Social Question

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Do you see something "wrong" with people who enjoy body art?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (22663 points ) January 24th, 2012

We all have our own opinions on whether or not tattoos and piercings are attractive or ugly, but I’ve heard quite a lot of people say that there is something mentally/emotionally “wrong” with people who enjoy getting tattoos and piercings.

What say you, jellies? Is there something “wrong” with lovers of body art, or is body art just another personal preference?

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99 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

I see this as a personal choice, like smoking, gays, whatever.

I have no problem with it, as long as a person does not serve me food with tattoos all over their arems and a cigarette hanging out of their mouth. I will then leave.

EverRose11's avatar

No! Why have you? HAhahah just kidding, but I doI believe they are entitled to decorate their bodies as a painter does a blank canvas, Tattoo’s has been around since long before or time.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Just out of curiosity, @john65pennington , why no food service if tattooed? The cigarette I can see objecting to, but the ink? It’s not like it will fall off into your food…

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. There are some tattoos that I think look distasteful, but that’s just my opinion of the look of the tattoo, not the person that has the tattoo. Same goes for some piercings, some look great, while others look not so great.

Jude's avatar

Absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to get a tattoo or piercing.

I have seen rather ugly tattoos, though.

Jude's avatar

@john65pennington For me, being gay wasn’t a choice.

Coloma's avatar

It took a little getting used to when my daughter ( she is 24 now) went the body art route with multiple piercings starting in her teens. Now I hardly even notice them and she gets many complements from people that often say that she wears them well and while they don’t normally like them, they like them on her.
She has several lip rings, tongue, nose, nipples, had her sternum pierced but has since removed that one.

Several in her ears, um…I may be forgetting something. OH..and 4 stars tattooed on the inside of her lower lip, but no other tats.
Every generation has their thing, I was the 70’s girl and my parents just about keeled over from shock when I was running around braless in halter tops and cut off levis slit up the sides. haha

Here is a quick glimpse of my beautiful girl with her lip jewelery in my avatar. This was prior to the nose ring. :-)

Hain_roo's avatar

I respect people’s right to decorate their bodies as they see fit, although when I see young people with in your face tatts that can’t be covered by a dress shirt it bums me out.
And I find mutilation (forked tongues/ sharpened teeth/ pointed ears, etc,,) disturbing.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Coloma Wow, your daughter is gorgeous!

Coloma's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate She is, her’s a very pretty girl! :-)

fundevogel's avatar

@Hain_roo “And I find mutilation (forked tongues/ sharpened teeth/ pointed ears, etc,,) disturbing.”

I would bet they don’t consider it mutilation. Personally I try to reserve the word mutilation for changes made to a person’s body without their approval. Infant circumcision for instance. Now that’s disturbing.

mangeons's avatar

I don’t have a problem with it, it’s a personal choice. I might not necessarily think that every piercing/tattoo/etc looks good, but I’m not going to judge a person solely on that.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I don’t like being told what to do and I would not like to tell others what to do. But I also have a right to my opinion, and I think tatoos and body piercings look hideous. Not really my problem, but I do avoid people who have them, just because I find them off-putting.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s totally sick and twisted. It ranks right up there with people who chose their own brands of products they like, make of car they drive, clothes they wear, etc.

fundevogel's avatar

Ear pointing is the nerdiest mod ever.

Hain_roo's avatar

@fundevogel I stand corrected. I should have said ’self-mutilation’.

downtide's avatar

I have no issues with whatever anyone else decides. Personally, for myself, I like tattoos better than piercings. I like to see art on skin. Bits of metal sticking out, not so attractive.

Facade's avatar

There could be something wrong with them, of course, but having body art doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Facade : My mother doesn’t agree with you…she knows something is wrong…something dark… something evil…. something…sick.

That’s what she tells me anyway…

Coloma's avatar

Careful about passing snap judgments, remember, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, only by it’s contents. ;-)

Facade's avatar

@JilltheTooth I’ve learned that people shouldn’t always listen to their parents =)

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Coloma I still wouldn’t touch a book that has ickies all over the cover.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Facade : And she only knows about my first one. Yeah, I haven’t really listened to her for decades…

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt : Geez, you make them sound all oozy and sticky and stuff.

Coloma's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Well, admittedly I am biased since my daughter is a really great girl, pretty, smart, honest, well liked, a supervisor at her work and her piercings have never caused her to be ostricized on looks alone. Infact, she is adored by older people, old ladies just love her, piercings and all. ;-)

Also, I am free spirited type myself, so, I happen to really enjoy those that are daring and artistic in their lifestyles and not afraid to do their own thing.

fundevogel's avatar

@Hain_roo from the medical dictionary section of dictionary.com :

“Self-mutilation should not be confused with current fads for tattoos and body piercing.”

