This has been long in my mind, but it really only crystallized during Christmas dinner with my family. My cousin and her husband (who I did not think were so conservative) were completely taken aback by my admission that I had no problem with tattoos, and I would not be averse of having one done. I never thought anyone at their age (40s) had any problems with tattoos any more; I thought it was only old ladies nowadays. I was wrong. Regardless I told them that most likely I’ll never have a tattoo done.
It’s not that I’m against the ink. In fact I find tattoos -if done well- really good. (Let’s forget about the names of your “one true love”, silly dragons, facial tattoos and the horrible photo-tattoos for a moment here.) It’s just my culture is conspiring against me. I think a tattoo should be more than just a pretty pattern on your skin. It should mean something since you are marking yourself for good. So it should tell something about your past (personal or cultural), or make a statement about your person. To get a tattoo because it “looks cool” is just silly in my opinion (which, admittedly, does not amount much). I hastily add: this is only a personal opinion- these are the reasons I feel I can/should get inked. What others do is their own decision, and I don’t think my opinion is valid for their case.
Anyhow. Cultural ties. This is where I’m shot by the place of my birth.
Let’s face it: if you’re, let’s say, of Celtic descent, you can have some awesome Celtic motifs. (Let’s not even talk about Maoris, shall we?)
Seriously, they are wicked. If your ancestry has Celtic blood in it you can wear these proudly and with a meaning. A tattoo, for me, should always be more than just a pretty design as I said. It should mean something; and for this reason I cannot possibly put Celtic stuff on my skin and be still have street cred. I might as well put a Chinese symbol on without know what that symbol actually means. (As many people apparently do.) I feel like I should be putting something on that connects me with my roots.
Unfortunately that something looks like this.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s pretty, it has a lot of history, and can look really good on modern pieces of clothing. For women. In this respect, the rest of them are not much better, either…
Let’s face it: it’s not very masculine; hardly something for which the guys in the gym would look at me in awe.