With a recent evening at a local coffee shop, one can’t help but notice how many people are willing to show their creative works on their arm. Some have long sleeves of ink with a mixture of colors and designs. Others have little traces of markings with only a tiny visible glimpse. Tattoos, once viewed as belonging only to the outsider and the rebellious spirit, has seemed to come full circle in today’s world.
“My brother gave me a gift certificate to get a tattoo, so that was my final decision,” said Julie Davis, as to how she made the final decision to get a tattoo. Davis proudly shows off her tattoo on the lower half of her left arm. She represents a new generation that doesn’t seem so hesitant to get a tattoo that is visible to others.
Over the years, attitudes have become more accepting of tattoos.
“Everybody does it. I don’t see why it’s such a big deal,” SLCC student Justin Tsoise said when asked about his attitude of people with tattoos. No area seems to be off limits of what people are willing to pierce on their bodies and no longer are people deciding to get a tattoo in areas that can be easily hidden or covered up. Areas not so easily covered are increasingly being used for tattoo ink. Over the last couple of years the neck and face have become popular places for people getting tattoos.
When Rapper ‘Lil Wayne catapulted into popular culture sphere a few years ago, he brought the tattooed all over look to the masses. It used to be that such a look was frowned upon.
“Even over the last five years I think the attitudes have definitely become more accepting of those who have tattoos,” Davis said.
Davis also said she has seen an increase of people more willing to get a tattoo and have one in more visible parts of the body. When asked if she had any hesitancy about what others might think of her tattoo, she did admit that at first she was self conscious that others would judge her. However, after having the tattoo for several years, the tattoo has become a part of her much like any other natural body part.
Although it seems like tattoos have become quite the norm in society, some people are still faced with resistance. Earlier this year Mark Johnson, a high school teacher at Ogden High expressed his frustration about a new look policy for the school district, which forbid any tattoo be visible. The school district said that it made the change in the policy so that the teachers could be better role models for the students. “There are lessons in maybe not judging, not jumping to conclusion,” said Johnson to Desert News.
Back at the coffee shop, Davis echoes the same sentiment. Describing her tattoo as spiritually inspired, Davis said that when others see it, she often gets the opportunity to express how important her faith is to her.
“My faith has become a lot more important to me. Having this tattoo allows me to share that with others,” she said.
What will societies view of tattoos be in the future? Current shifts in attitude show that it’s becoming more and more acceptable.