Tattoos have always been a delicate subject to approach. These last couple of years we were able to witness a shift in mentality and a growth in numbers of those who are more then willing to have their loved-one’s name or other not so meaningful designs branded on different areas of their body. But when did it all stopped being just a subversive method to oppose societal patterns and become simply “fashionable”?
In earlier years, having tattoos was associated with pertaining to a tribe or marking an individual’s status within the group he was a member of. At the beginning of the 90’s, lower class individuals, people like prisoners, sailors or underground artists, were pretty much expected to show signs of such deviant behaviour. Whenever you would see a tattooed person on the street, your parents would quickly grab you by the hand and pull you away in order to prevent you from having to come across another reality that they found to be disturbing. Today it’s easier to go out and see people flaunting their colourful designs than it is to find five people in the same place that have no ink on their body.
Society’s level of acceptance has increased slowly, but surely, over this last decade. The United States of America is probably the best example of this mentality change. As tattoo studios keep popping up, the increase in demands suffers no change. Having “ink” on your body nowadays implies a strong personality and that you’re dealing with a creative individual who finds it easier to covey his uniqueness to the world by “showing off”. However, there are still some aspects that should be taken into consideration.
Tattoos are no longer news, we know, but having one today can still make you deviant in the eyes of society, especially if you’re not living in the West. These days, you can easily come across tattoos anywhere: teachers have them, police officers also, not to mention bar owners or musicians. But what happens when you’re looking for a job and your employer gives you “the eye” because of the coloured starfish at your wrist?
If you’re unemployed and you’re looking to get a job in an environment that deals mainly with customers one-on-one, you might find that having drawings on your body might not help you fit in. Even now, in 2012, employers still find it easier to choose a future employee from the ranks of those who have not yet adhered to the community of body art lovers. The reason? Mainly prejudice. But will it last? We think not.
As the world evolves, we notice that thinking patterns evolve around us too. People have started to question the validity of their beliefs and change their backward ways of being. It in only a matter of time until the tattoo industry will cease from being “deviant” and become “mainstream”, if it hasn’t already!