Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

The Truth About the Truth

April 22nd, 2010 by

I don’t mean to be a Negative Ned over here, but sometimes I read stuff that is just too annoying and plain stupid to not break out some serious criticism.  That being the case, I feel that there are two types of criticism when it comes to tattoos: those leveled by people within the tattoo industry, i.e.: tattoo artists, people who are tattooed and people who although they may not be tattooed, are generally pretty well informed about the state of tattooing.  These complaints range from tattoo artists who’ve sold out – for example, certain artists who choose to be reality TV stars; criticism of certain tattoos and the work of certain tattoo artists, and of course, the lack of understanding and tolerance for tattooed people by non-tattooed people.

Then, there’s the second type of criticism.  This type is generated by an entirely different group of people, people who more often than not have zero real exposure to people with tattoos (passing a tattooed person on the street doesn’t count as exposure), tattoo art, tattoo studios, tattoo artist, you name it.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this particular group of people wants things one way and one way only.  (In case you’re still wondering, that one way happens to be a world where tattoos have ceased to exist.)

The author of this article definitely belongs to the latter group of critics.  The article itself explains in ridiculously biased fashion why everyone should steer clear of being tattooed or pierced.  Or at least that’s what it’s trying to do.  In reality it’s more an article about why people shouldn’t get pierced, with a few small tattoo references thrown in for good measure.  Referencing highly obscure incidents and making them seem as though they happen to every single person who gets tattooed or pierced is more than just lazy writing, it’s also irresponsible.  Kind of ironic considering that the author of the article was trying to prove how irresponsible tattoos and piercings are.

“…There have been reports of everything from tetanus to toxic shock after piercing.

And “minor” germs can spread to produce life-threatening infections. Even if you avoid germs, your latest metal or paint work might still cause havoc. Swelling and bleeding are common early on.

Piercings can take ages to heal, especially in the navel, nipple or genitals and can leave nasty scars.”

This ladies and gentlemen, is little more than fear-mongering.  Am I trying to say that these things can’t happen?  No, of course not.  But I can guarantee you that more people die each year from automobile accidents, drugs and alcohol or domestic disputes than from tattoos or piercing.  In fact, I can guarantee you that more people die each year from A LOT more threatening things other than tattoos and piercing.  Why the author feels the need to discourage people from getting tattooed isn’t exactly clear, but one thing is very clear: it’s okay to criticize the tattoo world and everything that goes on within it, but if you’re going to do that, you might want to try to at least get a glimpse into that world before you go spouting obscure statistics as if they were as common place as snow in winter.

I really hope that anyone who is considering a tattoo doesn’t allow their mind to be made up by the type of cheap, shoddy journalism on display in the aforementioned article.  If you really want to get a tattoo but aren’t 100% sold on the idea yet, wait until you are.  Or better yet, get real information from tattoo artists and hell, even talk to a doctor if you’re worried about effects to your health.  There are tons and tons and tons of reputable tattoo artists out there and believe me, caring about your health is their business.  But don’t take it from me, do your own research.  Just don’t believe everything you read when it comes to the negatives associated with tattoos, because there’s negatives associated with everything.  Do your research, take your time, be smart, keep an open mind and everything will be fine.

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