Tattoos. They’re everywhere. On building sites. In discothèques. In offices. Universities. Churches. The ‘acceptance’ of tattoos certainly seems to have increased over the last ten years.
Both guys and gals are getting them. And not just the fat and ugly girls either, although goodness knows that’s bad enough. Yes, pretty young things are permanently etching their skin with large, colourful motifs.
My wife works in the bridal industry, fitting wedding dresses to brides of all ages. She will often comment on how many brides want to cover up their once-loved tattoos.
First up, I don’t have any problem with tatts. Let’s get that clear. What I do err on is teenagers – old kids essentially getting huge, visible tattoos.
I like to think I’m pretty open minded (in a conservative kinda way!). I still can’t just get past the idea that being heavily tattooed still has a ‘stigma’ about it. It’s like the person is hiding behind something. Like they aren’t comfortable in their own skin, so they need excessive permanent markers all over their body.
I heard some sage advice about tattoos once. The advice was if you want a tattoo, put a picture of the tattoo next to your bed, so it’s the first thing you see every morning when you wake up and the last thing you see when you go to sleep. If you still absolutely love it after a year, then get the tattoo.
My daughter goes to a pretty middle-class Christian independent school. There is an after-school dance studio that runs in the school. One assembly, the dance teachers came and performed a dancing routine for the primary-school children. One of the girl teachers was heavily tattooed. Now the dancing was not salacious, nor the music inappropriate. I know that as Christians, we should strive to be non-judgemental, loving and accepting. I just could not get past my own prejudices that this heavily tattooed dancer just brought the whole tone of the dance troupe down. Does that make sense? I was just – well- miffed that someone heavily tattooed was put in the limelight that contradicted my internal values system.
Is it just me that thinks heavily tattooed people still have a ‘stigma’ about them? It’s a shame, like judging a book by it’s cover. I’m not doubting that many tattoos can be intricate, artistic and super cool. Many of them can be.
What do you think? Am I being an old fuddy-duddy? Too conservative? Or does someone who is heavily tattooed still have a ‘stigma’ in the wider community? I’d love to hear your opinions and I’m eager for mine to be challenged.