Tattoos are a unique form of expression and a significant part of many identities

In Devil's Advocate, Opinion

Courtesy of FlickrTattoos signify one major concept—individual expression. Body art is quite intriguing because every tattoo represents something different and tells a unique story.

Whether there is a sentimental meaning behind it, or a fond memory of friends who consumed too much alcohol one night that resulted in tattooing a small cartoon bomb on their gluteus maximus, every tattoo has a particular meaning.

Tattoos express personality and beliefs. They add beauty to a person in various ways.

Take, for example, someone with a Virgen de Guadalupe tattoo. Immediately, it’s clear that the person is Catholic and cherishes that specific saint.

Tattoos can also be used as conversation starters. When people are asked about their tattoos, they are bound to share a story. Personal identity can be found through tattoos since people are able to get tattooed with whatever they feel represents them; it’s a wonderful thing.

People get tattoos for many reasons, whether it’s to honor a loved one, express themselves in a different way or represent something meaningful, every tattoo has a reason and a purpose.

An old friend who joined the United States Marine Corps after high school got a tattoo as a daily reminder to never stop thriving.

Thinking someone’s tattoo is without purpose or ugly is incredibly closed-minded. Though it might seem insignificant, the tattoo might mean the world to the person.

One such instance is when tattoos are used as a cover-up for bodily imperfections that cause one to feel self-conscious. Someone may get a flower tattooed on his or her shoulder because of insecurities about a birthmark. The tattoo will effectively bolster self-esteem.

Historically, tattoos have been important in rituals and traditions. Tattoos have been used to weave societies and groups together. In today’s age, an example of this is Hells Angels. Hells Angels members get tattoos of specific symbols on themselves, which help create a tighter bond among them.

The argument that tattoos degrade an individual or that employers frown upon them will never cease to exist, but consider this—those who consciously choose to get inked are well aware of the decision they are making. It is up to them to decide whether their tattoos will have a negative effect in the future.

It’s also important to keep in mind that future employers might not like visible tattoos, so it’s best to get a tattoo in a spot where it can be easily hidden.

Those without tattoos should respect the decision of others to get tattooed as a personal and individual form of expression.

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