17 July 2008

What's the Point of Tattoos?


This is going to be short. Tattoos. Why? 

Dark-skinned black people and tattoos. Some designs you can hardly see. What's the point?

What happens to your tattooed skin as you reach say, 85?

Maybe it's just me...I'm just asking!!!

21 comments:

Doctor Disillusioned of the UNIVERSITY OF MARS. said...

Branding is now the latest craze in the West! Who would go there?

Those dawg paws though. Now you know grandma's going to regret having had that done!

And Pacific Islander facial tattoos - like Mike Tyson's has had done... oh dear. Still it could be useful signalling for those who are in a good place in their lives: "Unless you are in the tattoo removal trade then don't even consider talking with me - as you can see I'm not right!"

Jim L said...

For me, it was kind of a right of passage. I always wanted a tattoo, but didn't know if I had the guts to do it, the pain tolerance, etc. I have only one, it went well, and I'm already planning my next one. :) I'm told that is usually how it works, one you get one you'll want more. No matter how many tattoos I end up with, I plan on getting them in areas that are easily concealed, so if I'm walking around in jeans and a t-shirt you wouldn't know I had any.

Jim

Anonymous said...

I am a heavily tattooed woman in my late 30's and I have to say that my reasoning for getting tattooed has changed dramatically since my very first tat (when I was 18). Back then, in the '80's, I just wanted to rebel against authority (my parents) and stand out. I ended up getting the most ridiculous tattoo in the worst possible place (my right breast). Looking back at that time I realize I had extremely low self-esteem, didn't feel like I had an identity, wanted to fit in, blahblahblah. I continued to get stupid tattoos at spur-of-the-moment times until I was sufficiently "out there". I think that was when really thought provoking body art was just making its way into more visible venues and I got to thinking about my past need to permanently alter my skin with very un-thoughtful tats. Since I had so many already I decided to once and for all do something that I could actually admire so I researched artists and did some thinking about what a beautiful tattoo would be for me. I have now an award winning back piece that is absolutely stunning and fits me to a tee. If I had to do it over again I think I'd skip all the crappy tats I have but keep the back piece.

Andrea said...

Some people get them for frivolous reasons, some people to signify people, things, events that are important to them. I've got 5 relatively small ones, and I started getting them in my early 20's. Honestly the first one was strictly boredome and depression (I was unemployed). THe second one was for my cat around the time I moved into my first place. She was my only constant companion. When I got my second cat, I got my 3rd tat. Don't remember when exactly I got the 4th, but it was to remind me to always stay strong. The last was when I got pregnant with my son. One day I hope to cover up the first with an image to represent my family, but it hasn't been the right time (the irony of having my son's tat makes me chuckle a little). I don't regret any of them.

Zee Harrison said...

Wow! Thank you all for contributing here. Different spectrums regarding tattoos. I haven't had any tattoos and cannot imagine that I would have any in the future. I have a friend in Mexico who is 50 and feisty and adores her many tattoos: feet, back, arms, legs and works in a tattoo palour so...
I can understand the various reasons people have them but my next thought is: what if in 20 years time you positively hate them and half your body is covered in them, what do you do?
I remember Paula Yates (for you Brits) who showed off her tattoos for years and then some time before her death tried her best to get rid of them.
I know I have done some things I wished I hadn't and I wouldn't want a tattoo to be one of them.
Thanks for sharing and feel free to come back at any point.
Kind regards,
Zee.

Anonymous said...

I am the 3rd commenter up there (anonymous) with tats dating back 20 years now and I have to say that I have way too many that I absolutely hate. That said, they remind me of myself back then. I just have to "own 'em". And my life. If I knew then what I know now I think I'd write poetry instead of trying to claim emotional real estate with ink on my body. It seemed like a safe outlet at the time (and it was), not drugs and the like. I had a daughter who died and on the first anniversary of her death I didn't know how to honor (?) her day and basically just went out and had her name tattooed on my forearm. That tat is not pretty, not a "tight" job by a quality tattoo artist, but it is very telling of my emotional state at the time. I try to look at my art (if you can call it that! Ha!) as a rough draft to my life. Tattoos are for telling your life story while still young and poetry is for telling your life story as you grow.

