I don’t have any tattoos. It’s not that I don’t like them. I frequently enjoy seeing other people’s tattoos. But I don’t want one myself because of the permanence. I wouldn’t mind having a temporary tattoo, and now that I think about it, I have had a few of those over time. And every one of them came out of a box of Cracker Jacks. I always got either a tiny joke book or a temporary tattoo. I didn’t buy Cracker Jacks for the prizes. I could just as easily have gone for Fiddle Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers or Poppycock.
Anyway, the reason I don’t have a tattoo is that I know myself well. And what I know about myself is that I change my mind frequently. Ask me about my favorite food on a Monday, then ask me again on Tuesday. I’ll probably give you two different answers. Because of that, I know that even if I spent ten years deciding on a tattoo, I’d probably want it removed in favor of something else wihin two weeks.
Tattoos used to be a sign of rebellion. But when they became trendy in the 1990’s, so many people got tattoos that they turned into less of a way to rebel than a way to fit in. And according to a new survey, people don’t even think “rebel” when they see a tattoo anymore. 82 percent said tattoos are no longer rebellious. Some other results of the survey:
72 percent say it’s more acceptable to have visual tattoos than it used to be, even as little as ten years ago.
59 percent say that in ten more years, most companies won’t have any rules about employee tattoos.
67 percent would take their kid to get a tattoo on his or her 18th birthday if the kid wanted one.
And 40 percent say a person’s tattoos say more about them than their Facebook profile. Personally, I’m one of those people who believes that if you emphasize one part of your personality too much, it’s because that part of your personality doesn’t really exist. Lots of non-rebels have tattoos that would look more at home in a strip club or a biker bar. And those people who have them are neither strippers nor bikers. They just want people to think they’re dangerous. And here’s a tip: anybody who’s really dangerous won’t necessarily look the part.
I don’t think I’m better than people who don’t have tattoos. My great uncle Frank had tattoos covering his arms from wrist to elbow, and he wasn’t a scumbag. He was just career Navy.
But not everyone looks at tattoos the same way, and that’s another good reason to be sure before you get one. My father-in-law was an executive at a defense contractor for 25 years, and he hired hundreds of people during that time. And his opinion of tattoos was that they’re a great time saver. According to him, if someone came in for a job interview with a visible tattoo, it saved him the trouble of having to interview them. As he put it, “Why would I hire someone who’s proud of the fact that they make bad decisions?”