Biotechnology

Richard Cohen Regrets my Tattoos for Me

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Take this, Dick Cohen

Richard Cohen wrote a ridiculous, no good, very bad column about tattoos for today's Washington Post. I've excerpted the most polemical parts of the piece to give you an idea of his thesis:

Tattoos are the emblems of our age….The tattoo is the battle flag of today in its war with tomorrow. It is carried by sure losers.

About 40 percent of younger Americans (26 to 40) have tattoos. About 100 percent of these have clothes they once loved but now hate. How can anyone who knows how fickle fashion is, how times change, how their own tastes have "improved," decorate their body in a way that's nearly permanent? I don't get it….

The permanence of the moment—the conviction that now is forever—explains what has happened to the American economy. We are, as a people, deeply in debt. We are, as a nation, deeply in debt. The average American household owes more than its yearly income. We save almost nothing (0.4 percent of disposable income) and spend almost everything (99.6 percent of disposable income) in the hope that tomorrow will be a lot like today….

[T]he tattoos of today are not minor affairs or miniatures placed on the body where only an intimate or an internist would see them. Today's are gargantuan, inevitably tacky, gauche and ugly. They bear little relationship to the skin that they're on. They don't represent an indelible experience or membership in some sort of group but an assertion that today's whim will be tomorrow's joy.

For those of you who lost count, here's a quick list of Cohen's claims: Old people tattoos are thoughtful, discreet, and better than young people tattoos, which are ugly, tacky, thoughtless and never tied to a group identity; one will feel roughly the same way towards one's tattoos several years after getting them as one does towards one's clothes several years after they have gone out of style; and the mentality that leads a young person to get a tattoo is the root of America's eminent economic demise.

Wow, Cohen sure knows an awful lot about tattoos for someone who doesn't have any. His knowledge of economics is far more impressive. I'll refrain from defending body modification culture, which is as diverse and fascinating as the people who comprise it, because Cohen's lazy stereotyping doesn't deserve an extended rebuttal. And while I'm tempted to deconstruct his tenuous parallel between Social Security, the illusion of permanence, and tramp stamps, I will instead respond with a sampling of the statistics that would have forced Cohen to abort his column in the conceptual stage, or at least find a different whipping boy for his economic frustrations, had he bothered to do his homework:

How do people without tattoos feel about those with them?

Many Americans who do not have tattoos said they think that people with tattoos are less attractive (42%), less sexy (36%) and less intelligent (31%). They also think that those with tattoos are more rebellious (57%). In contrast, only 29% of those with tattoos think they are more rebellious.

Do people regret getting tattoos? A majority of Americans with tattoos (83%) do not regret getting them, while 17% do feel regret. The survey found that regret for getting a tattoo was highest among tattooed Republicans (24%) and among those living in the South (21%). And, the reason cited most often for feeling regret about getting tattoos was "because of the person's name in the tattoo" (16%).

Thank you, Mr. Cohen, for regretting my tattoos for me.

NEXT: The End of Humanity: Nukes, Nanotech, or God-Like Artificial Intelligences?

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  1. I don’t have any tattoos, but I wasn’t crazy about Dick’s column either, as I briefly noted at my blog:
    http://avanneman.blogspot.com/2008/07/richard-cohen-has-no-penis.html

  2. Is that a picture of you, Mike?

    Anyway, it is the continuing realization of the retarded things I would have written on my body when I was younger that keeps me from getting tattoos. Basically, I don’t think I’ll ever really be old enough to get a tattoo.

    (Not hating on the tattooed.)

  3. Phil D,

    Man, that was cryptic. You deep, man. You deep.

  4. My only tattoo regret is that I haven’t enough hidden body parts for more. Three small, tasteful but very hidden tats and two piercings outside of those in my ears were enough to teach me that they are addictive.

  5. Those of you scratching your heads at Phil’s image: say it out loud, and it will make sense. 🙂

  6. Sorry, Phil D. I was going to literal.

  7. “too literal” even. Fuck.