Original GRITS said...

I have 7 tattoos and all of them are relatively small with the exception of 2, a 5" celtic sun on my upper back/lower neck and a 3" name tattoo of my husband with an eternity band/heart in under it on my right wrist. Each represents, to me, a time in my life and something monumental that I was going through. They're not all as "pretty" now as they were 20-something years ago when I began getting them, but they each have meaning to me.

I think we decorate ourselves in different ways...some women adore beautiful shoes and high-end cosmetics, or maybe it's that certain way of dressing or a signature perfume. We have scrapbooks and photo albums to preserve time and memories. I think I've just chosen to do some of my "statements" and my hold my memories in a more bold way, with my body art.

I believe that tats are either a love 'em or hate 'em kinda thing. I personally love them if they're done for the right reasons and not just to conform or fit in. But I guess even those have some kind of meaning to the wearer.

Just my 2 cents.

Peace & Love!

ccch said...

I got one on my 40th birthday. A chain of flying fish. A symbol of my island. Now I'm going for an eagle (US symbol and that hot group Foo fighters) and then a Swiss flag or Edelweiss (not sure). These all represent the places I've either been borned or lived for long periods. I'm dark brown, my skin's still beautifully unlined and I do take care of myself (eating, drinking, lots of exercise). Perhaps it might seem strange that tatoos on darker skin's not soo obvious, but I see this as more of an advantage and guess who pointed it out to me?!. My caucasian friends who like me, have many, but feel the colour's too extremely "bright" on their pale skin. So go figure.......

Patricia Rockwell said...

I never did understand the lure of tattoos--even in my youth. I mean, they cannot be removed (or at least not without a lot of difficulty and cost). Why not just use jewelry to express your individuality? You can take it off at night.

KiNu79 said...

I've always thought of tattoos as a permanent reminder of temporary insanity!

YaVette said...

I'm 45 and about to get my first tattoo. My skin is very dark, even more so after spending a year in the sun in Mexico. I've been researching all night to fnd the right image and along the way reading the "why I got mine" or the "What it means to me" commentaries all over the web.

For me, it signifies my moving on. I will have a constant reminder of my own strength and the lessons I have learned in this past year. And the taming of fear (new country, divorce, single parenthood).

I will get three stars with the words "count our blessings" swirled through them on my right forearm, and a sunflower - representing rebirth - on my back.

I think getting my first tats at this age (my skin is smooth and taut) means that it will be fresher in my later years than it would be if I had first gotten it in my twenties. And everything about being dark is so beautiful to me. I will ask the artist to do his best with reds, oranges, yellows and greens. I'm really excited!!

Anonymous said...

ppl want to feel special and good and strong and stand out and blahblahblah. in reality, ppl who dont have tatoos are more special because they arent changing their original body color, and they arent trying to make themselves look attractive.

YaVette said...

Each person is special because of what they have inside. If you have a relationship with The Creator, then you already know this. The path that unfurls before you is yours and yours alone.

My tattoos are not meant to make me stand out. In fact, they're barely noticeable even though they're both about 8" long. As it turns out, my skin is deep dark enough that the artist declined to use any color saying my skin tone would cancel out the yellows, reds, and oranges that he would've used. So we just used black and grey scale. Anyway, you don't see them if you don't know they're there. But they touch me in a certain way. Remind me when I might be otherwise distracted of this time, this place, this lesson.
"Cuentas Tus Bendiciones" or "Count your Blessings" is just like my mama always said. In Spanish, it connects my past with my present adventure. As does my sunflower, done very realistically, signals me to nature's awesome tendency for rebirth. But I had it done on my thigh and not my back - because, it is for me. On my back, I wouldn't see it.

