Since Neolithic times, tattoos have been a form of free expression. Yes, they've been around for hundreds of thousands of years. Europe's oldest known human mummy, Otzi, had 61 tattoos scattered across his body. Since their very beginning, tattoos have had a negative connotation attached to them. I'll break down how ridiculous this idea is.
First, let's explore anti-tattoo arguments. Tattoos are permanent--can't get rid of them if you have a change of heart. "How are they going to look when you're older?" is the most popular argument I've encountered. They aren't for those that worry about being judged. Employers in certain industries cite them as harmful to applicants. My response? Ok, sure. This is fair. But this only stresses the fact that people must be mature and thoughtful about their decisions, so why not let them? Everyone knows what they take into account. Also, you might want to look into a different field of work if their basis of hiring revolves around body ink as opposed to work ethic and character. I can't stress this enough.
On the contrary, tattoos have the unique ability to display what you're about as a person, without saying a word. The saying is "A picture is worth a thousand words", correct? They have the ability to tell a story or boast a lesson or meaning in life. They can convey emotions. Tattoos have the ability to pay tribute to lost loved ones and family members. On the not-so-serious side, they have the ability to be aesthetically pleasing, turning your skin into something out of an art gallery or comic book. Tattoos can be as symbolic or rad as you want them to be, hence why the profession is considered artful.
Makeup allows those who use it to feel more attractive. Jewelry and piercings do the same. Neither are a natural part of the body. These are not only acceptable appearance-altering tools, they are encouraged. Ridiculous clothing trends make their waves in and out of society. So, what's wrong with ink on skin? Let's not be hypocritical about adding features to ourselves to look or feel better. We're in 2019, right? The age of acceptance? Let's practice what we preach.
Who is responsible for the opposition to body ink? Older generations. Specifically, the Silent Generation (1925-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), and Generation X (1965-1979). These generations, for the most part, adopted the attitude that tattoos were cancer. They were raised to believe this by their parents, and in turn, relayed the message to their their kids. Let's keep in mind that these generations aren't exactly the most open-minded. These are the generations that still prefer pencil and paper to laptops, fax machines to smartphones, and overall traditional means to an advanced society based on technology that makes life a hell of a lot easier. For as many things as these generations have been right about, there are equally as many that have been wrong. It's harder to accept a newer trend, like the growth of tattoos, when your philosophy revolves around traditionalism. It's not World War II anymore, grandpa. Let's move on to more exciting and innovative things.
Tattoos are only trending upwards. They will dominate society in the near future, men and women alike, if not already. Choosing not to accept peoples' decisions to have them is refusing to adapt to a different and more accepting world.
If you want a tattoo, get one. If it's meaningful or symbolic to you, get one. If you want one because you think it looks cool or appealing, get one. Life is way too short to not think for yourself or make your own decisions. Let's foster a more accepting society and focus our energy in more useful areas.