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Teenagers and Tattoos

Essay by   •  December 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  990 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,198 Views

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Andre Martin's essay, "On Teenagers and Tattoos" discusses the cons of tattoos and piercings on teenagers. Although valid points are made, he views tattoos as a whole, as mutilations and cries for attention. He addresses how tattoos are a form of identity and ownership, as well as a permanent marking upon the body. The individual is in complete control and it gives teenagers the sense of stability that they long for. While valid points, Martin seems to look past the reason why a majority of adolescents get tattoos: for the enjoyment of them. Tattoos can often tell a lot about someone. They are permanent and can create an everlasting bond between the art and the individual getting it.

Throughout, Martin discusses the psychological reasons for why teenagers get tattoos and piercings. However, he not once mentions that many adolescents get tattoos because they like them. I agree with his reasoning to an extent. I do believe many people get tattoos of meaningful past experiences or hardships, and that some get tattoos and piercings as a way to better stand out. However, I also believe that teenagers get tattoos because they enjoy the artwork. Many of the most beautiful tattoos I have ever seen have been of various scenes, pictures or murals, most not having any specific connection to their past. Although some tattoos can later be known as poor choices, many are beautiful. I have five tattoos, and got the first when I was 16. Out of the five, only two are meaningful, one of which I regret and am currently in the process of receiving laser treatment for. The other three are the largest of the five, and have no specific correlation to my past. Soon I will be starting a back piece in which also will have no specific meaning to me, but certain things throughout the piece will be incorporated in. Body art is a way of expressing oneself. They are a form of identity and uniqueness that are permanently with the individual.

Furthermore, with that permanence come Martin's thoughts on tattoos and piercings being forms of mutilation. In the dictionary, the word "Mutilate" is defined as "injure[ing] by depriving of or harming a part." Tattoos and piercings should not be viewed as mutilations as they are not directly harming to oneself, although the process of getting one is often painful. The markings are placed upon the individuals body with full consent and willingness, and are not professionally done without being eighteen or older. Underage tattooing is on a completely different level then professional tattoos. They are usually spurred of the moment with no thought, personalization or meaning put into it. In most cases, professional done pieces take thought and much consideration, because appointments are made with the artist to plan the idea out beforehand.

Tattoos are permanent, therefore planning them out before getting them can allow for a regret free tattoo. The effects

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