Tattooing is an art that has been around the world for ages now. Some studies have shown evidences of tattoos as existing from the time two thousand years before the Egyptian Pyramids. The Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and Polynesians all have proved the existence of this ancient body art relating to reasons of their own, like denoting the belonging of a group, spiritual healing, marking criminals, and symbols with some other meanings. This art exists even today in its modern version and is very popular, not without criticisms though.
In today’s precise terms, tattooing is an increasing trend among the youths, especially young adults. Tattoos today describe people’s feelings of individuality, passion for something, expression or rebellion. Men and women of very young ages can be seen flaunting their tattoos. Some religions see tattooing with maturity, like the Ancient Catholic. And others consider it to be mutilation of the body and, therefore, a sin.
Likewise is the art of piercing, which has been around for years now. Human kind has always seen a need to mutilate their bodies, and piercing has been the next best alternative. Piercing, like tattoos, has stuck around for thousands of years and still exists in both modern and ancient forms. Many tribes from around the world practice the ancient form of piercing: Cuna Indians of Panama, Nepalese and Indians, to name some. Side by side, non-tribal people around the world have modified this art to make it their own. There has now emerged a classified stratification of kinds of piercing, but people still can have their own unique one.
However, our minds have not completely broadened up to these arts. Most of the people immediately link tattoos to deviance and see tattoo makers as inculcating this trend for the worsening of the society. Also the people with tattoos are seen as deviants and immediately judged as deviants too. Our preoccupations have led us to believe that this trend is linked with the wrong category of people, disregarding people’s wishes to express themselves, to be different, or simply to rebel for a change. Ditto is the case with piercings.
At times, we mistreat or misjudge such people, giving way to the adage that says ‘being different is to be condemned by the society’. Often people with these arts are denied jobs in institutions, posed as scarecrows but to threaten kids, and ostracized, ridiculed and mocked. While we make fun of people with a passion for arts, we tend to not realize our ignorance of the significance of such arts, dating back to thousands of years.
Most families, as I know, in our society are not much supportive of their members getting tattoos or piercings. Let me cite an example of this person I know of. She wanted very badly to get a tattoo. And one day, she managed to get one. While her kids saw it as an accomplishment and were very proud of having a ‘cool mum’, her husband and in-laws were absolutely against it. There she was in a dilemma, not knowing to what new identity to choose. She simply saw it as getting what she desired from years ago, her kids found it great and other family members just treated her as if she had committed a sin.
If it is our mentality that prevents people from getting what they want, isn’t it for the best of all that we change it now? Why should the people be held back at doing what they want because it is wrong in our eyes? If this is what change and metamorphosis is all about, it is high time we bring it about. Not just for people’s wishes and desires but for the respect and appreciation such arts deserve.