I’m a huge fan of tattoos. I have three myself. My third was added this past Thursday.
Tattoos mean a lot more than pain and ink. Personally, I hate the pain that accompanies tattoos. If the tattoos could somehow magically appear on my skin without the stabbing and eye-wincing, I’d choose that option. I’ve even asked for numbing cream. That failed.
But what do these tattoos mean to me?
They stand for memories. They hold memories. My first tattoo was a birthday gift from a dear friend whom I’ve slightly lost contact with but could never forget. This tattoo ensures that. My second tattoo is a puzzle piece that matches one with my best friend. The best friend who moved in the middle of my senior year in high school. She’s one of my dearest friends and someone I miss everyday. This tattoo stands for our friendship. No matter if she’s a few blocks away or in Kansas, we’ll forever hold a piece of one another.
My most recent tattoo is a quote from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. “And in that moment, I swear, we were infinite.” This is another tattoo my best friend and I share. However, it doesn’t stand solely for our friendship. It stands for the infiniteness of countless moments in my reckless (yet incredibly exciting) life.
The problem is not all who see me see what these tattoos truly stand for. Some like Simon Doonan find tattooing as a “culturally sanctioned form of delicate cutting.” So what he’s trying to say is that I enjoy tattoos for the pain that accompanies it. Again, I do not enjoy the pain. Sure, there are those weirdos who talk about, “I love the pain of a tattoo.” That’s pretty weird. I don’t like pain. I don’t even like getting pinched. And I sure don’t like self-inflicting pain, which is what cutting is. Cutting is on the verge of suicidal. This place is a shitty one, but I’m not ready or willing to leave it yet.
Doonan blames tattoos on the desensitization accompanying society’s loss of reality due to social media and “screens.” He even recommends buying Ed Hardy shirts instead. I don’t want skulls all over my body. I want what I have: a dandelion, puzzle piece and infinity sign. I want something meaningful that I’ll be proud of 20 years down the line. That’s the beauty of a tattoo. It’s forever. I change my shirt everyday. That’s why Doonan discourages tattoos, however.
Besides his close-minded ideas, his writing isn’t quite up to par, either. Anyone in the magazine business has been taught to stray from the lulling “according to.” And though he introduces an interesting statistic in his lead (more than 45 million Americans are tatted), “according to” are the wrong words to introduce that stat. Let’s try to personify the FDA a little. “The FDA says” would work a lot better. I can’t deny that his use of adjectives and verbs is interesting.
Today I saw a superannuated South Beach swinger boasting a tarantula on her right shoulder. Every time she hoisted her sippy cup to her lips the spider jiggled.
The words bolded are some I enjoyed reading. This guy needs to work on the basics of magazine writing. He ain’t too shabby, but he sure needs to open his eyes to the reality of tattoos: They’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
So he better get used to them.