A strange addiction to ink: the symbolic and the meaningless

Photo by Chris Howze
Photo by Chris Howze

Why are people so obsessed with tattoos?

What is it about having a needle with ink coming out of it that leaves permanent art on the skin that has over a fifth of Americans fascinated?

Many students at Delta College have no problem displaying their tattoos. In fact, most like to show them off at any given time.

As students put together their outfits in the morning before coming to campus, somehow they incorporate tattoos into fashion so visually others can enjoy the view.

Publicly tattoos have become more and more acceptable, even in most workplaces. You’ll see some employees sporting nice pieces of body art that may or may not have significance.

Some people get tattoos because they prefer to look intimidating and unapproachable, some do it merely for the pleasure of pain and then there’s a few who have “Tramp Stamps” just because their favorite celebrity has one.

A so-called “Tramp Stamp” is a lower-back tattoo.

Even in the corporate world many of the most successful Americans have tattoos, and some jobs will allow them to be shown, while others don’t.

As an employee of a major company, it’s probably a good thing that you don’t let clients or colleagues see your arms covered with art and words. These people may begin to form an opinion on what type of person you are outside the workplace.

The early days of tattooing in Egypt go back to 2000 BC when, at that time, tattoos were mainly on women to symbolize maturity or social status.

In 2013, people are getting tattoos just to get them.

Most of the tattoos you see on campus have no meaning or story behind them at all. A 2010 Pew Research poll in The New York Times found that 32 percent of people between the ages of 30 and 45 have at least one tattoo.

The stereotypes about people with tattoos aren’t going anywhere soon; people without tattoos will more than likely never understand the addiction that comes with it.

The most judged tattoos around today are face tattoos. They just look horrific and are like a cry for help.

True “inkers” usually get tattoos that reflect a moment in their lives, whether it be good, bad or terrifying.

As Americans, we all make attempts to separate ourselves from the pack, but some tattoos like lips on the neck, Bible scriptures and zodiac signs seem to be common among the tattoo community.

Getting a tattoo and being able to show and tell about it, allows a person to express who they are and the importance of having it.

If you have a tattoo symbolizing the date your mother passed away, then there’s a compelling story to tell.

But if you have a tattoo of SpongeBob SquarePants, you might want to think about re-evaluating your life, along with the money and time spent on being silly.