Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tattoos And Our Youth

"Bananamuffin says FML 3/30/2012
Today, I realized that the "holla" tattoo I stupidly got on my lower lip five years ago isn't fading as I expected it to, and will probably contribute to my unemployment for years to come. FML"

I just read this on It's a site the allows users to vent their embarrassments. It's a very entertaining read. It usually has me laughing or shaking my head in pure distrust. Are all the posts real? I don't know and it won't bother me if they were not. However, this post touched a topic that I feel strongly about; youth and tattoos.

I'm all for tattoos, I have one of my own. My concern is how the youth are abusing it. Tattoos are glamorous to our youth. They see them glorified on television and movies; with celebrities adorning showing them off. But they do not see the impacts of tattoos in their life. Tattoos are much more accepted today than they were in the past, but they are still frowned upon.

My mother didn't take too kindly to mine or my brothers, but she couldn't really do anything about it. She did lecture us when we were young about marking up our bodies. She claims that once you get a tattoo, you become a marked person. Everyone will be able to identify you. To me that wasn't a downfall, but more of a benefit. Say something happened to me and my face and dental records were unidentifiable, my tattoo would be another form of identification. I thought long and hard about getting my tattoo because I knew it is a permanent addition. I thought long and hard where I wanted to place the tattoo too. I ended up putting it on the inside of my right ankle. Why did I put it there? This is my reasoning:
1. That area will stay the same size if I gain or lose weight.
2. It is not very noticeable in a skirt.
Location of your tattoo is important. It can determine a lot about you and your future. As Bananamuffin is realizing now, she should have have thought about before she got a tattoo on her lip. Who will want to hire her? Maybe a tattoo parlor? Telemarketer? If you have tattoos on your face and hands, let's say you have a slim chance of getting a decent job in corporate America. If you have a tattoo at all you will not work for the FBI or CIA as an operative. You can't have any identifying marks.

We see celebrities like L'ilWayne and Angelina Jolie having tats. Wayne moreso than Jolie.

L'il Wayne has tats all over his face, but he makes a lot money where he doesn't have to look for a job. When he got his record deal, he didn't have them.

Angelina Jolie has a lot of tats, but they are not on her face or hands. Only ones you can see are the ones on her upper arms.

What would happen if Wayne lost all his money, businesses and fame and had to search for a job? He would probably have to work in construction or something that he does not have to work with clients. He may not even be able to work. If the same happened to Jolie, she would be more successful. Why? She looks presentable and will have a good face for representing a company.

As parents of youth, you should discuss tattoos with them so they don't make decisions like Bananamuffin. You should discuss all the negative repercussions and positive things about tattoos. You want them to make informed decisions then stupid impulsive decisions that can ruin their future. Tattoos will always be an attractive element in all generations. It's all about how we communicate to our youth what's appropriate and what's not. They'll probably just ignore us anyway and do something stupid. Regret is costly and painful.

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