Why tattoos should not be stigmatised

editorial image

TATTOOS. They can vary from the surreal to the sublime but they should never be judged.

Last weekend I visited the Milton Keynes Tattoo Convention and marvelled at thousands of designs, and on a range of body parts.

There are a lot of stigmas attached to tattoos and often to the people who have them.

Others often look down on those sporting tattoos questioning why anyone would want to permanently deface their bodies.

And, contrary to a common misconception, tattoos are not restricted to those of a lower class, despite what some people may say or think. In the late 1800s small tattoos were enjoyed as a fad, a status symbol, similar to how a fur coat, fancy car or small purse dwelling dog is used nowadays.

However, after the invention of the electric tattooing machine, body art became more affordable and accessible meaning the upper classes turned their backs on them, causing them to lose credibility; something many would argue it has not reclaimed in the modern era.

But why the stigma and abhorrence? Why are people judged because of something they have chosen to have tattooed on their body?

I currently have three tattoos. They represent the past, present and future of my family. And if anyone asks why, I reply with one word. Pride. And it’s how I choose to show my pride.

Others opt to have tattoos as a mode of self expression and individuality including a number of high profile celebrities who have become role models

If you have elected to have a symbol, quote, a name or anything else tattooed on your body then that’s your choice. And that’s the point. You chose to do it.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a chief executive or the guy who cleans his desk a tattoo should not be a badge by which a person should be judged.

If someone does a job for me or I speak to them in a professional capacity and notice they have a tattoo I don’t think they are going to be any better or worse at their job.

In fact I don’t think about it all and I would be mortified if someone judged me if they saw mine.

Some people don’t like them and I don’t have a problem with that. Some don’t understand why anyone would want to permanently mark their body with something they may regret in 50 years’ time. I have been asked questions on that subject countless times.

Personally, I will never lose the pride and respect I have for my family and tattoos are my way of showing it.

Everyone is entitled to make their own minds up and form their own opinions.

That is the beauty of life. But just remember the person with the tattoos you may be judging is exactly the same as you and has exactly the same rights as you.