Saturday Selects: Tattoos becoming “mainstream?”

Photo Credit: Inked Magazine

For all of my newcomers here on my little piece of cyberspace, my Saturday Selects posts occur on the first Saturday of every month and it is the one post that does not discuss books or publishing or anything of the like. These posts allow me to discuss something else for a change. In case you missed it, my first was titled Saturday Selects: Farewell to an all-time great. I talk about what Derek Jeter has done for the game of baseball over the course of his 20 year career.

Today, you all get to read about tattoos.

Before you can even think of the question to ask, yes, I have some of my own. I currently have two. I have every intention of getting several more in 2014, probably five. So if that makes you sick to your stomach or you no longer want to read the blog of someone who has and likes tattoos, then please feel free to leave the post now. And even unfollow if you feel that it’s necessary. But I’ll tell you, this post isn’t about me.

But I would like to share two quick stories with you all before I continue. I got my first tattoo at the age of 18 in August of 2010. I was in my first semester of college at the time and I did my best to hide it from my parents for about a month. When I finally told my dad he thought I was joking and didn’t believe it until he saw with his own eyes. My mom left the room and cried, still don’t understand why that happened. I got my second in May of 2013, only three days after walking across the stage during my university’s graduation. This time, I told my dad where I was going and what I was doing and he didn’t have a second thought about it.

Legal policy?

Anyway, back to the point of the post. One of the things I hear most often from people when I tell them about the tattoos I want to get in the future is, “What about when you look for a job?” This is because at least three of the tattoos I intend to get this year will be on my forearms. It is almost always suggested that having tattoos that are visible somehow makes you less professional looking. And I know for a fact that the Houston Police Department has a policy in which it states that any tattoos or body art that cannot be covered up by the regular duty uniform will eliminate any candidate from consideration for employment. Huh? The department already has VERY low standards for its applicants and it still has this absurd policy in place? How is this not considered discrimination?  Age and physical requirements are one thing, but this?! This is just one example of many.

Tattoos becoming mainstream?

Another thing that we hear in the media and many people believe is that tattoos are becoming more “mainstream.” What the heck does that even mean? Seriously. I know that there are a number of TV shows all about tattoos popping up everywhere. Ink Master. Best Ink. Tattoo Nightmares. Tattoos After Dark. Bad Ink. Just to name a few. But has the stigma fully left us as a society? I don’t know if it has. I get compliments on my one visible tattoo just about every week, but I’ve probably had double the number of people give me that look of disgust upon seeing it. AND IT’S AN OPEN BOOK AND QUILL!

If I were ever asked in a condescending manner why I like and have tattoos this would be my response, “Do you like football?” They would most likely answer yes. I’d continue, “Every team in the NFL has players with tattoos. Every one.” They would tell me that that’s different. I’d continue once more. “How so?” That’s when the person asking the question would accept defeat and move on.

I think tattoos are becoming more accepted as time goes on, but let’s not lie to ourselves and say that they are universally accepted. They aren’t and I don’t understand why not.

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