Tattoos – the big picture

Image: Stock Photo of Tattoo Parlour

I HAVE to admit that when my kids were in their early teens and brought home a friend with piercings from ears to nose, tattoos on every visible limb and a hair cut that looked like they must have had to anaesthetise him to get the shave so close, it scared the s.t out of me.

This reaction I knew was purely as a result of my ‘education’ which had us believe that these attributes come with negative connotations about the person.

Even so I reassured myself that my kids are good kids and obviously must see something in this child that I couldn’t through all that ink and metal.

Some half hour later this same young teen approached me and said “Can you please call my mummy and ask her if I can stay the night, if that’s OK with you?”

Yes, he even used the word mummy and his tone of voice and attitude were so polite and gentle I couldn’t help but laugh at the incongruence.

Today many sports and music ‘heroes’ are tattooed to the point of distraction and we all meet many people with loads of tattoos on a daily basis so it certainly doesn’t instigate the same reaction as it used to; it really isn’t a big deal at all.

Some of the artwork is also quite spectacular and can look truly amazing. Even though some professions still consider a tattoo inappropriate, this is not usually a disqualifying feature either if it can be covered during working hours.

We’ve come a long way.

What I do feel is lacking however in this new trend is background information. With every passing day more tattoo parlours are opening and more people expose themselves to invasive needles to decorate their bodies, even if it’s just a four-leaf clover on an ankle, without really thinking about what they’re doing.

There is very little information about the actual process and the mishaps of having a tattoo in the media, with the exception of the recent headline about a man who actually died after swimming with a new tattoo.

The swimmer who died did have a liver condition, which left him more susceptible, but the instigator of his demise was the flesh-eating bacteria from the water attacking his open wounds!

Getting a tattoo is an invasive procedure. It can take days or several weeks for the lacerations to heal so perhaps getting a tattoo whilst on holiday is not such a good idea, however tempting it may be at the time.

Sunbathing is also ill advised. What is advisable though is not only to make sure that the artist is good enough to display on your body for a life-time, but that you have all the facts and how they relate to your personal situation beforehand.

We wouldn’t want any more people to die from the dye just because they didn’t also think to look at the big picture.

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