More Than Skin Deep

Tattooing has been a cultural practice from one community to another. Different religions have been practicing tattooing associating them with their gods, like Hindus. It is an art attracting potential economic growth in Western European countries, operating on lances basis and paying taxes at high rates. Moreover, this industry has been attracting many potential customers, from younger age to adult hood. It is common with the local and international celebrities all over the world like hip hop artists Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa and Eminem. Entertainment industry has many fans majorly the youth. They are influenced by this industry. The youth put tattoos because of the movies they watch, music they listen to and passion they follow. Entertainment industry portrays these tattoos as cool, once somebody adds them in the body they feel like a society of their own, besides, it is an impression of followers. This is why in Australia almost 25% of the youth have tattoos. American men are more likely to have a tattoo than women as compared to teenagers at18% to 40%. (1) 

Information from American Academy of Dermatology classifies tattoos into different types: natural, resulting from injury, unprofessional, professional, medical and cosmetic tattoos. Stigmatization of the society began many years ago. In the current world we have seen numerous videos on the social networks or movie sites talking about the exposure of celebrities to their worship. The illuminate use signs and tattoos on their bodies, revealing demonic worship as claimed by the researchers. Snake tattoos or the beast sign, are categorized but why do we see the president limousine having the beast sign as a number plate? This question has raised so many theories behind the United State of America politics and criticism by Christian bodies such as churches.

In the old testament Christians practiced tattooing as seals of God’s name, Leviticus chapter 19 verse 28 says, ’you shall not tear your body for dead person or incise a mark on yourself.’’(2) The same words are shared by Muslim followers in the Holy Koran, both view it as a sin revealed in a story of Cain. The Roman Catholic Church does not prohibit the art, giving the image is not offensive. They base their argument on events in A.D. 786, when Christians received a tattoo in the cross form at the Calcuth catholic council in Northumberland. Moreover, other religions take it as based on their cultural believes, like Hindus and Neopagans. Neopagans use tattoos to represent their beliefs and Hindus mark their forehead to enhance spiritual being, women practice the same to send off evil and make them look more beautiful. Hindu community encourages their men and women to tattoo their arms and hands for better luck. (1)

Tattooing is linked to negative ways of living. In most western countries, criminals use signs for their crime operation. United States military force uses the same tattoos description to describe the battle war killings they had carried out in other countries for peaceful missions, like Iraq. Japan yakuza crimes are strongly associated to the tattoos. The public uses this to write huge signs of the crime to prevent them from entering such areas thinking that they are their members. In the USA, teardrop tattoo is a symbol for murder with each ear corresponding to a comrade death. Criminals use tattoos to indicate their way of organization affiliation, crime behavior and prison sentences. Moreover, British Armed Forces also use tattoos for the battlefield remembrance. A survey study conducted among 500 grown-ups ranging from 18 to 50 years, proved that 72%  of those, who had either hands, neck, face, or fingers tattooed, had spent one or more days in prison.

With high economic and social living rate in the world, some argue that it may be caused by global warming. Some people consider it a waste of resources with the large turnout of youth going for it. Initially, it was for the upper class, one may argue, since the rich create a lot of money to an extent they do not know where to spend it. Currently, the middle class is going for the same thing in every place, especially New York City, where electric machines made it easier for art practice. Lower classes are also being consumed in the system with the ruffians and blue-collar workers. As a result parents are complaining in the USA about their children constantly taking few dollars for temporary tattooing.

Albert Parry alleged tattooing as an alternative for sexual pleasure, source of misery pleasure and proof of homosexuality. He says women who have certain tattoos images are accessible and abnormal. Evidently, he reveals 5% of tattooed women in America between their conventional clothes had tattoos in their bodies as a sign of erotic adventure and desire. Moreover, prostitutes placed tattoos because of the mistreatment they were getting from their clients. In addition, he claimed that tattoos will hinder diseases and acquire sexual pleasure from tattoos. He claimed that prostitutes add names of their pimps on their bodies likely of their Negro lovers especially the English and the Americans. French women write the names of their lesbian match, while gay men use tattoos to play with young boys.

In 1964 examination conducted on people’s perception on tattoos reveals that it is associated with strong living beings i.e. physically fit and psychologically aggressive. Moreover, the study shows that it portrays a person’s integrity and self-image. According to confirmation theory, the relationship between integrity and toughness is associated with tattoos. A psychoanalytic gives an example, the dominance in the relationship, toughness and self-understanding assist in managing pain skillfully.

Heath risks involved in the piercing of the body are numerous. It requires removal of the skin barrier by the use of the electronic modern method of tattooing. It can result in infection and allergies. Currently, a number of people are living with HIV and AIDS diseases. It is scientifically and statistically proven to be spread by sharp objects like a pencil or a needle used in tattooing, if the sterilization of machines is not done properly. Moreover, those being kept in restricted areas such as prison cells have increased chances of infection. The objects can be used to cause danger and someone might do it unprofessionally, thus, leading to health complications.

In conclusion, discrimination of tattooing is changing with the current generation of people living in the world. It is now considered as an expression of oneself, the dignity of a person and respect he or she requires and tries to get through tattoos in their body. Every human being needs a sense of belonging and a peaceful mind, when we don’t find love in surrounding environment we tend to seek for attention. In the end people put up tattoos for self-recognition.