Today we shall discuss the tattoo taboo. Whenever we come across heavily tattooed individuals, we tend to perceive them as being trashy, psychotic, or affiliated with some sort of criminal activity. From the moment these individuals have made the decision to inscribe something permanently in their flesh, they have condemned themselves to a life of public scrutiny and judgement (Assuming that the tattoos are in a visible location).
But I say, enough. Who are we to judge individuals solely on the basis of appearance? Can we say that we are veritably perfect ourselves? How are we to make immediate assessments of personality based on the physical appearance of someone’s skin? Does that not reek of injustice? Of intolerance?
At the same time, I’m not saying that we all should get tattoos. I’m saying that we should have the freedom to choose. And that those who choose to get them should not be harassed or harshly reprimanded for having them.
Perhaps someone could be under the impression that all bodily markings are incongruous or ugly. And that whoever has them will sorely regret the decision of their youth when they are older and wiser.
In terms of this individual’s perception that all tattoos are ugly, this is merely an opinion. Not a fact. And this particular view is certainly not shared by everyone. As for the second point, that the tattooed individuals will regret their decision in the future, this is also a broad assumption. This might be the case for some individuals, but we can’t say that it applies to everyone. Not without being fallacious and factually incorrect.
Let us also remind ourselves that we are scornfully assessing heavily tattooed individuals long before they actually open their mouths! We don’t know the story behind the tattoo. We don’t know if it’s a lifelong commemoration of a friend or family member. We don’t know if it’s a symbol to indicate a difficult period in that person’s life. And even if the tattoo does not possess immense personal value, we have no right to assess the morality of a person solely on the basis of their physical appearance.
Essentially, we must treat heavily tattooed persons just as we would anyone else. With respect, open-mindedness, and tolerance if you disagree with their life choices. Ultimately, I know that we will never stop forming snap judgments about individuals that we come across on a daily basis. I’m just asking that we also take that person’s veritable character into account. So that we have a better picture of the person as a whole. So that we’re not just looking at a tattoo on a person. We’re looking at a person with a tattoo.