A trend you see growing among fashionable youth, and not just so-called “bad kids”, but even the very popular cliques, is tattoos. I see more and more otherwise well-coiffed college kids and young professionals sporting obvious tattoos. Not just the little clovers or roses on the ankle that can be discreetly hidden with clothing, but obvious tattoos including tribal patterns encircling the bicep or spread across the small of the back. And I’m also seeing it more often on girls than on boys.
This article, “Tattooing and the Illusion of Permanency”, looks at the mindset among young people that thinks that what I like and do now is what I will like and do for the rest of my life.
Those teens who get them seem to imagine that the tattoo will accurately define them for the rest of their lives, forgetting that this stage, along with the identity that the tattoo provides, is destined to recede into the past. When it does, the earring can be removed, hair grown in, spikes flattened and pants refitted, but the tattoo is there to stay. And the day will come when you will say: “This is no longer me.” Your identity will have changed.
Does anyone think back to when they were 16 or 17 or 18 and think that they are the same people now that they were then? Not only do I look different, I think of myself differently. I have different values, I want different things in life.