Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Age, Wisdom & Tattoos

So today, I was on myspace and I commented on a bulletin that my 17-year old niece had written. She said that she was considering getting a tattoo (she will be 18 in a couple of weeks)and wanted input and feedback about whether she should get one and if we had any advice for her. Now I admit, I probably should have explained myself better, but all I said was, "don't get one, you'll regret it when you are 50."

I guess I probably have a negative stigma associated with tattoos, and generally speaking, think it is stupid to brand yourself with something that you will essentially be stuck with for the rest of your life. The only time I think it is remotely acceptable is when it is to commemorate a specific time in your life (like when a loved one passed away or like stumble, survive & smile). I know, that's probably kinda judgmental, but I have a hard time understanding why it is necessary to brand your body with something.

I wasn't raised this way, believing it's not okay. I never really understood what the appeal was, but I wasn't judgmental about them. And then I was talking with a friend about beliefs and such, and she said that we should think of our bodies as temples of God. If He wanted us to have a drawing on our bodies for the rest of time, wouldn't He have put it there in the first place? God shoots for perfection when He creates us, and it doesn't make sense to mess that up by putting our own mark on it.

At any rate, my comment on my niece's bulletin wasn't exactly well received. Another one of her friend's posted his own comment, "Don't listen to a twenty-year-old about what happens when one turns fifty." The funny thing is, her friend isn't much closer than I am to 50. The guy is 27, and seemingly all the much wiser. I find it really demeaning when I get put down due to my age. Yes, I know, I only graduated from high school 3 years ago and I still have 2 years before I graduate from college. I still live with my folks, and I'm still technically a minor.

But seriously, to me, when someone judges someone simply by their age, I don't see them as any wiser than I am. Without knowing anything about me, he immediately judged my by the age listed on my profile. He wouldn't know that I have held a job since I was 16 years old, or that I'm even a college student. He doesn't know anything about me. I don't know if the guy has his own tattoo or not, defending himself even though he has no more room to talk than I do, but all I see is someone hiding behind their age. He doesn't even know that I'm her aunt.

He probably doesn't know that according to some studies, almost 80% of people regret their tattoo's later in life, and at least 50% of them wish they could get them removed.

1 comment:

seven said...

Also interesting: People can put any age they want, so how is he to know you AREN'T 50, right?

I'm divided about the whole tattoo thing. I don't especially want one, but I think they can be kind of cool. Every now and then I think maybe I'd like to get one, but I'd definitely have to think about it long and hard and make sure it was something that actually meant something important. And I would definitely do it in white ink so that it wouldn't be as visible and would fade faster.

And it's funny... I was raised the opposite-- both of my parents are wholly against tattoos. :)