I'm kind of fascinated with tattoos. I don't have any, mind you, but I like them … in moderation. David, though he was in the Navy, doesn't have any either, although many of his contemporaries do. Our son got a tatt when he was 18, legal age in Colorado for a tattoo. He didn't mention it to us and since it was in an inconspicuous spot that we rarely saw, I was none the wiser. Besides, his purple, spiked hair and piercings far out-trumped any hidden tatts at the time. He's added to his collection over the years, including a Nine of Cups logo on his forearm.
Good old Captain James Cook, one of our favorite navigating heroes, brought the word tattoo back to Europe after visiting Tahiti and New Zealand on his first voyage to the South Pacific. He called it tattaw. I would imagine his first view of the fierce Maoris with tattooed faces was quite a sight.
When you look at the definition of tattoo, it's pretty barbaric. According to Wiki, it is “body modification made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment”. So it makes one wonder why so many people would want to do this? They cost from $50+ for a small single color flower to thousands for high quality, intricate, multicolored designs. Some are so lifelike and well done, they're really true works of art. But on my shoulder?
A recent study and subsequent newspaper article entitled “Easy Ink” indicated that men perceive women with tattoos as having looser morals, especially those with little tattoos on their lower backs called “tramp stamps”. I wonder about men with tattoos then. Do they perceive themselves as being loose as well? Actually, when I envision a male tramp stamp, the image that comes to mind is the probable “plumber's crack” just below it.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. Many cruisers get tattoos in French Polynesia when they travel through the Marquesas. It's kind of a right of passage. Tattooing there is an inherent part of the culture and the tattoos have significant meaning. We came in from the south end of French Polynesia through the Gambiers, so missed our tattooing opp. Probably just as well. I have visions of old folks who are a bit too fleshy and wrinkled in their later years with tattoos that kind of sag. I have enough sagging parts, thank you. No need to emphasize them with ink.