That’s of course if you meant self-mutilation in a medical sense. If you were trying to fortify your aesthetic disapproval by equating voluntary modification with self-harm…you can still do that of course, but it isn’t a correct usage of the term. It’s like if I called your church (if you have one) a cult. There may be some similarities, but technically it probably isn’t really a cult.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I bet they have father/mother issues and are into anal sex.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but my tattoos are in non-visible locations (except in a bathing suit), people rarely notice my tongue bar, and I don’t consider myself to be “icky” looking.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

The point of the question, jellies, was not if you like the way they look, but if you think there is something “wrong” with the individuals who have them. Like, are the people emotionally or mentally “off” because they want body art? Is there something “wrong” with them, that makes them want the tattoos and piercings?

Coloma's avatar

It’s all about conditioning/programming and the stereotyped associations. Like bikers and tattoos go hand in hand in most peoples visions.
I think it is always important to question our conditioning before dismissing/judging others choices.

To connect the dots of body art to everything from self mutilation to mental illness is really a stretch of the imagination not to mention, truly insane. :-?

fundevogel's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir They also eat babies.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I always wanted to be a biker…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@fundevogel What? I had garlic baby on a brioche bun for lunch. Is there something wrong with that?

Coloma's avatar

@JilltheTooth Well…now’s your chance, considering we are close in age and EVERY guy I have dated in the last 5 years has either bought a Harley or a Kayak! Shit, what is it with middle aged dudes and Harleys and Kayaks. lol

cookieman's avatar

No. No I do not think something is wrong with them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JilltheTooth You’d make an awesome biker. I’d be honored to ride with you.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe : I would, wouldn’t I? I got the ink, and the ‘tude. Now all I need is the bike. I’m pretty little, do you think they’d take me seriously if I got the Harley Vespa?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JilltheTooth LMAO, that’s great.

Hain_roo's avatar

@fundevogel I wasn’t referring to ‘tattoos and body piercings’ (and I don’t believe in organized religion;) To each his own. I envision some 50 year old guy standing in front of his bathroom mirror going….“Man, WTF was I thinking?”

fundevogel's avatar

@Hain_roo Fair enough, but I suspect the mods you’re thinking of probably wouldn’t count either, at least not without other factors to indicate that diagnosis.

I envision some 50 year old guy standing in front of his bathroom mirror going….“Man, WTF was I thinking?”

Lol. There are so many things that could lead a person to that moment.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@JilltheTooth Maybe I feel that way because I work at a high school, and most of the piercings I see ARE oozing ickies and covered with sores. As far as the tatoos, they are just distracting to me. I want to look into a kids youthful face, but all I can see is the green scales on his neck. I see lovely young ladies who would be beautiful if it wasn’t for the distraction of the black ink up and down their arms/neck/shoulder or wherever.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, @Skaggfacemutt , I’m not disagreeing with your impressions, just commenting on your wording. It’s very evocative, that’s all. :-)

Charles's avatar

Do you see something “wrong” with people who enjoy body art?

It makes me question their judgment. Are they committed to this practically permanent art? Will it have negative ramifications in the future?

Is it a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling?

Where do you draw the line? Would you go to a dentist whose face was 95% tattoos? How about a surgeon? Stock broker? There’s nothing that says these guys wouldn’t be just as capabable as anyone else, but would you feel just as comfortable?

Would you want three out of four of your neighbors to have tattoos all over their faces?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Funny how you focus on the face, @Charles , when the Q was about body art. Facial tattoos are relatively scarce compared to body ink.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Charles

I would go to a dentist with facial tattoos.
I would go to a surgeon with facial tattoos.
I don’t use a stockbroker anyway, lol.
I would take my children to a pediatrician with facial tattoos.
I would watch my husband get a facial tattoo.
I would not choose a facial tattoo myself, but to each his own.

Not everyone has tats on their face, you know? All eight of mine, yes eight, are on my torso, and remain covered in public, unless I’m in a bathing suit, or someone asks to see them. Because I know many people have tattoos that no one knows about, I’m perfectly capable of getting past preconceived notions and I’m perfectly comfortable around anyone with visible tats.

Oh, and by the way, a couple of my tattoos were spur of the moment choices, and I still don’t regret them. They’re part of who I was at that time, and I’ll keep them as fond memories forever. I don’t mind that I have a giant panther on my lower back, that I had tatted solely because I was 18 and no longer needed permission… I still like my panther, and I pet her and talk to her, LOL.

