In modern times, people with tattoos are judged and stereotyped as being drug addicts, gang members, or criminals. There can always be some truths to this but just like any stereotype; you can never generalize an entire group as being the same way as each other. Tattoos may no longer tell you the tribe a person is from or be a means of fertility but they are a way to identify one’s self; whether it is through religious beliefs, personal beliefs, or carrying on a family heritage. Since tattoos are still being thought of as taboo; mainly by the older generation, people are going to be judged and placed into these types of groups. As time goes on, the manner in which tattoos are portrayed will change and people with them will eventually be treated as equals again. “Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment” (Lineberry). During Egyptian times, around 4,000 B.C., young females would get a tattoo on their upper thigh of an ancient Egyptian deity named Bes, which is a protector of mothers, children and childbirth. (Hodjash 65) This, of course, was done for fertility reasons and the practice was carried on from woman to woman for quite some time because of difficulties in childbirth. As time went on and different discoveries were made, they found that both men and women got tattoos. In one particular case the discovery of a man in Siberia, which was dated back 2,400 years ago, shows his arms, legs and stomach tattooed with different type of creatures from that period. During this time there were many tribes that tattooed many different animals and creatures on their bodies. These were not ordinary people though and they weren’t lowly workers, they were people of high status and regard. Unfortunately, people
Cited: Hodjash, Svetlana. “Figurines of the God Bes in the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art.” Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 6.1/2 (1999): 61. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Sept. 2012 Lineberry, Cate. “Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History.” Smithsonian. Smithsonian.com, 01 Jan. 2007. Web. 11 Sept. 2012 Lloyd, J.D. Body Piercing and Tattoos: Examining pop culture.San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Print. Mark, Joshua J. “The Maya Pantheon: The many Gods of the Maya.” Ancient.eu.com. Ancient Encyclopedia History, 07 July 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012 West, Amanda. “The Cover Model.” Interview. Skin Deep Magazine, August 2012: 214. Print.