Everyone’s Getting A Tattoo But I Say Don’t Do It

I’ve a confession to make. I have a prejudice. There I said it. I know I shouldn’t. But I just can’t help myself. I don’t like women getting tattoos. I don’t like men getting them either but women especially. See I’m prejudiced. Generation X and Y are doing it in droves. Almost a third of women in their 20s have a tattoo. That is a frightening statistic because I bet when they all get older it’s going to be regret city. Get this. One third of all people aged between 18 and 30 have a tattoo, according to a researcher at James Cook University in Queensland. According to researcher, Eduardo de la Fuente, tattoos were once the badge of non-respectability. Reserved for prisoners, sailors and people wanting to identify themselves as part of a group operating outside the mainstream. But de la Fuente says that non-respectability began to gradually shift in the 60s and 70s. From the 90s onward it has become so respectable that tattoos are now a fashion statement. We are witnessing an explosion of people inking themselves. Researcher de la Fuente says there is a sociological/psychological reason for this. Fashion and haircuts used to be the principal vehicles for the expression of non-conformity. Now it’s the whole body. And if you are going to make a statement you may as well put it in writing. But they will all live to regret it. Mark my words. That’s not just me saying it. The Australian Consumer Magazine, Choice surveyed people with a tattoo and discovered that one in three regretted it later in life. Too late he cried. I mean why would you in the first place? Not only is it ugly, it’s painful and pretty permanent. Fortunately, there’s been a steady proliferation of clinics that specialize in tattoo removal. “Traditionally a tattoo was about belonging to a community where you expected to live your entire life,” Dr de la Fuente said. “But now people have several different personas and belong to several different tribes in their lifetime. As you get older there may be a new persona you wish to convey instead.” Ok. So grow a beard or get a dog if you really want you to be a different you. Eduardo de la Fuente asked a bunch of young women why they felt the need to have a tattoo. Lauren, 25, she says got a tattoo because it was something meaningful ( or should that be meaningless) to her, her mum and her sister. “It was a bonding experience for us but I think a lot of girls do it these days because their role models are doing it and it’s cheap, trendy and another way to distinguish yourself.” A quick look at young celebrity women show a kaleidoscope of inked body parts. Glee’s Lea Michelle has 14 tattoos, pop sensation Miley Cyrus reportedly has more than 20 while at last count singer Rihanna had 21 tattoos. But it’s not just young women getting in on the act. A recent trend has seen an increase in the number of people over the age of 45 getting a tattoo. According to Eduardo de la Fuente it suggests the “aestheticisation of the body” is becoming more popular even among middle-aged people. Now I’m really starting to lose hope. Famous actors Cate Blanchett and Amy Adams apparently celebrated their Oscar victories last year by heading to a famous Hollywood tattoo parlour, while 80-year-old actress Dame Judi Dench recently revealed that even she has a tattoo. Yeah right. A documentary which is due to be broadcast on Australian television later this month will show a vast cross-section of society getting inked at a tattoo parlour at Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. Everyone from mums, to grieving grandmothers, to Dads celebrating the birth of their first child take part. The stories paint what I would call the nightmare scenario of one in seven Australians who get inked at some point in their lifetime. See, we truly are a nation of convicts. Heidi Haydon is one of the tattooed taking part in the documentary. Her obsession with tattoos kicked in after she was left paralysed from the chest down following a motorbike accident. “I used to draw tattoos and always wanted one but mum always talked me out of it,” she said. “But after leaving hospital following the crash, I decided to go ahead and do it, and mum even got one too.” I’ve only got three words to say. Ok. Six. Dumb, dumb, dumb don’t do it.

7 thoughts on “Everyone’s Getting A Tattoo But I Say Don’t Do It

  1. Nice article. I definitely don’t consider myself dumb though. I don’t have a tattoo obsession. I only get them when something in my life pops up. Again, I’d love for someone to go through what I actually have to do each day as a paraplegic and what I went through during rehabilitation of never being able to walk again or have bodily functions…then tell me what’s dumb. People are individual – I don’t make personal attacks and call people dumb for doing what they love. Get on with it mate.

    1. Hey Heidi. Thanks so much for the comment. You are perfectly entitled to engage in self expression in any way you choose. And good on you for doing so. Not my personal choice but understand and respect yours. Take care.

      1. Thanks for the reply Damien. I also respect yours however I just don’t expect to be called dumb, that’s all. I come from a very educated background, I think you bypassed what the series is about. Which is the person behind it, the job that I do and what I have achieved since being like this as well as the others. Cheers

  2. Heidi. It was the idea of getting a tattoo that I considered dumb. Certainly not you. I would never call anyone that. Ok. Maybe once. But again it was nothing personal. So apologies if you thought I was calling you dumb. You clearly aren’t and maybe I am for using the word. Take care and all the best.

  3. Wow, what a rubbish article. Never heard of u before but this explains why u will will remain unknown with terrible articles like this. Heidis comments say it all, and to see you retract like that, wow, gives the article such significance. You call someone dumb for getting a tattoo, if you dont want any fine, keep it to yourself before calling out people as dumb for doing it. If you respect their right to express themselves then thats full stop, you dont go name calling thats a contradiction. 30 years in journalism and this is where your at? You should be ashamed mate.

  4. Hi David
    Just a little note from Heidi’s mum. I too have a confession to make. I too have a prejudice. There, I said it. But I just can’t help myself. I don’t like people taking drugs and then driving a car and bulldozing my beautiful 22 year old daughter into a guard rail and leaving her a complete paraplegic. See I’m prejudiced. The statistics of people who drink, take drugs and use mobile phones whilst driving are also frightening. So frightening that Heidi has speaking engagements across the country in BStreetsmart campaigns targeted at students from Yrs 10-12, focussed on changing young driver behaviours. But let’s not focus on my prejudice. Lets focus on something far more important and relevant…..tattoos.
    Interestingly you raised fashion as a means of expression. Heidi can’t wear whatever she wants, as some clothing will cause pressure sores as it rubs on a body that can’t feel it. Her capacity to express herself through fashion like other people is severely limited.
    It would be nice for Heidi as she gets older, that she be able to “take on different personas and belong to several different tribes”, however society will always view those in wheelchairs as belonging to the “disabled tribe”. Growing a beard or getting a dog won’t allow her to walk and won’t alter society’s view of the tribe to which she “belongs”.
    I’ve only got six word/phrases to say to you David…………DUMB, IGNORANT, SOCIALLY IRRELEVANT, KEYBOARD WARRIOR, MASTER OF HIS OWN UNIVERSE, BIG FISH LITTLE POND and one more DUMB for good measure.

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