Good luck finding a pair of butt cheeks that don’t have ink on them these days. Tattoos have taken over like never before, and people are using their bodies as canvases to express themselves.
Tribal tattoos, portraits of loved ones, religious symbols and baby mamma names – the possibilities of what you can have drawn onto your body are endless.
Sure, it hurts a little and can be costly at times, but the cool points you’ll get from all your friends, or the people at the beach when you’re showing some skin, are absolutely priceless.
Since this is America, however, there’s an ugly side to getting tattoos. Discrimination and judgment are just a few things people with ink say they are tired of facing.
Not being able to show tattoos in places of employment, or being discriminated against when it comes to employment opportunities for having tattoos, isn’t fun.
Being treated differently in public by others who associate tattoos with danger or crime is another struggle tattooed people face.
Although it is unfortunate that anyone would be judged and discriminated against for their appearance, I don’t think tattooed people can exactly play the discrimination card.
Just because you could get a tattoo didn’t mean you had to, as opposed to someone who’s black, gay, a woman or whatever, who didn’t choose to be different and discriminated against.
A person doesn’t wake up one day and say, “I want to be gay because I want to be treated like a second class citizen, who doesn’t have the right to get married, can be fired from my job in several states for being gay, will be disowned by my family and church and is treated like crap by the rest of humanity.”
Tattooed people, however, willingly got a tattoo knowing that there are situations and people that will treat you differently because of your ink. You can’t be surprised it’s happening.
Everyone should be treated with respect, no matter what, but when you sign up to get a tattoo you should think things through.
A tattoo is like a marriage. It is with you the rest of your life, and you have to accept it for the good and the bad that comes along with it.
It is beyond a cool way to express yourself, but being artistic and being stupid aren’t the same thing.
When you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, you should be wise about it. Perhaps get it places where you can show it off and cover up if you need to.
Have the tattoo be meaningful to you, or represent something important, and not just a picture you picked off the wall at the tattoo shop in five minutes.
Be smart about the decision you’re making, and think about what might change after you have made it.
If you have a “forget what everyone is saying, I’ll get a tattoo on my forehead” kind of attitude, that’s fine. More power to you.
You just shouldn’t complain when that job turns you down because your tattoo is against its company policy, because you made the choice to get that tattoo.
In an ideal world, no one would be judged for anything that isn’t hurting anyone.
We don’t, however, live in an ideal world. We live in America.
When you sign up for a tattoo, you are signing up for all the crap that society might give you for it, like discrimination and judgment.
You have to be just as OK with that as you are with your tattoo.
Jack Chavdarian is a journalism major and the assistant social media editor for the Daily 49er.