Tattoos: Expressions of Permanence

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Martin Langston
ENGWR 300
Professor Fernandez
Essay #2
Tattoos: Expressions of Permanence
For thousands of years the art of tattooing has been around and has enticed millions of people to put this permanent body art on their skin. Although millions of people choose to get a tattoo inked on their body, each person has their own different reason for getting a tattoo. These reasons can be anything from showing their individuality, proving their pride or love, the need for more tattoos, or even being addicted to the whole process. Conversely, the same can be said for people who don’t want a tattoo. Tattoos can come in many shapes and sizes, can be put almost anywhere on your body, and can be inked in colors from the darkest blacks to the brightest pinks. Tattoos can symbolize anything from the number of years in prison, the gang affiliation, a lost loved one, or as a way to express oneself.

Firstly, a person might want to get a tattoo to feel like they need set themselves apart from others. There are hundreds of kids and adults today that feel like they need to be an individual and not another part of the crowd. The author Andres Martin, who specializes in adolescent psychiatry, writes in his essay “On Teenagers and Tattoos” about how teens today want to be themselves. “Seeking individualization, tattooed adolescents can become unambiguously demarcated from others and singled out as unique” (Martin 399). He means that some teens get tattoos in order be themselves and express their individuality. Getting a tattoo is a way of making them stand out from the rest and be noticed or show the world who they really are. On the other hand, the reasoning for a teen to get a tattoo could be the exact opposite. At times, being in individual can also mean being an outcast. A tattoo could make a person feel like they belong or that they’re part of a group. Having a tattoo is like a membership to a club. You’re instantly part of a select group of people that...
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