Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Tattoos

We've all seen tattoos of cartoon characters, tribal designs, and Chinese symbols - all trends of the moment that become just as hackneyed as the fashions of the last decade. Nonetheless, the tattoo remains. There are many sites online dedicated to bad tattoos, including those that are misspelled, poorly designed, and just plain dumb. As a lover of the human form, I find disastrous tattoos almost offensive.

In a way, they're ironic. Tattoos have become the calling card of individuality. Nothing can be more uniquely identifying than a tattoo and its placement, right? Well, in many ways, yes. But, really, no. How unique are butterflies, praying hands, and koi fish anymore? Above the ass? On the shoulder? Swimming up the thigh? Yeah, not that original anymore. Even neck tattoos evoke a slight yawning sensation in my diaphragm.

I'm no tattoo hater, don't get me wrong, I've just grown bored with the uninspired inking that people have done to themselves. In the quest to define our originality, haven't we just hidden all the unique nooks and crevices that naturally adorn our bodies? Scars, moles, and asymmetrical shapes that make our bodies one-of-a-kind from the moment they are created?

Now, good tattoos can accentuate the beauty of our bodies. A good tattoo can draw your eyes to the curve of the back and down the spine (see Kelis). A good tattoo can complement bone structure and skin tone. So, let this post serve as a call for more good tattoos. Tattoos that celebrate the body instead of branding it. Enhance your individuality, don't disguise it.

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