Tattoos | Shout Out UK

At school it is widely taught to celebrate art work; with thousands of field trips to national, and local, art galleries occurring everyday. However, the second tattoos are mentioned teachers begin preaching about how they are a bad life choice and anyone has one will never be taken seriously in the professional working world. Yet, isn’t a tattoo just a permanent form of art inked on to the skin? And aren’t they the same people who minutes before have praised art to be a great gift that everyone should appreciate? There are truly talented tattooists in the world like Ondrash or Freddy Negrete who aren’t widely celebrated because their chosen canvas is skin instead of paper.

Why are tattoos considered bad art, when a video of David Beckham sleeping is thought to be extremely cutting edge within the art community? At a job interview if someone didn’t get the job for the pure reason they’re a woman or of Jewish descendant it would be considered acceptable in our modern society to take the company to court under the equal rights act. However, if someone was to be told they weren’t being given the job because they had a tattoo no action would be taken against the company and nobody would take the complaint seriously even if someone tried to take action. Is this a form of unnoticed discrimination or is this an acceptable thing to do?

In a recent study over 15% of people claim that they wouldn’t like to be served food in, even a fast food outlet, by a person that has a tattoo because it ‘looks dirty and may mean the restaurant is unhygienic’. This is because in the past people with tattoos were often drug addicts or thugs and even though over 30% of young people in our modern day society now have at least one tattoo, the perception of tattoos doesn’t seem to have moved forwards with the times. Other people in the study claimed that ‘they don’t mind tattoos in themselves, but find some peoples tattoos offensive’. Is it acceptable to get a vividly realistic tattoo of a naked body on your arm? In most cases it probably isn’t, but in essence it isn’t really much different to going to an art gallery and viewing ‘The Origin of the Milky Way’ by Jacopo Tintoretto. Understandably, tattoos portraying hate messages or condoning violence probably wouldn’t be considered appropriate in most people’s work places, but should everyone with more appropriate tattoos be tediously tabooed for the minority with indecent ink on their skin?

While tattoos can be celebrated as some of the greatest pieces of art created in the today’s society, other people will view them as a sign of bad choices and spontaneous stupidity. As it stands, 60% of employers would be less likely to employ someone if they were to have a tattoo, yet many will have artwork dotted all around their companies building. If one went to a gallery and bought a piece of art for their living room they would proudly proclaim it to the world and allow all their friends and family to come and have a look at it. If one went to a tattoo studio and got a piece of artwork woven into their skin with ink, they’d shamelessly hide it from certain family members and be frowned upon by other members of society. Yet shouldn’t good art work be recognised no matter what mediums were used to create it?

Imagine calling someone a terrorist for wearing a hijab, or telling someone they weren’t good enough because they’re an amputee. You wouldn’t do it. You know that it is wrong. There is no difference between judging someone for their disability, race or religion to judging someone on a mainly harmless lifestyle choice. Having a tattoo should have nothing to do with the way people view you in society; someone in the world is the key to curing cancer and global warming and yet may never get the opportunity to be allowed on the charity funded research projects because they had a tattoo. The media already control the way many people perceive themselves and show daily that looks are more important than anything else, and employers are no different. Do we really want to live in a society that bases everything around how people look?

BY: Eleanor Pollock

online poll by Opinion Stage