When I was a kid, a tattoo meant one of two things; you were a veteran (good) or you’d been in prison (bad).
Sometimes, the old ways are the best.
I’m not ever going to tell anyone how to live their life, much less how to decorate themselves. I will say that there are few thing in the world more depressing that sitting at the beach and watching a tooled saddle in a bikini in roughly the shape of what might have been a breathtakingly attractive 20-something women walking along the beach.
Again – do what you want.
But America’s tattoo fetish is turning into an aesthetic crisis:
If tattoos were once an act of rebellion against cultural norms, now they are a well-established norm. If you want a tattoo, hey, it’s a free country. But it seems many people still get them laboring under the delusion that they’re a hallmark of individualism. The desire to use visual signals on your skin to proclaim yourself unique to people you don’t even know can’t be terribly healthy. It is, in a subtle and penetrating way, kind of selfish. Or maybe my misanthropy is showing, but the omnipresence of people begging to be noticed for such superficial reasons is surely annoying.
At a baseball game last year, I sat a few rows directly behind a woman with a tattoo on the back of her neck in typewritten script that said, “I’m the hero of this story.” She seemed like a perfectly nice woman—from what I observed, she was also a doting mom—but in these circumstances I was all but forced to stare downward at her tattoo. And the more I thought about the sentiment, the more irritating I found it. It took every ounce of patience within me to make it through nine innings without marching down to her and explaining to this self-proclaimed hero of her story that there’s such a thing as an unreliable narrator.
Also, get off my lawn.