  8. Richard Cohen is still alive? And people care what he thinks? About anything?

    Seriously?

  9. It is carried by sure losers.

    I’ll have to introduce him to my wife. I’ll make sure to put down some plastic sheeting first, to make the post-maiming cleanup easier.

  10. IT is all fashion. Right now it is cool to have a tatoo. Some day it won’t be anymore. When that happens all of the people who got them are going to look so old and so stupid.

    I don’t dislike tattoos and who cares if I or anyone else does. It is a free country and people should be free to tattoo away. But, I think a lot if not most of the people who have them are some day going to regret them. Come on, how many people who got those tribal bands on their arms in the late 1990s are having buyer’s remorse about now? I am thinking about 90% of them.

  11. Cohen was too harsh with the “sure losers” thing, but I would never get a tattoo. I actually like the way some look, but two years on I would be bored with it… then what?

  12. And newspapers wonder why they are losing subscribers? Why pay for a Washington Post subscription for stuff like that?

  13. Did Cohen advocate banning them? If not, this is a libertarian issue, how? Or the usual Reason mag — “if it’s culturally untraditional, it must libertarian!” — assumption.

    Tattoos can be cool, but they are often ugly. As an ugly person, I am qualified to say.

  14. John’s point only holds for tatoos that look hip and trendy.

    A good tattoo is like a claw foot cast iron tub; cool when it was new, cool years later. A bad one is like a forest green fiberglass tub liner. Your bathroom is WHAT color?

  15. While I can see the point of a colorful and beautifully rendered tatoo, who do people have bad black and white ones? I saw a girl yesterday and she had Roman numbers from one to twelve on her arms, almost like it was drawn on with a pen.

    Is it a prison thing?

    I was on a jury for a murder trial once and one of the defendants had a tatoo of a teardrop on his face and his nickname was teardrop. During deliberations a juror said that was a mark of someone who had once killed somebody else. I think that statement and the tat itself influenced the verdict.

  16. Sure seems obvious to me that there is a correlation between tattoo culture and a “live for today” mentality. Maybe it’s only weakly correlated, and certainly not enough to be used as a launching point for a diatribe against general US economic trends, but still…

  17. Cohen is probably way too old and out of touch to comprehend the sea change that attitudes toward tattoos that has occurred. There are loads of professionals with tattoos, in addition to the people Cohen had in mind as “sure losers.”

  18. joe’s analogy is apt.

    I myself would never get a tattoo (I have enough scars anyway) and generally am wary to do more than have sex (as in, have a relationship) with girls with tramp stamps, as it seems a mark of totally faddish trendiness and unoriginality.

    A woman with a tasteful, unique tattoo or tattoos is probably OK. I just don’t really like them aesthetically.

  19. I will say that I am often amazed by how terrible some of my friends’ tattoos are (though I fully support their right to sport them)
    I can dig a classic little rose on a woman’s ankle, but I’ll never be able to understand a giant Insane Clown Posse tattoo covering someone’s entire shoulder

  20. Yeah Cohen’s column – or lecture on society, really – is incoherent.

  21. I personally don’t care for tatoos. I have seen some cool ones, but never felt one was cool enough to have it inked on my body.

    But you know what is really ridiculous?? People who waste their time attacking others who and the morons who publish those attacks.

    Why does anyone even give a shit about Richard Cohen? maybe his next column could be about those damn kids next door who wont stay off his lawn ?

    Maybe the WaPo is going after the 70+ demographic to try and get new readers?

  22. I think the tear drop on a con’s cheek is to indicate that he’s been in prison for one year.

  23. And newspapers wonder why they are losing subscribers?

    Um, no, I doubt they “wonder” why. Newspapers are losing subscribers because people now read the content online. There’s nothing to wonder about, though clearly you personally remain confused about the reason.

