I love tattoos, I enjoy seeing the art that can be achieved on the skin. I love that they all have a story; even if it is “I got drunk and bitter and decided angel wings on my chest was a great idea”. It still is a story, and eventually it will be a funny one.
Drunk tattooing stories aside, most people decide to get a tattoo when they want to keep something meaningful on themselves. And some designs that go along with the stories are amazing.
Most of us know tattoos are nothing new. My dad used to tell me “if you get a tattoo you won’t be better than a man from the Neolithic”. And he was right on one account, the men of the Neolithic tattooed themselves. Followed by the Egyptians, Indians, several african tribes, people from the Amazon, Vikings, people from the Gaul, Goths (not the modern type, the ones that fought against the Romans), etc.
All of these cultures had their designs, their techniques of tattooing. There are whole studies, and thesis on the history of tattoos. A well performed google search will enlighten you on this.
Tattoos used to mean something, they were marks that denoted bravery, courage, or they were (or are) part of a tradition; my point is, they told a story.
But nowadays they are related with unprofessionalism. Or at least, they carry a stigma. It feels like the collective consciousness considers them un-evolved. Lately, some people have accepted them. Having tattoos does not make you less evolved, does not mean you are un-proffesional or not smart. And I’ve enjoyed seeing that change in the ideology.
So, if I like them and I enjoy the stories why don’t I get one? I have thought of it, many times. Getting a tattoo that helps me tell part of my story. And I know the message I want to convey.
The reason I haven’t gotten one goes way beyond “I haven’t found the design I love” or “I don’t know where I want it”. It has more to do with the doctor in me.
I know that we are not in the 1980’s where AIDS was a true fear, and there was an enormous risk to acquire it. But still, the doctor in me thinks “Maybe not AIDS, but what if I have the unlikely luck of contracting something like Hepatitis C?”. Right now my rationale tells me that it is highly unlikely for something like that to happen.
But the most powerful reason that’s stopping me from getting one is blood donation. Even if I’m not treating people right now, I like helping people. Donating blood is one of the easiest ways to do so. My blood type is rare in Mexico, so I try to donate as much as I can. I can do it, and it doesn’t affect me at all to do it. I never know when I might be the one needing the donation, so I donate for those that need it now.
If I get a tattoo, the system won’t let me donate anymore. And that is a powerful reason for myself. In this particular case, I don’t believe the system is wrong, actually I understand the reasons perfectly.
Maybe one day, when I get over the fact that I won’t be able to donate blood I’ll get my tattoo. Or maybe when the technology for donations allows us to make it safer and lets me donate even with a tattoo I’ll get one.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy seeing them on other people, I’ll enjoy noticing how powerful businessmen and women have them without stigmas and I’ll just daydream of what I want.
By the way, the message I would like to coney and to remind myself of everyday is love. As simple as that. No muss and no fuss, just LOVE.
Lots of Love
Tattoo images via Pinterest.