TexasDude's avatar

Judge people on the content of their character, not the color/attachments/enhancements of their skin, etc. None of my business what someone does to their body, so on.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate : My boob frog was done cuz I lost a bet in 1977. He’s bit odd looking these days, but he’s still my little green buddy. And a helluva good story.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No and yes.

If you want to have body art, for it. Personal choice. Not mine to say what works for you.

On the other hand, I reserve the right to not go to your business, to decide not to be your friend, and a zillion other things.

Why? Because your values are clearly different from mine, and I choose to support people and businesses who share my values.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@elbanditoroso : Fair enough, but I wonder how you determine that someone’s values are different from yours, especially if you can’t see their ink. Or do you only mean ink and body mods that you can see?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Their ink tells me that their viewpoint on adorning the human body is 100% opposed to mine. That’s fine with me – they can paint or pierce all they want.

Of course, if I don’t see it, I don’t know it exists.

To follow your question: Suppose I know someone and like and respect her. Then we go to the beach and I see that she has a tramp stamp on her back. Or a rose on her belly. Or an arrow down her leg.

My personal respect for her goes down.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@elbanditoroso Did you really have to call it a tramp stamp? Really? Grow the fuck up, man.

Hain_roo's avatar

@fundevogel There are so many things that could lead a person to that moment
~You got that right!

elbanditoroso's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – please supply me with an alternate term that is short and immediately recognizable.

You may not like me choice of words, but you immediately knew what I was referring to.

TexasDude's avatar

Lower back tattoo?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – not descriptive enough. That could be a one inch heart or an 18 inch piece d’art.

Tramp stamp, by definition, describes the wide one, often with curliecues.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@elbanditoroso Don’t like “lower back tattoo”? Fine, another term for them, that’s not nearly as offensive is “bumper sticker”.

Coloma's avatar

Coloma pondering…and we wonder what causes wars? lol

Jesus, if something isn’t your cup o’ tea, then don’t drink it, but, no need to make those of different desires bad/wrong. Accepting differences without the need to label others as defective IS the hallmark of maturity.

Bottom line….most of us here would have probably taken the body art route if it were our generation in question.

fundevogel's avatar

@elbanditoroso “not descriptive enough. That could be a one inch heart or an 18 inch piece d’art.”

Do you also need terminology that describes size, location and artistic merit for the rest of tattoos out there? Why should “lower back tattoo” be insufficient when noting location is enough for all the other tattoos?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@fundevogel – if I wanted to describe them (which I don’t particularly want to do) then I would want some way to be pretty exact about what I was talking about. If we’re going to argue about something, it’s pretty important to have a common understanding of what it is we’re talking about.

Unless you like arguing purely for the joy of it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I love tattoos provided some thought has gone into them and they are not just something that felt like a good idea when you were 16 but has no reason or significance. I like tattoos to have some kind of story.

No, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people that have tattoos or body piercings!

nikipedia's avatar

I love it when this happens:

Question: Do you think good or bad things about this topic?
Answer: Well, to be honest, bad things.
Original question asker: JERK!

fundevogel's avatar

@elbanditoroso Well, if the issue is specificity of meaning, as far as I know, of the terms “tramp stamp” and “lower back tattoo” are interchangeable. The only difference is one is more like to bother the person it’s being applied to.

HungryGuy's avatar

Absolutely nothing wrong with it.

stardust's avatar

Of course not.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Of course not. I do think there might be something a bit off about people who are just so opposed to body modification that they would purposefully refuse to buy a sandwich from someone who had body mod, though…

Hain_roo's avatar

You guys need to remember some of the folks here are less open-minded because they remember a time (here in the US anyway) when tattoos were only visable on soldiers, bikers and druggies.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Hain_roo Yeah, but not only is it not that time anymore, but it hasn’t been that time for several decades now.

DominicX's avatar

It isn’t my thing, though I may some day want a Latin tattoo somewhere, but I think nothing negative about people who like body modification (other than that some things are a bit of a turn-off like tongue rings).

TexasDude's avatar

I plan on getting a tattoo right in the center of my hairy, masculine chest. It is going to be Teddy Roosevelt bestride the globe with a rifle in one hand and a Navy ship in the other with the word BULLY in all caps at his feet and a great toothy grin on his face. I will sucker punch in the throat anyone who dares question its awesomeness once I get it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yes, @Hain_roo , I got my first one in 1977, and it shocked and appalled everyone I knew. They were horrified and titillated. And ultimately disappointed because it didn’t make me any wilder or sluttier or weirder or anything. I was still me, just with ink. It was astonishing to so many that it hadn’t fundamentally rocked my or their world.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@nikipedia To be fair, I was arguing an off topic point, and not an actual answer to the question. :P Quite a few posters ignored the actual question and just posted why they don’t like tattoos.