    In fact: I’m sure there are a whole lot more people now reading Richard Cohen’s column, because it is on the web, than would have read it if it were still buried inside a batch of printed pages that typically got thrown away at the end of the day. For better or worse.

  24. Dont trust the number who said they didn’t regret their tattoos until you know how long they had. Everyone I know who is 40+ and has a tattoo regrets it because almost every tat looks like shit after long enough – 20 years can turn a slick looking tat into a distorted and distended blob.

    That said – its funny to watch old people bitch about stuff young people do.

  25. In summary: “Damn kids, get off my lawn, turn down that crazy music, things were so much better in the good old days. Back in my day we…”

  26. Somebody should tell Cohen that these kids swear, too. I’d love to see that fucking column.

  27. My tattoo says “Richard Cohen Sucks!” I do not regret it.

  28. This is also but a Forty Cent cab ride from Adolf Loos’s ridiculous assertions regarding body ink as a metaphor for the decline of civilization in “Ornament and Crime”

  29. Has Cohen ever met any veterans? Guys all have tattoos, at least since WWII. When you visit a VA hospital, sometimes you see tattoos that look better than their owner.

    Hey, Cohen, here’s another column idea for you: some kids are now “evolving” Pokemon instead of owning good old-fashioned dogs and cats! Clearly the nation is going downhill.

  30. SO kill the mood

    You’re right about that. She’ll be living forever with “There is no limit to it’s faith.”

  31. If they’re good enough for circus freaks they’re certainly good enough for me.
    You just wait–mullets are coming back too.

  32. I work at construction sites sometimes, and a lot of the tattoos I see there look like they serve as signals to your buddies that you are loyal to a working class community. You can signal your loyalty by stamping yourself with images that make you less acceptable to “higher” socio-economic groups. So, it seems like speaking “black” to me, in that, while it’s not for me to judge, it seems that, as a group, the people doing that to themselves aren’t exactly doing themselves, or their identity groups, any favors.

  33. Right now it is cool to have a tattoo.

    Many people think tattoos are “cool”, but I’ll bet if you sat at your desk and drawed on yourself with a magic marker, most of these same people would probably think you were borderline insane.

  34. anarch beat me to it. Bad grammar tattoos are really embarrassing.

  35. They also think that those with tattoos are more rebellious (57%).

    I feel the opposite. Having a tattoo is less rebellious as being goth and wearing black*. So many people have tats and it’s so trendy that having one makes me think the person is not rebellious. It could be worse though, they could have a henna tattoo.

    * Wearing a pink shirt to a Depeche Mode concert, now that’s rebellious.

  36. All I know is a tramp stamp makes for a good target during the cumshot.
    I like to try to take out the unicorn’s face first, and hope it drips down to its feet.

  37. anarch beat me to it. Bad grammar tattoos are really embarrassing.

    I have an Asian friend that loves fucking with white people with Asian character tattoos. He’ll laugh and say, “Do you know what that means?” They’ll respond with, “It means tranquility* in Japanese*.” He’ll say, “Actually, it says whore*.”

    The first time he did this, I asked him, “Dude, aren’t you Korean? When did you learn Japanese?” He responded, “I don’t, but she doesn’t know that.”

    * Or whatever

  38. “if you sat at your desk and drawed on yourself”

  39. I say we kidnap him and put a tattoo on him. It should be a tramp stamp just to teach him a lesson. It should have an outline of a handprint on each side with “Max capacity of 2” in between the hand outlines. Let him try and keep that quiet. HA!

    Disclaimer: I don’t have any tattooes but I love tramp stamps on women. It’s like a bullseye to me.

  40. True story: I used to want a tattoo of the little chickenhawk character from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. Feisty little guy, fighting the bigger guy, fearless…

    Fortunately, I decided to give it some thought, thereby buying myself enough time to stumble across the slang meaning of the word “chickenhawk.”

    Dodged. A. Bullet.

  41. @ Mo: Click, my friend, click on my name.

