In response to Sarah Vine’s article:
Dear Sarah Vine,
I read your article ‘Body Art? No, tattoos are hideous form of self harm’ interesting title, but I’ll come back to that.
What I find mystifying, is why people like yourself are so adverse to tattoos? Do they burn your eyes? Did you come in on the Ark? What will happen to all these tattooed freaks in 40 years?! Not a lot, they’ll just be old or dead with tattoos.
Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, and indeed to choose what they adorn their body with. I find luminous boob tubes on larger ladies unsightly. Is that self harm? It could be harmful if said boob tube snaps under the strain, twanging the wearer in the face. Or if it cuts off circulation…I mean anything could happen! But wearers of luminous boob tubes presumably like this look (and maybe the element of risk associated with wearing such a precarious garment) Much like those who have tattoos.
To describe a tattoo as a form of self harm, seems utterly ridiculous. Yes, you can select a celebrity whose life was cut short, and by association claim that tattoos indicate a troubled soul. But equally you can pick any number of celebrities who are secure and well balanced individuals who have tattoos. Tattoos are not a form of self harm. Unless wearing make-up is? Or dressing in a particular way? Or dying your hair? Or having a boob job?..I could go on. All forms of re-designing ones appearance.
The point is, that tattoos are part of a persons identity. Whether you choose to acknowledge this or not.
Perhaps for some it is as you suggest a rebellious statement against their toffee nosed parents. What’s wrong with that? If everyone lived within the confines of what their father would have them do, what a dull existence it would be. I wonder have you ever rebelled? I suspect not, you should try it, it’s liberating!
So why would anyone else bother with the unsightly beast that is a tattoo? Maybe they just like them?
Perhaps like the clothes they wear, their shoes, their hairstyle, it is part of who they are.
Tattoos are Body Art! There I said it! Let’s look at the definition of art: ‘ the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power’. Now, we all have our opinions on art, some find pleasure in Jackson Pollock, others in mass produced photos of the New York Skyline. The point is tattoos, regardless of how they appear to an onlooker, are personal to the individual and the life they lead, their associations, their experiences, their story. Evoking emotion for that person.
Admittedly some are better than others, but regardless of my opinion, they were still created between the imagination of the person wishing to be tattooed and an artist. A tattoo artist no less. Having known a tattoo artist for many years, it is a skilled job, that only the artistically gifted can or should undertake. I appreciate that some are not so well equipped, however the same could be said for any profession.
As for whether the tattooed masses know where the quotes ,they have etched into their skin, came from. Does it matter? If the words mean something to them? However you assume that they don’t. You’d perhaps be astonished to learn that tattooed footballers can read and some of them even own books! I don’t have any solid evidence to back this up, but then you didn’t when you mocked the tattooed.
It is a closed mind that cannot appreciate the differences in humanity and the beauty that resides in the freedom to create ourselves as we see fit. (That would make a good tattoo, you can quote me on that)
In short, I like tattoos and what they represent, freedom of expression. Also I am told that they do not hinder a footballers ability to score goals. However the amount of goals they score does not necessarily justify their wage packet, but that’s another debate.