You just have to look around you nowadays and you will see somebody with a tattoo, piercing or different coloured hair. When it comes down to body modification or injecting your skin with vibrant colours that will be there for life there is a large grey area. For the majority of the younger generation the notion of scarring yourself and using your body like a blank canvas is normality and it’s accepted. When it comes to older generations the views are mixed and often negative.
I have had two of the three transformations stated above. Being 17 legally I can’t ink my body, however I have sported purple, blue and green hair (at different times) as well as having a few punctures and piercings too. I am about to turn 18, which not only means I am an adult, it also means I can legally obtain my own piece of art etched onto my body. Before I take a massive leap and get my origami crane permanently painted on my body, many warnings have been chucked my way. I have been told I will be less employable, people will look at me differently and that I won’t be taken seriously. I have been told that I will regret it and that I also am only doing it to be cool or “indie”. These are all views that have been expressed onto me by people I personally know. However… What about the bigger picture? What does the rest of society think? By getting a tiny origami bird am I dooming myself to a life of unemployment and people looking down at me?
In America 1 in 5 adults have a tattoo. In 2003 17% of people asked said they regretted having a tattoo leaving 83% saying they didn’t regret having a tattoo. In 2012 that number dropped to only 14% saying they regretted having a tattoo and 86% saying they were happy with their tattoos and body art. At the end of the day there is always the option of laser removal, makeup or having that tattoo fixed and changed. I’m not saying go get a tattoo of the first random thing that pops into your head, maybe a cookie drinking a jar of milk sitting on a swing isn’t something you want on your body…clearly the most important thing is that you’ve thought t through.
When we modify our bodies, as the name suggest we change them, we make a difference. For some this can actually have a positive impact, we live in a world were body image is highly disputed and women are often looking at magazines of beautiful women who are airbrushed or edited, for many this can make them feel inadequate. 30% of women asked who have tattoos say that by having tattoos they feel sexier giving them more confidence. Yes you read right, 30% of women are feeling happier with themselves and there bodies.
If you’re not a tattoo artist however having visible tattoos may hurt your career opportunities. 76% of people asked say that visible tattoos hurt applicant’s chances. So maybe that Mike Tyson facial tattoo that you wanted to get so badly isn’t the best idea for a career in Law or teaching. But that little love hurt hidden on your hip where people can’t see may be okay.
SO the views on these permanent art works are still mixed, and not accepted by everyone. However as long as there is a great deal of thought in the design and placing of your own masterpiece it shouldn’t hurt your career opportunities or people’s views. In fact, it actually might make you feel great about yourself.