Anyway, just to holla back to you that, yes, some people do get tattoos as decoration or adornment. Still others get them after much consideration as a reminder, a touchstone, a mantra. And THAT is beautiful.

Holly said...

I have two tattoos, I got both of them done when I was 18. The first I had thought about for maybe a year, planned it out, and ended up going to get it done by some guy who was just starting and went in too deep, making it more painful than it would/should have been, and the entire tattoo is raised, which I hate because that is not good! The first one is a cartoon image from the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I am not too fond of my second... I got it done while bored with an extra $50 in my pocket. It's the words 'Don't worry, I'll catch you' (from a song by The Getup Kids) and it is on my left wrist, which I would not advise anyone to do because of work restrictions, etc. but luckily I work from home. I got them done because firstly, I just wanted one and my father had a really tight hold on me because of child abuse and custody issues because of my mother, so when I moved out of my father's house at 17, I was doing something drastic when I was of age... So I got a tattoo, dropped out of school, got a job, and haven't done too badly. The second I got because like I said before, I was bored, and as a previous commenter mentioned, when you get one tattoo, it is true that you will crave others, which is mostly when those regrettable tattoos happen.

C Woods said...

I'm with you ---I don't get it. If I want to embellish myself, I want to do it with clothing, jewelry, or a hair style ---something I can easily change with changes in fashion styles, appropriate wear for the occasion, or with something age-appropriate. I never had a desire to get a tattoo and I doubt I ever will. Until I hit 60, I never even gave one thought to plastic surgery. Now, if I had unlimited funds, I might have a few tucks here and there, but at this age, I doubt it would make a spec of difference. I'd like to grow old(er) gracefully.

Anonymous said...

Why would you post something like this?? thats just so putting down other blacks because there dark..why wouldnt a dark skin person want a tattoo?? maybe they want to express themselves..people like you are what making dark skin people feel bad about there color.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, a tattoo design has to be important. It has to have a meaning, if it's just because everyone else is doing it you're going to regret it.. But if it's something really important and symbolic than you wont really regret it. And when you're 85 I don't think having a tattoo on your wrinkly skin is going to bother you that much - think about it, when you're 85 you're going to have a few health issues and I'm sure that your tattoo is going to be number one on your list of priorities. Plus you'll still love it if it has meaning :)

MikeNdallas said...

I have one tattoo. They are sexy to me. It can high light your arm or chest or other areas of the body. I hate when people over do it. 10, 20, 50 tattoos is just a hot messy. I am not for facial tattoo either. When or if I reach 85, my tattoo will be the least of my problems. I have seem some dudes to dark and the tattoo does not really show at all. You must look hard to notice it. To each his own. We only live once.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE tattoos. I enjoy seeing them on others and 4 years ago got 2 on my leg. Im a successful woman of color, conservative, witty, fun, energetic, mother, wife, daughter and I'm doing my entire leg...on my way and nearly done. And, when I'm 80 well, there will be a lot of other 80 year olds with tattoos too, so I will not be "alone"! Tattoos have a sterotype attached of rough bikers or being rebellious. No matter your color or race, tattoos are an expression of beauty and art. Whether you choose to use make-up to paint your face, pierce your nose, ears or other body parts, use nail polish on your toes or even wigs or weaves, adorn yourself with jewels or splurge on designer products etc etc etc...its a personal decision of what how a person chooses display their confidence, self-esteem, state of mind, wealth, permenant or non-permanent changes. So, what really is the "huge" issue with body art?? I have no idea to be honest. There is no long term damage to your overall health here unlike smoking or drinking (I could go on). How someone chooses to express themselves is freedom of expression...it is great to live in this world today. FREEDOM of choice...do not forget those words.
Live and Love

C. R. Dick said...

White people tattoos show up a little better (or maybe some would say worse) but otherwise, same difference for everyone. I so TOTALLY recommend TEMPORARY tattoos! Fun for a while and then they go away. :)

tattoos designs said...

nothing is gonna stay forever and so are tattoos designs . at old age tattoos will look worse.