive beyond possitive considering the great reward getting a tattoo can provide. Coming from one who has enough tattoos to lose count, I'm the first to say everyone should experience getting at least one tattoo in their life time.
I got my first tattoo when I was twenty years old, so two years ago now; and it set off a small ongoing addiction. I've had different artists come and go through my time getting my work done, but have finally found an artist I'm sure will do at least eighty percent of my work. It's hard to explain what I get out of getting tattoos. I think it's a combination of different things. It's having the end result to carry with you for the rest of your life (if it's a piece that's done well and can mean something to you). Another thing I don't think many people would really understand, but actually getting them I believe is one of the main reasons I keep going back. There's the excitment and build up to getting it, there's the excitement to how your piece will look once it's done in the end. But I think is the biggest reason, is the pain. Most people would go running from the idea of needles going into your skin at the rapid speed of the tattoo machine. As a former self mutilator, the pain is something different for me, it's a release unlike anything else. After just having work done on the sixteenth of this month, I left the appointment feeling completely stoned, almost to a point where I was left unable to speak. I know I will run out of skin, but until then I'll try to enjoy the fun I'm having through getting them while I still can.
While tattoos are becoming more respected in today's modern society; like I mentioned before, there are still people who find the worst things to say about people with tattoos, to the point where I'd consider it to be downright discrimination.
Miami Florida tattoo artist and former constant of the show Ink Master, Katherine "Tatu Baby" Florez has made posts talking about just this very topic.
Not too long ago, she talked about how Tatu Baby was out and about with her newborn son when a random stranger came up to her saying: "What do you think you are, some kind of tattoo model? I'll bet you can't even get a job with all those tattoos." Tatu Baby she just politely smiled and walked away to enjoy the rest of the nice day with her son. The kicker of the story, Tatu Baby will probably never have to work another day in her life after all the exposure she's gotten from competing with Ink Master.
Another post was the response about a host on the show SunRise on 7 made this comment during a segment called Women Who Ink.
"Any tatto you get you will regret with time. It is a mistake. We all make negative assumptions about women with tattoos. I do not think that is attractive, I do not think men find that attractive. Tattoos make a negative statement."
While I of course think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don't think it's fair for people to make such strong assumptions towards something they know nothing about; a point Tatu Baby also tried to make very clear with making this post. The best thing I can really say in response to this is she's not the one wearing my tattoos, and if she were to think I'm some bum just my looking at me, then so be it. That's not the kind of negativity I need nor want at this point in my life.
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