Note to readers: If you have anything else to add to this list, please contact me. I want to hear your reasons for disliking tattoos since these are apparently just weak arguments from “the lowest common denominator” of people with negative opinions of tattoos. http://www.thetattooedengineer.com/?p=2405
I see a lot of arguments, questions or statements used against tattoos that really don’t make any sense at all. I am going to highlight 10 that I hear over and over again and explain why they are irrational.
- Would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?
- What will happen when you get older?
- People with tattoos are all just sheep, following the herd.
- People with tattoos are rebels, trying to stand out from the crowd.
- The Bible says tattoos are wrong.
- You won’t be able to find a job.
- Tattoos are responsible for the spread of Hepatitis C.
- Tattoos are a waste of time and money.
- Tattoos are only for sailors, criminals and gang bangers.
- I have never seen a tattoo that enhanced a persons beauty.
Another variation is “Why put a bumper sticker on a Bentley?”
My reaction to this question used to be something along the lines of, “It’s my Ferrari, and I’ll put a bumper sticker on it if I want to.” But, the more I think about the analogy, the less sense it actually makes.
The Ferrari is obviously supposed to represent the human body. Every person on the planet has a body, and skin with space for tattoos. A Ferrari is an exotic sports car that a very, very small percentage of people on this earth can actually afford. How can the two even be compared? I am not a car, I am a living, breathing, thinking being.
People use this argument from 2 general angles. First, they attack the way tattoos will age as your skin ages and wrinkles.
My skin will sag and wrinkle in the same way regardless of whether I have tattoos or not. Fine details in a tattoo may become obscured and colors may fade, but tattoos do not run like wet paint and can always be touched up if necessary.
With advances in ink, the days of black tattoos turning into unidentifiable green blobs are long gone and modern tattoos generally age very well if taken care of properly.
The other thing I often hear is, “You are going to be embarrassed by your tattoos when you are old and in a nursing home.”
Considering the fact that close to 40% of people in my age group have tattoos, if I do end up in a nursing home when I’m older, I expect to be in good company, surrounded by others with tattoos. We can sit around sharing stories about our ink and reminiscing about our youth. Some may even continue getting tattooed, no matter how old they are.
I am the only person in my family with tattoos, a small percentage of my friends have tattoos, very few of my co-workers have tattoos, and only about 21% of the general population have tattoos. Would someone please explain exactly which herd I am following by getting tattooed?
The biggest issue I have with this argument is that it’s just lumping all people with tattoos into one big group. It’s kind of like saying that all people that wear pants are just sheep, trying to fit in with the other pants wearing people of the world. Everyone knows that pants are made in many varieties. Well, the same is true about tattoos. All tattoos are not created equal. There are gang tattoos, prison tattoos, generic flash tattoos, and then there are extremely artistic and intricate tattoos.
Wait a second. You just said I was a sheep and trying to fit in, now I’m a rebel, trying to stand out. Which is it?
The complete contradiction between these last two arguments is pretty much the only proof I need to show that blanket statements about people with tattoos will never apply to all tattooed people equally.
A person who chooses to cover their face in tattoos is probably trying to stand out. But you cannot take an extreme example of something and try to universally apply it to all people who partake in the same activity at a different level. Like all things in life, there are varying degrees to be taken into consideration when talking about tattoos.
I already covered this topic in detail in another post, but I’ll summarize here.
First, the bible does not say modern day, non-ritualistic tattoos are wrong. Read Leviticus 19 in its entirety, and be aware of the context. Unless your tattoo is being done as part of a pagan ritual, you are doing nothing wrong by getting one.
“But god made you perfect, and a tattoo is a desecration of god’s work.”
God made me with terrible vision and I chose to permanently alter my eyes by undergoing laser eye surgery. Should I be condemned for this as well? After all, I chose to make permanent changes to the perfect body I was born with.
Another point that I hardly see brought up is the fact that not everyone follows the same religion. Why should someone care about a misinterpreted, ancient law, printed in a religious book that they have no association with? If you want to avoid tattoos due to your own religious beliefs, that is fine. But don’t try to push those beliefs onto others who may not even be of the same faith.
Follow my basic tattoo advice, don’t get tattoos that cannot easily be covered, and this will not be a problem.
Of course there are exceptions to this. If you happen to be a Japanese government worker, being forced to reveal even your hidden tattoos, I can’t help you. It isn’t the tattoos fault that your rights are being infringed upon.
Hepatitis is not something to be taken lightly. But tattoos that are done in reputable shops carry very little risk. The CDC concluded the following after studying this issue:
“There is no definitive evidence that [hepatitis C] infections occur when sterile equipment is used,” comment the investigators. “Of note, no outbreaks of hepatitis C infection have been detected in the United States that originate from professional tattooing or piercing parlours.”
If you choose to get tattooed in your friends basement, all bets are off. Please be smart and leave the tattooing to the professionals.
Variations include, “they are a waist of time and money.”
My short answer to this is “It’s my time and my money and I can do what I please with it.”
If I am capable of paying my bills and still have enough money to get tattooed, why should it be any of your business? And while tattoos may appear expensive at first glance, they really aren’t if you look at the cost over their lifetime.
I started getting tattooed at 30 years old and let’s say I live up to the average life expectancy of a male, living in the U.S. and make it to 75. Even if I spent a total of $10,000 on tattoos, that would equate to $222 per year, $18.50 per month or about $0.61 per day.
There are dozens and dozens of things that people spend far more money on, every day of their lives. Half of Americans spend an average of $1000 per year just buying their morning coffee.
Please turn on the news, pick up a newspaper or look at the date in the corner of your computer screen. You see those last 4 digits that say 2012, that means we are well over 10 years into the 21st century. Times are changing, try not to get left behind.
I typically see this comment made by men, in reference to women. “I have never seen a tattoo on a woman that made her look better.”, or some variant. It is usually followed by a statement about how they would never date a woman with tattoos.
The world would be a very boring place if everyone had the same standards of beauty. People are attracted to a certain hair color, eye color, body type, or any number of physical attributes. I may not prefer a woman who dies her hair blonde, but I’m not going to spend my days ranting about it and trying to convince them that they are wrong. What turns one person on may repulse the next. It’s called variety. You know, the spice of life.
I could not possibly capture everything written against tattoos in a single blog post, so this list is just of few of the many things I see written on a regular basis. If anyone wants to share their own, I would be happy to respond to them here.