Wednesday, December 1, 2021



Volume: 953                         December 2, 2021


The psychology and reasons surrounding why people ‘get inked

We live in strange times, that’s for sure.  Having been out of the country for decades, I was shocked when I returned to the United States.  I was immediately taken aback by the tattooing of America.  When I left decades ago, tattoos were relatively uncommon.  Regrettably they are quite commonplace in today’s ‘society’.

Sure, some people have tattooed since long before anyone reading or listening to this article has been alive.  There is a huge change in the ‘tattoo norm’ over the past 25 years.

25 years ago almost all tattoos were ‘invisible’ being covered by clothing most of the time.  Guys had tattoos on their forearms, chests, and backs.  When they put on clothes those tattoos became a private thing.  When you saw a guy with tattoos on his face, neck, or hands, it was a pretty safe bet he was a convicted felon or gang member.

Girls, if they had a tattoo at all, kept it a closely guarded secret and that tattoo was always out of sight.  A favourite place for a female’s tattoo was the hip or thigh.  If you ever saw a woman with a tattoo on her face, neck, or hands she was considered a tramp at best, a mental case at worst.

Tattoo parlours were seedy little dives tucked deep in the cracks and crevices of the low rent district.  Theirs was considered an illicit trade bordering on the criminal.

That’s then and this is now:  We’ve got a veritable tattoo pandemic in the United States.  When you go from place to place, store to store, and even restaurant to restaurant you see tattoos everywhere.  And I mean … everywhere!

Today people are tattooing themselves to excess.  Full sleeves’ are not uncommon, although for decades this practice was considered insidious and the product of gang membership or a number of prison terms.  Tattoos on the face, once the sole province of convicted felons, have become commonplace among our young.

Even worse is the preponderance of tattooing among women.  When I see a woman in a halter top or low necked shirt, sporting tattoos, it makes me sick.  There are women across the country ‘showing ink’ all over their bodies and, like their male counterparts, they’re eager to sport these tattoos in front of all of us.

I really don’t want to see the ink on someone’s body.  I find it disgusting at best.  A woman with tattoos is a woman who has destroyed any healthy allure or attraction from sound and sane members of the opposite sex.  What’s behind all of this is complex at best, and impossible to understand at worst.

There are a few major reasons for getting a tattoo:

Peer Pressure: So many bad decisions in life come from succumbing to peer pressure.  A serious lack of confidence leaves one susceptible to ‘following the crowd’ and getting tattoos in order to ‘belong’ to a group.  This applies equally to both sexes. [Yes, there are only two sexes, check your biology text books and get back to me]

Rebelliousness: Many rebellious people of limited mental prowess tattoo themselves in some vague attempt to be relevant yet rebellious.  This is a complex mental construct involving a mixture of narcissism and a perceived need to be relevant.

Societal Confusion: In this case, a person is confused as to where he or she belongs in any given society.  This is often a sexual confusion such as with homosexuals, transvestites, and the acutely mentally ill.  This very confusion of life causes them to ‘get inked’ hoping to ‘find themselves’.

Branding: This is a uniquely aberrant behaviour wherein a person is tattooed in order to be ‘branded’ as the ‘property of another’ or group.

However you view the undeniable increase in tattoo parlours and the tattooed themselves, it does not bode well for society.  This is an incredible ‘back to the jungle’ move.  Not only is tattooing one’s self an abhorrent practice, but accepting this practice is equally so.

God didn’t give us our glorious and miraculous bodies to have us paint, pierce, deform, and defame his glory with tattoos and piercings.  When you realize this practice is born of the most primitive people in the backwaters of ancient history or the ignorance of the Amazonian and African outlands, it’s scary to see so many contemporaries adopting this practice.

Why not to tattoo:

Risk of infection, especially among the medically challenged such as diabetics, those with immune system and blood clotting disorders.

Puckering, where the tattooed site develops a physical ‘puckering’ and portions of the tattoo literally ‘stand out’ from the others in a swelling and tissue deformity which never goes away.

Neuropathy, a nervous system pain or itch which can become a lifetime problem.  There is absolutely no cure for nerve pain or itching, although some drugs are able to manage it to some extent.

It’s permanent!  Possibly the dumbest move anyone can make is to put a lover’s name on his or her body.  As temporary as relationships are in this country today it means you’re going to carry this person’s name with you to the grave!

It brands you.  In the eyes of many in the professional, religious, and political world this is a sign of mental or social instability.  You’ll find that a number of goals become unreachable once you start to sport that ‘cool ink’.

Deformity and fading.  Over time that tattoo will change, and dramatically.  The more intricate your tattoo is, the more obvious the deformity will become over time.  Finally, in your senior years, you’ll find yourself looking at that mess of smudged ink on your body and regretting every dot and drop of ink under your skin.

I’m Max, and that’s the way I see it!

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