Monday, 12 January 2015

Tattoos: A Body Modification or Expression?

In today's society people with piercings and tattoos have been seen at a negative perspective. Individuals are judged with the stereotype that piercings and tattoos portray. Yes tattoos do define who an individual is, but, this includes their stories, what they believe in etc.. Not all tattoos make someone a bad person.

"The Tattooed Doctor." Neatorama. Purch, 23 Sept. 2007. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. 

We begin with the idea of approach. If you cannot approach someone how are you suppose to trust them. Someone we put a lot of our trust into is our doctors. They have our lives in their hands. A recent article explained that tattoos are becoming less problematic in workplaces. Philadelphia's ZB Sports commented, "If I'd pass on [an individual] because of their tattoos, I'd be out a phenomenal employee" (Forbes, 2014). The picture on your left shows a man who is in two positions. The attitude is shown within his stance as the image on the far left shows a concerning doctor that is willing to be of help: Verses the same man on the right slouched forward holding his belt. This demonstrates that even though this is the same man because of his tattoos he is seen as unapproachable. The irony is the photo itself: It is the exact same man but the only exception is his tattoos, would you not let him treat your health because of that?

"Tattooed Teacher." Nkeiruka Sylvanus. Nkeiruka Sylvanus, 23 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 
     Jan. 2015. <>. 
To continue we are brought to the virtues of acceptance, sympathy,compassion and tolerance. The picture on your right is a teacher-in-training that went viral through social media and was in the newspaper. The question that was asked was, “Would you let this woman teach your child?” (Daily Mail, 2014). The actions that were thrown at Charlotte Tumilty, age 26, were not the virtues stated previous. Instead they were the complete opposite. She was asked to cover all of her tattoos as the school did not want "kiddies getting encouraging signals about inking themselves at such a tender age" stated a teacher from the school in Hartlepool. The real question is why would you not if she was certified for the job: As stated above, if you did not hire someone based on their tatoos and appearance you would be out a phenomenal employee. The picture on the upper left portrays conflict, a struggle between opposing forces, the stereotype tattoos bring and a teacher. The attitude within the Charlotte’s face is surprise. Why would someone deny her ability just because of her appearance?

"Veteran." Media NCB. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. 
Furthermore, people respect Veterans and thank them for their service: Would you deny the service he has done because of tattoos? Of course not.The tattoos shown on this Veteran are not to make him look "bad ass" or "hardcore", instead their stories, they are his stories. The symbolism within this picture is his bare chest. He has been torn apart and stripped from the war, although he may have come home to a family he is left with nothing but his memories. Haunting memories, studies have shown that 20% of all Iraq soldiers suffer from PTSD, and 50% of them do not seek help. If you are going to give a Veteran a judgmental stereotype it should be "bad ass" and "hardcore" but not because of the tattoos on his body because of his bravery. His tattoos should have nothing to do with what he is capable of, instead they're the only thing keeping him and his stories sane.

"Angelina Jolie." Fan Pop s. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. 

Finally we touch the topic of Angelina Jolie who portrays a vain, egotistic person on the left photo in the collage. She makes millions of dollars and spends it on stupid things like tattoos right? Wait is that the same woman who has won the humanitarian award several times? Beat Breast Cancer? Adopted Children and looks after her own? Is a loving loyal wife? Visits places all around the world taking care of helpless children? It can't be! But as matter of a fact is it. Jolie's tattoos are not meaningless, as a matter of a fact she has 17 and each one has a special meaning - this also relates back to the Vets tattoos and his stories. The one on her shoulder is the longitude and latitude of each location her children and adopted children were born. She has a huge one on her back that she got done in Thailand to express her involvement with not only her child from Cambodia but also Cambodia itself. When asked about her tattoos, Jolie said, "Usually all my tattoos came at good times. A tattoo is something permanent when you've made a self discovery or something you've come to a conclusion about" (USA Today Interview, July 17, 2003). The real Angelina Jolie is shown within the right side of the collage, a loving mother for her five children, and a loving humanitarian who cares for many children around the world. Her tattoos do not make her vain and egotistic, she has depth, she shows meaning throughout her body.

In conclusion, all 4 images prove that the negative attitude towards tattoos and piercings are inaccurate. Each image includes a public figure that is thought of highly. Tattoos do not define who a person is as they are just expressing themselves through a piece of art. This piece of art should not be looked at negatively and be able to destroy what that person is capable of.


  1. I totally agree with the message you are sending out to people. You should not be any less of a person or looked down on due to the art you choose to express on your body. I believe the images you used to prove your thesis made a huge impact on the way people will begin to understand the idea of tattoos if they didn't already. I think the images of Angelina Jolie's tattoos you used portrayed a great message of what tattoos mean and why people shouldn't discriminate against you because you never truly know the reasoning behind a tattoo unless you ask. Also, why would what people chose to express on their body affect the way they are as a person ... it just doesn't make sense. So yes Gabby, I agree with you 100%!

    1. Thank you for agreeing with my topic, I'm glad that you have the same mind set as I do!

  2. Gabby, you have put forth an excellent argument in support of the old saying "don't judge a book by its cover". People with tattoos are often judged, but fortunately, opinions are beginning to change, and tattoos aren't always holding people back.