Hey you! With the tattoo!
I abhor, detest, dislike and hate all your tattoos. I find them repulsive. I’m not saying I dislike you, the person, which is what most tattooed people think I mean, when I say I dislike tattoos. I like you a lot, I just don’t want to look at your tattoo. Please don’t show it to me. Not even an ickle tiny rosebud. Not the initials of a dead person. Not a cartoon of your dog. Not even a tiny Chinese symbol which means “peace”. There is absolutely nothing to like.
Don’t you realise it won’t ever go away? You will have that tattoo until you die. Actually you will still have it even after you are dead. Is that why you wanted it in the first place?
I just can’t work out the mentality of people who choose to have a tattoo. Some will say they thought about it long and hard, they understand it is totally permanent, and they really really want some part of their anatomy to be inked forever. If you say it is like a work of art, then why don’t you make it into something you can hang on your wall, then we can all see it? To make me an individual, others say. But why do you have to deface yourself in order to do that?
Others will rush and get a tattoo almost on the spur of the moment – to declare undying love in ink to a partner they will hopefully never leave. Or on holiday to remind them of what a wicked time they had. Or, heaven forbid, with a group of drunken friends in a moment of wild abandon when they all urge each other to have something daring and outrageous inked on their inebriated body.
As a lot of tattoos are covered up, no one is going to see it anyway. You will ask me, why do I dislike them, even if they are covered up? Because I think people don’t consider their actions carefully enough. Do you really want a tattoo of fighting eagles across your lower back when you are in your 70s? Will you still be pleased you had that huge bouquet of flowers inked on your left buttock when you are sitting in the retirement home? Of course you won’t mind, I hear you say. But you are bound to say this, it was you who chose them in the first place, you are hardly likely to say you don’t want them any more, are you?
The tattoos I really dislike are those huge ones, that wander all over your back, or leg, or neck. And that can never be fully covered up. A grape vine across your shoulders and neck, then down your back – no thank you. Some strange script or Latin verse wandering northwards from toes to thigh – please don’t.
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A girl I once knew had ‘Virginia Wolff” tattooed in big italic letters across her chest, between her neck and her breasts. For what reason, I no longer care. I doubted her sanity. You would never be asked to model wedding dresses, I told her. She defriended me. I don’t care about that either. Talking of weddings, at one wedding I attended, they had a lovely line up of adult bridesmaids in matching turquoise low-cut strappy dresses, but one of them had a trail of ivy leaves on her back, over the shoulder and down her arm. Dreadful.
Please explain to me what is the point of tattoos?