Body Ink

Hannah Watros, Contributor

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Anyone that has a tattoo understands the stigma that seems to surround the means of expression. Today tattoos are becoming more and more accepted and, in some ways, cherished but not every generation understands and accepts the value a tattoo can bring into someone’s life. It seems to always be the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generations that sees tattoos as taboo, but the question is why?  

In the older generation, for most, tattoos are seen as mistakes or only for low lives. Perry Block said, “Boomers connote tattoos with bikers, drunken sailors on shore leave, and guys with knocked-out teeth and greased-back hair that might have readily killed Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider if those two old rednecks in the pick-up trunk hadn’t done it first. We grew up thinking tattoos were low-rent, anti-counter-culture, and totally at odds with whatever was natural and healthful for our bodies, like smoking pot.”  

To Millennials or Generation Z, tattoos are a means of expression and personalization. A tattoo is something that is important that makes you different from everyone else. Tattoos can be a reminder, a memory of somewhere or someone, or a chance to show the world something you love. Tattoos have no limits which make them so attractive to the younger generations. Nobody can tell you what it should look like or what you should put on your body. You are in full control of your tattoo which is not the case with most things in life.  

Some argue on the point that ink is forever and will never go away. YouGov did a poll that showed, of the 24% of Americans that have tattoos, only 2% of that 24% regret at least one of their tattoos. That is not a big percentage of people that regret them. Most people that get a tattoo understand what they are putting on their bodies. 

The views on society is very evidently different in comparison to the different generations. Within a small gap of age something that was seen as so gruesome in the 1950s is seen as beautiful artwork in 2018. That leaves the average person to question what may someday be accepted in the future that society shuns today. 


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