Centuries ago, being marked served as a form of punishment but is now used very popularly as a form of decorative body art. These once involuntary signatures of shame have now been refurbished into voluntary symbols of pride to those who have them. When recently polled, research showed that 40% of Americans from ages 25-40 had at least one tattoo, in comparison to the 1980's when that percentage was 3%, or the 1950's when it was 0.5% of the population [ (Martin, 2010) ]. In American society, however, tattoos and piercing are easily a label of deviance, a behavior, trait, belief, or other characteristic that violates a norm and causes a negative reaction. The table below demonstrated the thoughts of some individuals and their mostly negative thought towards others that do have tattoos [ (Corso, 2008) ].
ATTITUDES OF THOSE WITHOUT A TATTOO
"Please complete the following sentence:
'Compared to people without tattoos, I think people with tattoos are...?'"
Base: All Without Tattoos
More Less No Difference
Intelligent 1% 27% 71%
Sexy 6% 39% 55%
Spiritual 5% 25% 70%
Rebellious 54% 3% 43%
Attractive 4% 47% 49%
Athletic 5% 13% 82%
Healthy 2% 25% 73%
Strong 8% 10% 82%
Although these bodily modifications may come across as deviant to the great part of the population, many of these tattoos that individuals permanently imprint their skin with have very significant meanings behind them, for example the name or representation of a loved one that has passes away or is very dear to them, some symbolic depiction of their lifestyle, or a demonstration of their religious beliefs. This significance to their body art, gives a great number of marked citizens...