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Tattoo: Coming of Age or Misguided Identity?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

People generally indentify themselves through the color of their skin, the country in which they are born or through the culture to which they adhere. What really makes a person American and what makes another Latino and at the same time American? If you were to think of the word Latino and its current colloquial use, what do deduce? Is anyone originally from a Spanish speaking country automatically Latino? What if the person was born in America; has a Latino appearance but doesn't speak Spanish? Would they person still qualify as a Latino?

This situation shows the issue that is currently linked to body arts and tattoo. Body art is a term that encompasses any form or body painting including temporary or permanent tattoo. If you were to look into the origin or tattoo, you will discover that it is closely related to identity, beauty and tradition. In tribes that are sometimes called "primitives tribes", tattoo is not just about beauty. It has multiple meanings depending on the culture. Some tribes have a particular tattoo that is linked to the passage of rite. It could mean going from boyhood to manhood and for girls, becoming officially women. In other cultures, like what you see in tribes living in the Amazon, tattoo is a way to identify and differentiate themselves from others. To the uninitiated, all tribes are the same. A closer look at the design and the tattoos on their body shows a different story. To most tribes, it is a way of self identity and self preservation.

Tattoo today has evolved and has become a type of fashion statement. Some people dislike tattoo and others think it is fashionable. Famous celebrities like David Beckham and Angelina Jolie have contributed to the acceptance of tattoo in the common conscience. Most people who get a tattoo on their body do it for different reasons. Here are a few reasons:

Peer Pressure: If all your friend have a tattoo, you might feel left out. You might be directly or indirectly pressured to get one yourself. This is quite interesting because it is linked to identity. Just like the tribes that identify themselves with a tattoo, you might feel a sense of belonging ones you have a tattoo like your friends

Statement: Some people get a tattoo because they feel they have something to say. They feel the need to be different and at the same time belong. It is similar to those who consider tattoo to be linked to rebellion. It is like a rebel without a cause.

Rebellion: Teenagers often fall into this category. They get a tattoo because they are going through a difficult phase in their lives. It might also be as a challenge to their parents authority. Most teenagers in this situation will have a tattoo in parts of their body that are not immediately visible to their parents.

World Record: Some people get a tattoo because of the fame. They want to be noticed. That is how Julia Gnuse entered the Guiness Book of Records by having about 95% of her bodied covered in tattoo.

There are more reasons why people get a tattoo. The original reasons about self identity and belonging no longer holds true. Some people just considered it one of the things you have to do before you die. Tattoo is a form or body arts. Is tattoo beautiful and does it enhance your appearance? That is debatable and a never ending conversation.


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