Teenage Tattoo Culture
By Camryn Rabideau
Fashion is defined, generally speaking, as anything that is accepted by a majority at a given time. So while most people think of fashion in terms of clothes, shoes, and accessories, it is important to realize that many, many more things are “in fashion.” For example, hairstyles come into popularity, and are therefore the latest fashion. Thinking even more outside the box, if on Thursday nights at your college everyone goes to the bars, then bar hopping is currently “in fashion.” It might sound weird, but that is what fashion is: the popular trends, what is “a la mode.”
So this week I want to talk about a fashion craze within our generation: tattooing. Think about it. Do you have a tattoo? If not, do you have friends who have a tattoo? More than one tattoo? In my high school, it was practically custom that when you turned 18, you went and got inked. I personally am a clean slate; no ink for me. The permanence of tattoos makes me nervous!
So to gain more info about something I know little about, I put out an anonymous survey on my Facebook asking: How do you feel about/what is your first impression of a person who is visibly tattooed? Ninety percent of people who answered were between the ages of 18 and 28; ten percent were older. Three responded that they have at least one tattoo; two said they have two or more. Here is what they had to say:
“[These people are] creative, but have not found themselves yet.”
“Awesome! I love [tattoos]!”
“Unless its something bizarre like a face tattoo or some large obtrusive piercing, I would say my first impression is normal. Tattoos and piercings can even be sexy. They just have to be done in a classy manner.”
“It really depends on what the tattoo is.”
“It depends on the person, how they hold themselves, and if it fits with their identity.”
“They are interesting people with stories to tell.”
“I am personally not a fan of tattoos. Generally, I think they look trashy, but few have surprised me.”
“Personally, I do not like [tattoos]. I don’t like anything permanent. I change my mind too often.”
“It depends on the quantity I think. The more there are the scarier it gets…”
“Depends on what the tattoo is of, but other than that I try not to judge.”
I was surprised at the different results. Most of my friends are all for tattoos. I guess it just goes to show that while it may be in fashion, certain trends are not for everyone.
Finally, a word to the wise: the two respondents who were over 28 both contributed skeptical responses. I am all for self expression, but keep in mind the possible consequences. Tattooing was not so popular with the generations before ours and those generations are likely to be your potential employers. So be discreet! Make sure when getting new ink that you can cover it up for a job interview. There are few professional career paths in which it is acceptable to be visibly tattooed; simply stated, you might want to rethink that face tattoo, for the sake of your future.
Image Source: We Heart It