When I was younger my mum brought me up to believe tattoos were distasteful – threatening that I’d be out of the house if I ever came home with one. However, although my brother nearly induced a heart attack when she saw his, she did come to accept it due to the fact that it was a tribute to our family.
we have been encouraged to express ourselves and have license over our own bodies
I think I’m of a different mind-frame though because I’ve grown up in a generation and society where we have been encouraged to express ourselves and have license over our own bodies. Tattoos are a personal choice. While some people think tattoos should hold meaning, others view them as expressive pieces of art. One of my friends took two years to settle on a design that paid tribute to her brother but also took a design from a particular artist within 24 hours just because they were in town and she jumped at the opportunity. Tattoos can be well-deliberated or compulsive decisions and they can range from commemorating loved ones to your trip to Magaluf – that’s part of their universality.
However, I do take issue with controversial tattoos that are in places that can’t be covered. For the majority of employers appearance is really important so swear words over knuckles is a big no. I watched a program where a childminder had “just hang in there” written on their thigh beneath an illustration of a noose and I just can’t imagine parents finding humour in it. Similarly, while I understand everyone has different taste, I don’t believe I could introduce someone to my mum that has SpongeBob on their calf – if there were statistics on dating apps to reveal why people swipe left, I would place money on a significant category being ‘bad tattoo’.
Overall though, the only opinion that really matters is your own and, while I have no tattoos (yet), it doesn’t stop me from admiring them on others.