Posts Tagged ‘conformity

23
Sep
13

Tattoos are the Ultimate Stamp of Conformity

vailtattoo

Miss America, that moribund, hidebound, old fashioned bastion of white bread, conservative, middle America has had it’s first contestant with a tattoo.  Yes, it’s official folks, tattoos are the ultimate stamp of conformity and hypocrisy.  Any cool factor has long been dead and now popular culture affirms it.

People with tattoos think they are marking themselves as rebels from mainstream society.  Please, when Miss America has tattoos, every soccer mom is sporting some shitty Tinker Bell or flower on her ankle, when your grandparents are getting tattoos, it’s not hip, cool, or alternative anymore.

They claim that it’s an expression of individuality.  Sorry to say, you think you’re being an individual but people are prone to being influenced by whatever’s trendy at the time.  If everyone was so unique, why is there such an abundance of bad tattoo trends amongst huge swaths of people?  Let’s just name a few:barbed wire, 8 balls, black panthers, tribal tattoos, the ‘50’s revival tattoos that are now firmly associated with the garish Ed Hardy brand and Sailor Jerry’s rum, and dating yourself with shitty band tattoos.  My favorite is idiots who get their name tattooed on them.  What is that for, so you don’t forget who you are, to ID yourself when you get Alzheimer’s?

I am scornful of all those trendy shitheads that got Chinese characters or Japanese kanji, only to find out later what they have permanently etched on themselves isn’t what they thought-wrong symbol, backwards, nonsense.  It’s particulary stupid because for most Asians, tattoos are for hookers and criminals.  I remember once my  Chinese boss was staring at the tattoos on a customer’s arm of Chinese characters.  When I asked him what he was staring at, he said “ I cannot figure it out, so I keep looking.  Then I realize it is character for ‘death’, but backwards!”  After laughing our asses off for awhile, he shook his head, “I don’t understand how come he will put something like that on his body.  For the Chinese, that is a very bad luck to write ‘death’ on yourself.  That is like cursing yourself and your family to die.  So stupid.”

Tattoos are totally trendy and to me it’s just an outgrowth of marketing and branding.  It’s the next step in turning us into walking billboards , after having all our clothing festooned with loud graphics and big logos. Why should I do the work of corporations for them?  In fact, the lamest tattoos are those of any kind of logo.  The Nike swoosh, the double C of Chanel are a couple of examples I’ve seen and I can’t imagine a more blatant badge to identify yourself as an idiot and tool of the capitalist consumer corporations.  These fools aren’t even getting paid for branding themselves.  And as the skin ages, it’s like a sad worn out bumper sticker on a beater car.

Look, whatever the fuck you thought was so badass cool at 18, like getting a Pabst beer can tattooed on your arm, hopefully is NOT what you think is going to be cool later on.  Hopefully, you will have gained some taste, class, and maturity and moved on to other interests.  There’s nothing wrong with indulging in fashion and trying on identities, but the problem is when you’ve made those choices permanent and indelible.  It’s just a permanent reminder of what a fuckwit you  once were.

Tattoos advertise the incredible range of bad taste of the wearer.  Your average person has terrible taste.  If people really knew what looked good on them, the stylist profession wouldn’t exist.  Tattoos display the vulgar, unsophisticated, lurid, crass, lame, stupid, tastes of the wearer for all to see.  Not to mention the plethora of incredibly bad “art work” and horrible renditions by untalented tattoo artists.  Especially ugly are any kind of portraiture.  I’m sure part of it is that the original subject is repulsive, and immortalizing them in a badly drawn rendition doesn’t help matters.

As for the argument that tattoos are highly personal expressions.  BULLSHIT!  Yeah, that’s why you got a huge back tattoo, for yourself, because you have eyes in the back of your head.  If it’s a memorial for something personal, hell, make a shrine in your house.  People get tattoos  to show off to other people because it’s a visual medium and usually placed somewhere that  can’t readily be seen well by the wearer.  People feel the need to over share and then say that it’s highly personal.   I’m sure Grandpa would rather have you contribute the amount of time and money you spent on a highly unflattering and grotesque portrait of him, ensconced in a paean of appallingly bad and lurid art, towards a cause or charity that exemplified his spirit and values

Once upon a time, tattoos were a mark of the subversive, the alternative, the rebel.  Now it is the ultimate badge of conformists everywhere and the stamp of a hypocrite that slavishly follows fashion while proclaiming his individualism and  decrying mainstream society, proudly showing his bad taste for all to be forced to see.  The most original, rebellious thing you could do nowadays is resist the urge to stamp yourself as one of the “sheeple”.  Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve literally.  “Methinks he doth protest too much” comes to mind.  An insecure person feels the need to prove himself to others and trumpets his beliefs in the form of advertisements on his skin.  A truly secure person doesn’t need to wear his convictions in an outward symbol.  He shows his beliefs by his words and deeds, not something inked on his skin.

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