Jalen S. Underhill
13 March 2013
The Dangers of Body Art
“Grandma, what does that thing on your right wrist say?” asked Maya. “It says Justin Bieber! Who is Justin Bieber? Was that your boyfriend back in the day?” Maya’s grandma simply responded, “No, this is what you call a big mistake!” Grandma did not tell Maya about her life-threatening encounter with Hepatitis B, how she was judged for tattooing a Canadian singer’s name on her, and how she was not able to keep a steady job. Grandma regrets getting that tattoo. She daydreamed many days how her life could have been better. Can you really blame Grandma? She did this when she was a teenager. The trend in this century has increased. Tattoos are a major fashion statement among teenagers today, but the majority of the young adults fail to consider the medical, social, and professional consequences tattoos can inflict on one’s life which may result in regret. Adolescents have several reasons for having tattoos are numerous but some are senseless. A survey was given to students about the motive for their tattoos: “Fifty-three percent of the students replied for self expression. Thirty-five percent just wanted one. Twenty-one percent got the art to remember an event. Seventeen wanted to feel unique. Eleven got it to express independence,” (Winkler 18). The reasons are endless. A rebellious tattoo gives one a tougher look, so that one appears disobedient to rules. The indifferent appearance verses the bland look that has been acquired by society for centuries. Well-known actress, Pamela Anderson, feels “tattoos are symbolic of the most important moments of your life” (Mason 16). Moments of life are similar to rites of passage. On Dictionary.com, a rite of passage is “Ceremonies that mark important transitional periods in a person’s life . . .” (Keloid). It is common for one to get a tattoo(s) displaying marriage or in memory of another’s death. Anderson also stated about getting a tattoo, “my sons’ first girlfriend come over and I’m all wrinkled up in a chair with tattoos all sagging down to my ankles” (Mason 16)
Everyone sets goals but in cases people have tattooed the goals or something symbolic to the goals on their body. “Several athletes, for example, have had the Olympic rings tattooed on their bodies to show how much they wanted to compete in the Olympic Games.” (Mason 16). Love is a beautiful thing but would you risk showing it on your skin? It is common for people to tattoo love-one’s name on them. Many say that having a relative’s name is better than having a boyfriend or girlfriend’s name tattooed on one. One’s lover can change constantly but your family is yours officially. For instance, “Actress Angelina Jolie had actor Billy Bob Thornton’s name tattooed on her arm soon after she married him. By the summer of 2002, the two had split up” (Mason 17). Some professional tattoo artist can remember a story about someone who came in to cover up someone’s name that was tattooed on them. Mr. Barham’s second period class took a survey on having their girlfriend/boyfriend’s name on them. Fifty percent said it was ignorant, twenty-five percent said it was ill-advised, and twenty-five percent said to wait till marriage. (Concluding Sentence?) Hardship enters in and out of everyone’s life. Hardship can send one into sadness. Sadness is another reason one may have a desire for a tattoo; most likely to remember the event. Actress Alyssa Milano said about getting tattoos out of misery, “I’ve always gotten them [tattoos] at times when I was sad about something […] relationship problems or the fact that it had rained every day for a month” (Mason 17). It is not advised to get a tattoo during the time of grief. “Why do you have that tattoo again?” said Ashley. “Well, I don’t know” said Jason. Jason received a tattoo no for no particular reason? As said before, thirty-five percent of teens got the tattoo because they just wanted it (Winkler 18). Some...
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