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Tattoo You: Invitation to Write #13

For Writers:

It’s a hip thing to do, to get a tattoo.

The idea of joining the inked masses has crossed my mind on a number of occasions, but at this point I’m still ink free. The main reason for that: I haven’t found anything so soaked full of meaning that I wanted to leave an indelible mark on my body with it.

Over the past decade, however, many people have started getting tattooed as a kind of fashion accessory. Statistics indicate that over one-third of people in the 18-29 age range now have at least one tattoo. Why? One of the main reasons given is to feel “sexier.”

The non-tattooed majority still hold prejudicial thoughts against folks with tattoos, though, with opinion polls indicating that those without tattoos find those with tattoos to be less intelligent, less sexy, and overall, less attractive. Nevertheless, fully one-third of the 100 sexiest women, as determined by FHM magazine, have tattoos.

At the moment, tribal tattoos are the most en vogue, followed by crosses, stars, and dragons. But leave it to my wife, Linda, who is always thinking outside the box. If she were ever to ink her body, she’d sport the likeness of Papa Smurf.

Today, think about tattoos. If you have one (or more), write about the meaning and significance it has for you. If you do not have one, would you consider getting one? Why or why not? And if yes, what would you get, and where would you put it?

“Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past.”
Jack London


  1. I have said in the past, without knowing that I was sort of echoing or paraphrasing Jack London, "Show me a person with a tattoo and I will show you a person who has been drunk at least once in his/her life".

    Given the current state of culture or the lack therof, I may have to alter that assessment some. There may be some with a sufficient sense of adventure and lack of foresight to do this for other reasons than being drunk. Of course there are the gangs that use tattoos as "tribal symbols" and some real cultures who use tattoos as sort of a history, much as military persons use their medals and ribbons. So there are various reaons, some probably even valid for tattooing one's body. But it should not be entered into lightly.

  2. Tattoos maybe sexy in younger years, but unlikely that it will look so hot later in life (after gravity starts to alter things)!

  3. I think that tattoos are a commentary on the decline of our culture to a baser sort. In years past the only one's you would see with tattoos were sailors or bikers. Later at the end of the last century it became vogue for the glitterati to adorn themselves with ink in an attempt perhaps to emulate members of the heavy metal rock band. I have absolutely no desire to be inked. I am reminded of young men who felt compelled to have the names of their girlfriends etched into their bodies only to later break up and have to have the thing removed. Wouldn't it be easier just to buy a bracelet with the object of your affections name on it? The bangle you would just have to remove rather than having it burned off progressively by laser. To make matters worse, I have known of occasions when young graduates have sought jobs (like school teachers) that were rejected because of a tattoo. Body ink is not a good idea if you plan to pursue a career that sets you as a model for youngsters. If you insist on a tattoo I would recommend a Henna tattoo. They wash off.

  4. What I like is the hard core people that get a tattoo on the inside of their front lips, or something like that...

    I had a student that had tattoos on his face once. And I have to admit, he kind of scared me until I had a chance to chat with him in my office one day. Then I found out that he was a very nice guy, and the tattoos on his face had personal significance to him.

    Whether or not we would ever get a tattoo ourselves, I think we should be careful not to judge others with tattoos so quickly.


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