Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The tattoo debate

In recent years tattoos have changed their social standing from something frowned upon completely, to being popular and mostly seen as a piece of art used to express oneself. Despite the fact that there is less discrimination against the tattooed population, can we honestly say that they are now socially acceptable?

As one of the tattooed population, I feel like this is a bit of a two-sided debate. Although having made the choice to permanently ink my skin, I do see the other side of this argument, but when does it change from a debate to pure discrimination? 

Despite the fact that many people seem to think that being tattooed means that you can't find a job and are a "chav", I have never been turned down from a job due to my tattoos, nor do I view myself as a chav. One of my tattoos is clearly visible on my wrist and is uncovered 100% of the time; yet this has not ever affected my chances of being offered a job or role. 

I had also never suffered abuse because of my tattoos up until recently, and this event truly highlighted the differences in those who accept tattoos, those who don't, and the generation differences. 

I was recently deemed "unacceptable for employment" and shouted at by an older gentleman after he saw my tattoo. Up until the moment he had seen it, he had treated me no differently to anyone else and had talked to me perfectly fine; yet when he caught a glimpse of it, it was as if I was talking to a completely different person. Although it made me feel absolutely awful, and I was really angry for the rest of the day, I understood that this was simply this man's way of expressing his opinion of my choice to be tattooed. No, I did not agree with his method, nor did I really appreciate being shouted at in front of many people, but I did see his point of view and calmly ended the conversation. I dread to think of what his reaction would have been if my visible tattoo was bigger! Just to add a bit of perspective, here is a picture of my tattoo:

Does my tattoo really give someone else an excuse to act in that way? No one else has the right to express their dislike, or sometimes hatred, for my own choices. What I don't understand is why people treat someone else differently due to a simple tattoo - it isn't on their body, so why should they be that bothered?

I am pretty sure I have used this analogy before, but take this doctor, for example.
Would you refuse treatment from him simply because he has tattoos? Why should a tattoo make any difference to someone's intelligence, social standing, or outlook? That is what I find disgusting about some people's behaviour towards those who have tattoos. 

Tattoos, although they have become more popular, seem to still have the stigma of being a "thug" or being "chavvy" attached to them. This still seems to be the case with even professionals and seems to also be unchanging. 

So I want to know, what is your opinion on people with tattoos?

Do you find them acceptable? Maybe you only like them on certain people? Or maybe you simply hate them full stop?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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