Nimis's avatar

I don’t think less of people with tattoos in general.
Though I do think less of people with terrible tattoos.

Do I think some of these people have some serious issues?
I’m going to go with yes.

fundevogel's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard You can’t see, but I’m fanning myself now.

TexasDude's avatar

I’m okay with this.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Yeah, I’m pretty sure we’re all gonna need some pics of that…

Coloma's avatar

Those are really bad, horrible infact.
I’ll take piercings any day of the week over bad tattoos. Piercings go away, bad tattoos are forever.

fundevogel's avatar

@Coloma Actually, now you can get tattoos with ink made for maximum laser-off-ibilty. I’ve never inquired about it, but it does change the stakes.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s so funny. I am always interested in how people respond negatively to tattoos. The topic always comes up when I teach deviance and socialization in my sociology classes and I just can’t believe people really do act out against these body mods as theorists say they would.

Symbeline's avatar

Nothing wrong as far as I’m concerned. I’ve heard plenty of morality issues about it that relate to standard society and image and shit, but eh fuck that. I also happen to think tattoos and piercings are awesome. I’ve also seen really amazing scarification, and I’m not sure what the term is here…getting permanent burns on your body in different shapes. I guess that’s a form of scarification, but with burns instead of carvings. A bit freaky, but it’s all cool. People do what they want with their bodies. The only thing I’d bring up is learning on what one wants to get before getting it done, and knowing what to expect. But I wouldn’t shove it down someone’s throat.
I’d like to get a tattoo some day, one of an owl. But since it’s permanent, I wanna make sure I really want it. I’d also love to get a bullring on my nose. Apparently it hurts like mad to get done though. And I’m a big wuss. :D

YARNLADY's avatar

I sometimes think just the opposite, maybe there is something wrong with me, because I think most body art ruins the looks of the person who does that to themselves.

Hain_roo's avatar

@Aethelflaed I know that, just offering the info. It’s just harder for some older folks to get past the antiquated image. :)

Aethelflaed's avatar

It’s interesting that we should be discussing this, and then just minutes later, Obama praises a woman with many visible tattoos in the State of the Union as an example of an American role model….

Keep_on_running's avatar

Not at all. We all have reasons for why we do things, if they enjoy it, good for them. Why would they care what I thought? It’s not even hurting anyone, seriously, why are things like this even an issue? I don’t see myself ever getting one, just because it seems really painful and the whole ‘permanency’ thing freaks me out.

Hain_roo's avatar

I think our prez is cool, Go Bama!! Rock on, Sir.

TexasDude's avatar

Did I miss something?

Keep_on_running's avatar

ROFL question/answer incompatibility fail.

Hain_roo's avatar

Sorry, sick pet/ netbook fail :/

Sunny2's avatar

I don’t really understand getting them, It hurts and I’m not much for pain. It would be fun to have a small heart on my butt, but not enough to actually do it. My daughter has several tats. I haven’t made any comments and I know they are symbolic of things that have occurred in her life, so I respect them.

rooeytoo's avatar

I always wanted a discreet tattoo but I am a coward, too many have told me it hurts so I still don’t have one. But I am only 67 so there is still time. And by now most everything that is going to sag already has so I will know where not to get it!

I wonder though if there is something about multiple tats and piercings that indicate an addictive personality. It seems as if many people cannot have just one. Once they have the one they have to keep getting more and more. I have 3 earrings in one ear and 2 in the other. And for a while I wanted more, but I got over it. just the 3 & 2 was pretty damned daring when I had it done!

fundevogel's avatar

@rooeytoo “I wonder though if there is something about multiple tats and piercings that indicate an addictive personality. It seems as if many people cannot have just one. Once they have the one they have to keep getting more and more.”

In my experience, it is hard not to want more once you start…but that said, if it is an addiction it’s one I can go for years without indulging. So, in my case at least, while I might refer to it as an addiction it doesn’t have the sort of urgency people typically associate with addiction.

I’m kind due for my next one this year…maybe over the summer.

desiree333's avatar

F*ck no, what a question!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My thing is – I don’t like it, I think it looks gross. I do think that there is something “wrong” with people who have it, because I can’t understand why they would want to look gross. I could (and do) mind my own business because others can do what they want, but I am entitled to my opinion, even though I keep that opinion to myself.

sakura's avatar

No I don’t mind tattoos at all and I’m thinking of getting one myself.
But this is a tad extreme!

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