THE MEANING OF TATTOOS

by admin on February 7, 2012

first tattoo

well, this WAS an interesting class!  among other things, we discussed tattoos.  this was quite the learning experience for esme, who is rather naive on the subject.  turns out that at least 90% of the students in the class (including the teacher) have tattoos.  this in itself was a striking discovery.  upon further investigation, esme learned that most students had gotten their first tattoo at 18 (as soon as it was legal without parental consent).

many had planned their first tattoo for years.  a few had gotten them impulsively in a friend’s garage (yikes!) as an act of rebellion.   any of the tattoo-experiences could have been the subject of a therapy session, a memoir chapter, a psychological study:  in other words, they all had meaning.

one student had the word “strength” in japanese engraved on her shoulder.  how did she know japanese?  she didn’t–she just googled it.  well, you can’t go too wrong with that one:  who doesn’t need strength?

another had a treble clef and a bass clef intertwined so they formed a heart-shape.  he had fantasized about this for years, and used it as a tribute to the power of music in his life.

one had managed to obtain some tattoos before the legal age.  an artist, she designed her own.  the day after she got her first one, her mother told her that she had dreamed her daughter had gotten a tattoo!  now that was either an amazing example of intuition, or a very clever way of bringing up something that the mom had a hunch about.

a few regretted the placement or content of the tattoo (for instance, the name of an ex-boyfriend on the back of the neck) but few seemed to regret the experience as a whole.  a nursing student in the class warned that one should think of the future.  as she put it, “tattoos don’t look too good with stretch marks”!

all in all, it seemed that obtaining a tattoo was a kind of rite of passage for this group of students.  one can only wonder what THEIR children will think of the practice.  esme can just imagine the next generation thinking “ugh….mom has this gross tattoo on her back….i’d NEVER do something like that!”

and omg, esme found out that some people even get tattoos on their eyeballs!  can you imagine?? this was not a joke!

eyeball tattoo

live and learn,

esme

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