After last week's Does This Tweet Make Me Look Fat blog entry, I was all hyped up to continue my Social Media diatribe. I imagined myself penning (or typing) a brilliant analysis of the various Social Media advice I'd sucked out of Twitter and spitting it out for all of you to read. Then I got totally distracted by looking at the Facebook wedding photos of people I went to high school with and haven't seen since. #SocialMediaRelatedADDStrikesAgain.
When I re-focused, I realized the whole SM analysis idea bored me. I have more pressing matters to write about such as... tattoos.
I currently have three tattoos, two of which are ridiculously girlie. One is a fairy and one is a large unicorn meant to be reminiscent of my favorite flick, The Last Unicorn. However, it looks more like a My Little Pony than an homage to a cult classic. (Soundtrack by America! How could you not love this movie?!) The third is a tiny Chinese character that means "Sea," which I had inked on my wrist during one particularly homesick day in Toronto when I was longing for the coast. I covered it up every time I wandered through Chinatown, paranoid the tattoo artist didn't know what he was doing and the tattoo actually read "Moron." I've since confirmed its authenticity with several authorities on the matter. (Yes, it says "Sea," in case you were wondering.)
Now, I am not your typical "tattoo culture" girl, but lately all I can think about when I see something I like is "Oh! That should be my next tattoo!" and "I wonder what non-flabby surface I should attach it to?"
Whhhhhhhhy, why do I want to suffer through extreme pain (yes, it hurts very much) to gussy up my aging canvas?
I hopped into the Google Machine to see what answers I could uncover. What I found was a questionnaire on Yahoo! Answers posted by someone working on a post-secondary research paper about tattoos and body art. Having time to kill and exhausting all snoopable Facebook wedding pictures, I decided to answer the survey to see what I could find out about my love of tattoos.
The questions were:
(1) Reason for getting tattoo/body art:
Rite of Passage
Memorial/Reminder/Commemorating an event or person
***Symbolic meaning - Steph: this is what I tell people but not really!
Acknowledging a self-discovery
***Fashionable - Steph: A little of this!
Outward-expression/Declaration/Attention... from others
***Impulsive - Steph: A little of this!
(2) "Compared to not having a tattoo, having a tattoo makes me feel..."
***Rebellious- Steph: A little of this
***Artistic/Creative - Steph: A little of this!
***Self-ownership/Individual autonomy - Steph: Yeah, sure, maybe
Part of a group
****Hip/Cool/Edgy/Stylish- Steph: A little of this!
Traditional/Time-honored/Historical art form
(3) Do you ever conceal your tattoos? Why?
Steph: Yes, I used to cover the one on my wrist because I was paranoid it actually said "Moron."
(4) Are there situations where you have been discriminated against because of visible tattoos?
Steph: Once my mother rolled her eyes at me, does that count?
(5) Have you ever regretted getting a tattoo? Why?
Steph: No, but both my ex-husband and I are happy a tattoo artist cautioned us against getting one another's names branded across our bodies. #CloseCall (And I love my My Little Pony tattoo! I really do! You're all just jealous.)
Someone else responded to the survey questions on Yahoo! With thoughtful answers that included this gem: "The lower part is a hibiscus which was a birthday present from my partner. It was taken from pictures we took on a holiday and the hibiscus symbolizes love and delicate beauty."
Wow. My tattoos symbolize fairies and unicorns and were a present from my bank account.
According to an online research paper writing site (Cheaters!), which posted a sample of a research paper on tattoos along with an ad saying site writers could whip up a customized version quickly, "Tattoos, modernly, are used to prove things. The ways in which an individual chooses to decorate their body demonstrates who they are or who they wish to be within the boundaries of their society."
If I apply this logic, people with tribal arm bands or dolphins encircling their ankles wish to be the type of people who were super cool in the 1990s. I wish to be someone who embraces her inner child and says things like "I am TOTALLY getting a unicorn tattoo" after four glasses of wine and books the appointment RIGHT THAT MINUTE so as not to back out of it.
In the boundaries of my society, I'm someone who should be penning (or typing) something of meaning right now, but instead is totally hung up on whether or not to get the Sagittarius symbol tattoos on her right-hand ring finger.
If I wrote a research paper on tattoos and body art, I'd say that "modernly," in North America, we get tattoos 'cause we like the way they look and how they separate us from the pack or sometimes... help us join it. (Do I get an A?)
Ah! I spot new wedding photos to flip through on the Book of Face, until next time, I bid you an inky farewell.
Follow Steph McGrath on Twitter: www.twitter.com/somethingwitty