  42. Tattoos are a medium for expression, they can represent individuality or a way of following the crowd. Trying to pigeonhole all tattoos and people with tattoos into a group is asinine.

  43. I don’t have any, but I like tattoos. The whole body piercing thing kinda creeps me out, though.

  44. I feel rebellious NOT having any. Most of my friends are tattooed and pierced to the hilt, but I find it all a little silly. I have some piercings myself but I took them all out when it got trendy. And as it happens, I prefer the look of an attractive body part in its natural state, without being scrawled upon.

  45. Anarch,

    Did you really do it or was it just an article you found?

  46. My dad, a WWII-era veteran, had numerous tattoos on his arms. I thought they were cool when I was little, and wanted to get one myself. I never did, though; the desire just died out by the time I was seventeen or so, and I’m glad of it today.

  47. @anarch: That’s awesome. And far more devious than anything I could come up with to mock ignorant people who write on themselves with permanent ink in a language they don’t understand.

  48. Just an article you found.”

    Just he says, like it’s nothing, like it’s not anything to find, and produce, and display, properly for Chrissakes, the right article at the right time, for the right audience. Jeez.

    Rhywun: After serving as President, Millard Fillmore established the University of Buffalo, and was later offered an honorary degree by Oxford University. He declined it because he had never studied Latin and suggested that it was not right for a person to take a degree he couldn’t read.

  49. I agree with Cohen in the large. Most tattoos are stupid, because most tattoos are permanent. You’re not going to be young forever. The body sags and the skin stretches. The reason I never got a tattoo is because I saw all of my dad’s Marine buddies’ tattoos. A Marine globe-n-anchor tat looks cool when you’re twenty, but it looks like a blue green blotch of skin cancer when you’re seventy.

    1. an aged tattoo may not look cool, but that is not what its about, it probably means alot more now to them, its aged and worn just like them

    2. an aged tattoo may not look cool, but that is not what its about, it probably means alot more now to them, its aged and worn just like them

    3. an aged tattoo may not look cool, but that is not what its about, it probably means alot more now to them, its aged and worn just like them

  50. Buyers remorse

    joe–I worked with a guy who, back in the 80’s got the Domino’s “Noid” tattooed the length of one his calves. A couple years later, no one knew what the hell it was. We had fun laughing and pointing.

    Personally, I don’t get the whole desire about bodily decoration/mutilation, but to each his/her own. Go nuts.

    If you’re my kid, I reserve the right to point and laugh even more.

  51. I agree 100% with Richard Cohen.

    To me they are a sign of low class and stupidity.

    The current trend of tattooing large portions of the skin with these ridiculous and ugly designs will come back to haunt most in future years.

    Some colors cannot be lasered off or leave a white mark. Eradicating these tattoo sleeves, for ex.,will not be possible.

    We all know that we grow and evolve with the years. A 19 or twenty-something is making a permanent decision that will become their worse nightmare years later.

    I HATE TATTOOS!!!

  52. Barbara Morgan,
    You need some serious cock action.

    1. couldnt have put it better myself

  53. “I feel the opposite. Having a tattoo is less rebellious as being goth and wearing black*. So many people have tats and it’s so trendy that having one makes me think the person is not rebellious. It could be worse though, they could have a henna tattoo.”

    That is so true. Look at the guy in the picture; the glasses, the hair, the beard, the huge ear piercing, the tattoos. It all adds up to the uniform of the punker alternative white guy. I have seen at least 300 people in my life who look exactly like him. Not that there is anything wrong with looking like that. The people I have known who fit the description were usually nice guys. But they really were a lot more conformist than they thought they were.

    We used to have a list of archatypes for young people in the mid 1990s. I can’t remember all of it but some of them were

    punk dude or girl with lots of tatoos and piercings wearing army boots

    light skined black dude with dreds

    white hippie dude with dreds (usually seen wearing ripped t-shirt and jeans)

    aging frat boy in kaki pants or shorts

    there were several others that I have forgotten. But basically most people had a uniform and wore it faithfully.

