Some Tattoos and Piercings Continue to Be Taboo

Some Tattoos and Piercings Continue to Be Taboo

Though having tattoos and piercings in general has become more accepted there are still practices that remain taboo even among tattoo professionals and body art enthusiasts alike. Once the sole domain of sailors, criminals and outcasts of society tattoos have now gone mainstream. They are displayed by actors, sports stars, and public figures. They are used in advertising to sell products, and are even the basis of reality shows.

But even the staunchest tattoo supporters consider certain tattooing practices and subject matter to be taboo even in these progressive times.

Hand and face tattoos, above the collar and below the cuff, are considered to be only for the most dedicated and hardcore. You may not even be able to find a reputable tattoo artist to do these. All the shops I have had work done at refuse to do face and hand tattoos. Perhaps there is too much buyers remorse associated with them. They are certainly more difficult areas to work on and for tattooist, their tattoos are living billboards attesting to their skill. Why risk putting out substandard work or having your client regret the decision to tattoo such a visible area?

While you can most certainly find someone who is willing to take your money and do these types of tattoos, you may be trading skill for willingness to do what most won’t.

The first thought on most poeple’s minds when confronted with a facial or hand tattoo will be that you are a gang member. Certain tattoos in the webbing of the hand and teardrops on the face are those most associated with gangs. While not all such tattoos are gang related, your average citizen has no idea as to which are which, causing confusion and possibly discrimination based on ignorance.

While not completely taboo, we still consider having the name of your significant other tattooed on your person a bad decision. Perhaps you’ve heard the jokes that as soon as you have someone’s name tattooed on you, you will break up soon after? A famous example of this is the “Billy Bob” tattoo that Angelina Jolie had while married to actor Billy Bob Thornton. The two divorced and she had the name lasered off. While laser tattoo removal is a viable option, most of us can’t afford it or don’t want to go through it.

Piercings are also becoming more accepted. You can’t turn on the television most nights without seeing at least one pierced navel, nose or eyebrow.

Depending on the location of your piercing, you will find it to be less or more acceptable to certain people. Pierced navels are the hot thing right now. Pierced noses aren’t so much out of the ordinary anymore either and are also a cultural modification. Pierce your eyebrow though and you are flirting with the edge of acceptable.

I kept the piercing long after the job ended, but I did finally compromise my personal love of piercings to appease the Gods of Public Acceptability. In fact, though I have multiple tattoos, you don’t usually see them in my street clothes.

In the future, piercings and tattoos should continue to become more acceptable in polite society, but be warned that some practices could cause you problems in the here and now.

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