To get a tattoo or to not get a tattoo? This is the question that a lot of my generation brothers and sisters are asking themselves. Many of them have already made the choice and are inked up, but most are still in limbo. One problem is they may not want a tattoo, but feel pressure to indulge in the “rebellious” act. Then, there’s the issue for those who do want a tattoo, but feel the negative judgement from society. What do I say? I say, do what you want. At the end of the day, it’s your body and your choice. No one can tell you differently. Sure, there are plenty of arguments against getting ink, but just like anything else, they have their fallacies, too.
For starters, I’ve heard time and time again that your body is your temple and that marking it with tattoos is sacrilegious. First off, if we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of this interpretation of the Bible, then that means no piercings, no hair treatments, no surgery (plastic or not), no junk food, no nothing. These are all things that tamper with the purity of your temple, yet I see it everyday with Christians and non-Christians alike. I think putting a hole in your ear, like a tattoo, can be considered pretty invasive to your temple, but, then again, little baby girls who can’t even walk yet are already sporting studs in their ears. Second, if your body is your temple, then shouldn’t you be able to choose how you adorn it? I mean, you already get to choose what clothes you wear, right? Tattoos are seen as art that can enhance your body and soul’s beauty. It is definitely a form of self-expression, just like clothes, and, if we are all unique, our forms of self-expression can differ to the point of having tattoos or not. I don’t see the harm in that.
Another common blow against permanent body art deals with the oh so necessary job. It’s absolutely true that a lot of employers aren’t too excited to see an applicant with tats, which is why you have to think about where on your body you get your tattoos. Please don’t get a face tattoo if you’re trying to get a government job. (Those are just two worlds that find it hard to get along.) I have to admit that those tattoos are leaning toward the irresponsible side of things. You have to remember that you’re an adult and you have to be conscious of the lifelong decisions you make… like getting a face tattoo. However, I will say that times are changing and employers need to realize that tattoos are becoming much less taboo. Tattoos are no longer the sole jurisdiction of criminals and vagabonds, but more so a universal form of individualism and expression. Plus, as long as the applicant is qualified, it really shouldn’t matter what they look like. Tatted or not, if the guy is the best for the position, then he should get it, no questions asked. But, like I said before, we all have to pull our own weight, so, if you need to look professional, make sure those tats can be hidden away nicely. You’ll always have to do some compromising in life!
Then, finally, there’s that belief that you’ll look weird or be tired of your tattoos when you’re old. First off, why are you thinking about what you’re gonna look like in 50 years? That’s in 50 years! Second, this idea is totally subjective. This is purely an opinion based argument. Honestly, if you truly love your tattoo and if the meaning is still important to you when you’re 70 years old, then I don’t think you’ll ever regret your ink. Now, if you tattooed your ex’s name on your forehead after a night of partying, then I think that’s a completely different story. The most important thing to think about when getting a tattoo is to think about its significance. You don’t have to explain it to anybody or hope that others see its importance, but you have to know why you’re getting it. If you can live the rest of your life thinking that the tattoo was worth it, then you should have no worries of regretting it in 50 years.
Now, I am not saying get a tattoo, but I’m not saying don’t get one either. What I am saying is do what feels right for you. If you feel like you can live without a tattoo, then there’s no point in you getting one, but, if you feel like you need to express something to yourself through a tattoo, then, by all means, do so. Tattoos are centered around the individual who wears them. You should be able to choose if you get one or not and I think you’d be actually quite generous by hearing the input of others because, ultimately, you should do what you want without the influence of others. Don’t get a tattoo because someone tells you to, but don’t forget about getting a meaningful one just because your girlfriend said not to.
Also, if you see someone with a tattoo, don’t judge them. (Doesn’t the Bible teach that, too?) You have no idea what their tattoos mean, so don’t even try to assume. For all you know, all of their tattoos can be an homage to their dead little brother or Jesus Christ himself.
Now, again, I’m not advocating reckless tattoos. If you’re going to get a tattoo, make sure you think long and hard about it. Make sure it means something more than the fact that you were bored. If your body truly is your temple, then you have a responsibility to not vandalize it with nonsense, but instead fill it with meaning. If you plan on being employed, think about what you’ll be able to hide when necessary. If you don’t want to regret your tattoos when you’re 70, make sure their meanings will last a lifetime for you. From there, the choice is yours.