  54. Not a tattoo fan myself, especially on women. As a guy, it’s not like I need visual cues to direct me to what’s worth looking at. Heck, I’m not even keen on jewelry or makeup. I figure if the unadorned female form was good enough for Rodin to work with, it’s good enough for me.

    (Keen?! Yeah, I’m showing my age.)

  55. joe | July 22, 2008, 4:59pm | #
    A good tattoo is like a claw foot cast iron tub; cool when it was new, cool years later. A bad one is like a forest green fiberglass tub liner. Your bathroom is WHAT color?

    As the owner of a couple custom works of skin art I have to agree. I pity all those overly chipper girls who got Taz or Tweety tattooed on their ass cheeks ten years ago.

    My art is mine and mine alone. Well, except that one was a 5th wedding anniversary marker so my wife and I both have it. Time to start designing the ten year marker.

  56. Brandybuck | July 22, 2008, 6:47pm | #
    You’re not going to be young forever. The body sags and the skin stretches. The reason I never got a tattoo is because I saw all of my dad’s Marine buddies’ tattoos. A Marine globe-n-anchor tat looks cool when you’re twenty, but it looks like a blue green blotch of skin cancer when you’re seventy.

    See, I never understood this attitude. You are going to get old and die. Maybe you won’t even get old first. Twenty year old tits that are firm and perky sag when you are 80. Strapping young muscles turn to flab. It’s a fact of life.

    Do you really not live your life now for fear of how you will look when you are old? Do you do that with anything else, say eating meat or drinking too much wine on occasion? Do you wrap yourself in bubble wrap in hopes of reaching your 100th birthday? I know I couldn’t live my life that way, fearing for what the next day may bring.

  57. Kwix–I get what you are saying and having no regrets is one helluva way to live. I try, but don’t always succeed.

    When you start getting into the neck and face tats, that’s basically flipping off the world in general, so I see where the mainstream animosity against them comes from, even though they’re the exception.

    Odds are, you won’t be closing a million dollar deal with a flaming skull wrapping around your throat. You’re making a statement that you want to be this person at this station in life for the rest of your life. I just look at that and shake my head; I think it’s foolish beyond anything, but that’s just my own personal code being projected.

    As long you, with the face tats, are happy, who am I to judge? But, I also see my daughter doing something stupidily impulsive that will follow her for years, like an obvious and visible tattoo. As Dad?, I obviously don’t want her to impair her future potential.

    20-something wisdom is far different than 40-something. I’m not too impressed with the crop of 20-somethings that I’m seeing at my job. More teenage attitudes than than adult. That’s not good long-term decision making material.

  58. jp
    I think the tear drop on a con’s cheek is to indicate that he’s been in prison for one year.

    I heard it means they’re gay.

    1. means they killed someone while in jail

  59. The only thing I learned from this was don’t get a tattoo of someone’s name, unless it’s your dog. Because you always fondly remember past dogs, and your current dog won’t give you crap about it.

  60. having no regrets is one helluva way to live. I try, but don’t always succeed

    Click, my friends, click on my name.

    As JFK did not say: today i am a cockroach

  61. Two things:

    1. Tattoos were the second worst thing to ever happen to pornography, with cheap breast implants being number one.

    2. At WZRD-Chicago, a typical left wing hippie commie radio station (home of Pacifica news), of all the crap scribbled on the walls, only one thing rang true: “Conformity is worth it”.

    Still makes me smile to this day.

  62. 1. Tattoos were the second worst thing to ever happen to pornography, with cheap breast implants being number one.”

    Man isn’t that the truth.

  63. The odds of any one individual inking a million-dollar deal are incredibly low, tattoos or not.

  64. Homer: If you want something to remember him by, I say get a tattoo. It’ll be a constant reminder of the one you love.

