Teenagers and Tattoos

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Teenagers and Tattoos - Misunderstood Youth

It seems like everyone has a tattoo or piercing these days. In the past, this type of permanent artwork or body ornaments were reserved for outlaws, sailors and biker gangs. Now these body decorations can be found on teenagers. In Dr. Andres Martin's article "On Teenagers and Tattoos" he explains the significance and function of tattoos and piercings for teenagers. Dr. Martin explains the reasons that teenagers are so attracted to this form of permanent marking on their bodies and why they are getting these adornments. Adolescents are getting tattoos for several reasons, to fit in with a group, to create an individual persona or to create a sense of stability or control over their bodies. Parents and their children are usually at odds over the control of their bodies. This is a explainable cause of such permanent placement of tattoos. Adolescents like to have a sense of stability. They are getting tattoos and piercings to commit to a certain time or event in their life. These dermal embellishments, like tattoos and body piercings, are set apart by their permanent nature, this is the reason for the appeal to teenagers. Dr. Martin explains that adults should look at the reasons for the tattoos, instead of immediately judging the teen, to discover and uncover the reasons behind these body decorations.

The goal of Dr. Martin's argument is to get parents and adults to see the reasons why these teens are getting tattoos and piercings. His audience are the caregivers of these teens, as well as the clinicians that help families with teens. He is trying to get adults to understand the meaning behind the tattoos and piercings. For example, Dr. Martin explains adolescents see tattoos and piercings as "personal and beautifying statements" (Martin, 1998). While parents and adults see these teenager's tattoos as "oppositional and enraging affronts to their authority" (Martin, 1998). Dr....
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