I know a lot of people with tattoos.
My dad has tattoos. One on his upper arm, one on his lower arm. One he got when he was in the Merchant Marines in WWII.
The other he got when he was in the Army during the Korean War.
Both of them kind of say "I was there and I served."
I understand those kind of tattoos.
I know some of my fellow bloggers and people close to them have tattoos. I don't have anything against the art of tattooing in and of itself.
But there comes a point when, apparently, tattoos take precedent over everything else. A point where the person decides that permanently decorating their body is more important than where they can get a job, where they can live, who they can associate with and what kind of life they can live.
And I don't get that.
Tramp stamps are fun.
Ankle tattoos are sexy.
But when you get a swastika tattooed in the middle of your forehead,
Or "tear tattoos" to represent all of the prison terms you have served,
Or gang type shit that starts creeping up your neck and face,
You are pretty much advertising to the world "I give up! I will never have a normal job. Life will always be an uphill struggle for me. People's first impressions of me will always be defined by my ink rather than my education, intelligence and skills, and I will always accuse those people of being narrow-minded and judgemental. Certain jobs will always be out of the question. I am willfully choosing to limit my options to a very narrow scope."
I've never seen a tattoo that signified a PHD in physics from Princeton, or a Masters in Engineering from M.I.T. I can understand wanting to advertise that sort of accomplishment.
But a string of tears permanently advertising what a repeat offense loser you are? A gang tattoo that makes you forever unemployable? Finger tattoos that spell F U C K?
Don't even get me started on piercings.
Why would I want to hire someone I could never send on a business trip because they would create a scene at the TSA check points?
Do I want someone representing my business detained at the airport because they created a fuss about removing their nipple rings and clit studs?
Here is a good example of what I'm talking about.
Is that a great artistic tattoo? Absofuckinglutely! If all I ever wanted to do in my life was to work in a Halloween haunted house and be able to sleep late on show-day and not have to do my makeup...Awesome!
But in the real world, where will this guy ever get a job? How many jobs does he even have a shot at? How many possible companions in life does he have? How would you react if your daughter brought this idiot home? Would you want to explain his presence at Thanksgiving and Christmas? Would you want your grandchildren growing up with this guy as a role model? What recommendations can the Unemployment Councilor give him to help him out on interviews? He has severely limited his options and his choices are PERMANENT! You can't just change your mind about shit like this.
I'm old enough to know that you should always leave all of your options open, because life is a cruel mistress and you may be forced down paths that you never considered. It would be a shame to have one of those potentially lucrative paths blocked by in inappropriately placed tattoo of the Zig-Zag man.
The fact that I am visible-tattoo-free means I am forever able to control the first impression encounter.
If you have visible tattoos, you have forever surrendered control of that first impression to your ink.
But if you are O.K. with that, so am I.
It's your life.
Live it as you see fit.