Nonconformity vs. Stereotyping
Since the dawn of the first tattoo, there has been a cloud of judgment hanging over the tattoo scene. In the early days, only the wealthy could afford one; however, that all changed with the invention of the electric tattooing machine. After that, tattoos were everywhere, inescapable. The “degenerates,” as society began to label them, were seen as social abnormalities and have been associated with the mentally insane. The topic of this essay is to debate whether New York Times columnist David Brooks’ “Nonconformity is Skin Deep” is a better argument than Associated Content blogger Georga Hackworth’s “Stigmas, Stereotypes in Tattooing: Why the Medical Community is to Blame.” Both articles offer insight to their respective feelings on the subject of tattooing; both are strongly opinionated, yet only one can be the winner of this essay, and that winner is David Brooks’ “Nonconformity is Skin Deep,” as he excels over the opposition. David Brooks’ “Nonconformity is Skin Deep” argument that tattooing is becoming a social trend is persuasive; he backs this by stating that tattoos are everywhere, inescapable. He wants us to assume that behind every judge, teacher, lawyer, housewife, etc lurks ink. Brooks makes a mockery of the “tattoo fad” by writing, “these are expressions of commitment…they don’t always work out…but the longing for permanence is admirable” (Brooks). Hackworth’s “Stigmas, Stereotypes of Tattooing: Why the Medical Community is to Blame” is just as convincing as Brooks’. She blames the psychology and psychiatry branch for their portrayal of people with tattoos as “homosexuals, fetish enthusiasts, and barbaric”(Hackworth). She backs up this claim with evidence published in 1985’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” Hackworth gives a brief history of the art of tattooing, discussing how in its early days was reserved only for the rich, only later to be adopted by the common man with the invention of...
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