Following my post “On Tattoos And Character Over Beauty”, the original intended recipient of my missive kindly asked my permission to pass along my words (omitting my name and contact details) to a few of his friends who would might be interested in my point of view. I happily agreed, and I requested that he pass along (again, anonymously) “any interesting responses from [his] friends, as I’d love to hear their thoughts and even, perhaps, their prejudices.”
The comments below are all the messages I received anonymously, in the order that I received them via my father’s friend, and I have not edited any comments for grammar or length (barring the removal of one proper noun). I encourage you to read them all and reflect on your own thoughts and feelings toward my original piece and the responses below.
//Note: The accompanying unfinished illustration is one I did in 2012 or 2013 of Moist von Lipwig, a con-artist with a trustworthy face in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series who is forced to use his crooked talents to establish the Discworld’s first banks, railroads, and post office.
Well thought through.
I am leaving the office early so that I can get to my tattoo parlor and start emulating this young lady.
See you there, Michael.
This young women is so together, surely she could have found another way to express herself.
What an expressive thoughtful essay. I always thought of people with tattoos as low class. I will never think that way again.
Very interesting reply as it pertains to this specific young woman. However, I see that so many people have a neck or hand tattoo that cannot be covered up. These do not speak to professionalism.
I totally can understand why this particular person chose tattoos to express herself and she undoubtedly has never regretted that it was the right thing for her. However, I do believe, and have spoken to people who have gotten a tattoo (or many) on a whim, to get attention or to bug their parents and definitely regretted it at some point later in life. I guess everyone is different and she sounds like she certainly knows who she is.I personally don’t need tattoos, or anything for that matter to express who I am. If anyone wants to truly take the time to get to know me, they WILL know who I am and what’s important to me without adornments of any kind. Xo
Thanks for sharing this with me/us. I found the explanation by the young woman touching and revelatory. It certainly gives me a different perspective on why some people have tattoos, however as a mother I hate to see that lovely body I carried and nurtured turned into a canvas. I will now try to look at things more differently but full coverage still bothers me. To me it is as if, instead of celebrating their body, they are trying to hide it by distracting the eye.
That said, I don’t think there is any explanation that will dissuade my (excuse the term) my revulsion when I see a morbidly obese woman excessively tattoed in often immodest attire to subject their bodies to unsuspecting passerbys. Sometimes they are in skin tight leggings and a mini-skirts up to there crotches! White leggings stretched so thin that every ripple is in your face throws me into fits! Whatever statement they are trying to make should be outlawed by the decency police. Unfortunately, our daughter-in-law’s sister is a prime example. I feel sorry for her young children when she goes to Parent Teachers Conference because THEY will be the target of derision. This is unlike the articulate young woman who answered your questions. On Tuesday I went to my yoga class and another example of obesity, this time a woman in her 60s is my guess, came out of her swimming class into the locker room with sagging tattoos all over her body! I may have an overly developed sense of self-respect but I find that…well you know what I mean.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Much of what is here is justification after the fact. From what I read, this was originally a way to make herself unattractive so she could see who “really” sees her for who she is. Wonderful that she embraces her Chinese heritage (why am I not surprised that she is Chinese), but she doesn’t explain how or why she chose this method of so doing.
What do you think? How would you feel if [your son] got himself all tattooed up for similar reasons as are expressed here?