The Essence of Tattoos
Tattoos have likely been at the top of the list as the most discussed topic amongst the different social classes. There is a divide between societies understanding of tattoos, those who oppose them identify tattoos as being a form of “taboo” and is associated with a type of body modification that is seen as distasteful in nature. Others believe tattoos are a form of one’s own self-expression. Although tattoos are subjective to each person, we should not completely rule them out altogether because they are perceived as ill-natured, that is a form of stereotyping.
Being in the U.S Army, maintaining a high level of professionalism is key to good work ethic, it allows opportunities for advancement into leadership roles as well as the image a person exudes. This follows the age old concept of, “To be the part you have to look the part.” Image plays an enormous role in many military careers, when wearing the uniform your peers often view you as being a professional and is reciprocated through your actions. There are many individuals in the armed forces with tattoos; I am one of those individuals. Throughout my career I have worked alongside a multitude of individuals who have different viewpoints on the subject and have had no problems expressing them in that matter. Many, more often than not vocalize that tattoos have no place in the U.S Army, this usually comes from peers and subordinates alike who were birthed in a more conservative time period. When approached by these individuals on my rationale behind getting tattooed I simply explain to each of them the importance of each one and what it symbolizes for me. The normal response I tend to receive is, “If the U.S Army wanted you to have tattoos, they would’ve made it mandatory when enlisting.” My rebuttal is always to the extent of, “My tattoos in no way, shape or form affect my role in accomplishing my job or mission, my tattoos are visible but they do not define or characterize who I am as a person.”
In today’s world, society seems all too comfortable at passing judgment on things they don’t understand; it appears the dismissal of something out of the “norm” is much easier to accept than those that take the time to view the kaleidoscope to gain a different perspective. In the article “Body Modification is a Form of Self- mutilation” author Sheila Jeffries believes tattoos are a form of Self-mutilation, “Which is more common among females and are a response to low social status, sexual and physical abuse as well as severe emotional distress of living in a male dominant society. Females are emotionally disassociated from their bodies and self mutilation (tattooing) breaches that barrier and allows them to feel.” For some individuals tattoos are in fact endured...