posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 06:21 PM
The problem with tattoos is that they are permanent additions (more or less) to your skin. As such, they can "type" you as belonging to a certain
social class, especially if they are easily visible. The same is true of piercings and other alterations. A "tramp stamp" can become a liability. A
small or discrete alteration probably won't hurt you, but a facial or hand tattoo could prevent you from certain kinds of work in the future. Of
course, if you are a Maori from New Zealand, you can do it because everyone knows (or should know) that this is a part of your cultural tradition. But
pictures of a devil on your face are not. All they show is an OCD personality.
Now I can hear the howling from here. people will say, "I am who I am and I will never betray that!" That's great. Really. Stars, flags, points,
and applause for you, but you're sick and show a certain lack of forethought. Things have a way of changing, and the fact is you may not feel quite
the same way at 50 as you do at 20.
When I was 20, for example, I swore I would "never wear a suit" and "never cut my hair!" because these were symbols of the establishment (a suit)
and not adhering to the establishment (the hair) and I was out to make a statement, by God! As it turned out life moved on and I got older. I still
resisted wearing a suit, but I was in a profession where this was more or less expected. Finally and old guy who felt sorry for me took me aside. This
is what he said,
"A suit makes you equal. No one knows your cultural background when you look more or less like everyone else. You could have graduated from Harvard
or Evergreen State." (a left-wing small public college in Washington State) "The whole idea is to make it so you have versatility and movement. Only
your brain and your emotions can hurt you, but no one will prejudge you on how you look. If you persist, your career is going to suffer."
I had never thought of it in quite the same way before. So I relented a bit and finally, years later, cut my hair. My goodness, I've never felt such
a sense of relief! I wished I had done that years ago. Life is so much less of a hassle now.
You know who else got this same lecture a long time ago? Disraeli, the British Prime Minister, who went through the same sort of thing as a young man.
When I see people who overdo it on piercings, who "grow" horns and bumps in their heads, or who have visible tattoos I really feel sorry for them.
They have stuck themselves at an emotional age they can now never leave, but they WILL get older, when this sort of stuff will begin to look uglier
and uglier as the years move on. If you are discrete about it, everything should be fine, but if you are ostentatious about it, you've really messed
up. Good luck to you because you're going to need it.