  65. The column IS dumb, but not even half as dumb as the idiot in the photo.

  66. they make reversible tattoos now. something with putting ink pellets in the skin that biodegrade when blasted with a beam of the right wavelength. ten years from now this entire discussion will have just been so much pissing into the abyss

  67. Personally, I like tattoos. It lets me know who works in the warehouse.

  68. Richard Cohen has been such an ass for so long I have to wonder if he didn’t just write many years worth of columns for the Post and just disappear to somewhere like the Hindu Kush, where he’s now enjoying a life of long drags off a hash pipe while he laughs at the jackass persona he created and which still lives on at the Post.

    I preferred tattoos when they were the property of old sailors, prisoners, bikers, and tribesman from deep jungles. Back then a tattoo was a sign of a rite of passage or a display of alienation — I don’t what the fuck is going on with them now. I don’t know if a visible relic of a rite of passage makes sense in a society where so many people never seem to really grow up.

    Of course I was covered with freckles from a young age, I was tattoos naturally if you will.

  69. [Fillmore] had never studied Latin and suggested that it was not right for a person to take a degree he couldn’t read.

    Ha, ha – smart man; and founded my alma mater too!

  70. I should add that I generally find that “old guy” tattoos often ARE better, because they often signify some sort of “brotherhood” or whatnot. Like when Rico and his pals get them in Starship Troopers. But today it’s more often just a way to attract attention – a conceit I find unattractive.

  71. Two points related to tattoos:

    1) I work on tallships. They are, to a great extent, part and parcel of the history and the culture. I don’t have any, but it’s because I haven’t yet sailed through the south pacific. When I do I will be getting some from the locals along the way, mapping part of my life and travels.

    2) I see a lot of junk on people. Not all of what I see on people is junk. I plan, even before the south pacific sailing, to get a jollyfish (see the FSM) on my ribs. Think of it as my version of a cross – it is fitting for me and something about me that will never change.

    Tramp stamps are fun to play with, but so much of what you see is unserious and regrettable down the line. It is permenant – that’s half the point. They can be an elegant declaration of permenance, of loyalty, etc. Hence the history in gangs (such as a military group or street gang). As far as names in tats go, at least stick to your kids names. Lovers pass.

  72. Lovers pass.

    Not when its to me and Betty from 3rd period English. We’re like totally forever. OMG!!!!

  73. What’s all this yapping about?! So Cohen wrote an opinion about a style he doesn’t like — so, who cares!? He’s entitled to his opinion.

    Judging from the number of comments — and the nature of his work — it was good to write it, even if not one person agrees. Traffic to the site, Baby!

  74. It may have been mentioned already, but there are some awesome science-inspired tattoos over here.

  75. Tomorrow will never come, sure, but tattoos inevitably make today, yesterday.

  76. Are yous fellas joking about the tear drop tats? It means one of your homies got greased. (and that you are a faggot, obviously. Why do I have to be Mr Pink?)

  77. Somewhat surprised it wasn’t posted yet:
    Red vs. Blue on tattoos.

    Personally, when I think about getting a tattoo, I’d want “DON’T PANIC” somewhere I could see it.

  78. Right now it is cool to have a tattoo.

    Fashionable is not the same thing as cool.

    -jcr

  79. I can see getting a wife, maybe a few kids, but a tattoo? That’s so permanent.

  80. Would I be inapropriate if I stated here that I HATE tattoos, especially on women? In the spirit of liberty, though, I recognise your right to scar and mutilate your body as you see fit.

  81. Wow, what a f*cking dumbass.

    Way to completely talk out of his ass about something he genuinely knows nothing about. To me this is equally as retarded as saying that musical taste has something to do with how ideal a presidential candidate is.

    People get tattoos for different reasons. (You can’t compare the drunk moron who gets tweety-bird inked on their forehead to someone who has a portrait of their dead relative/hero on their back.) Obviously, not all of them are good reasons or they didn’t plan it out well enough to get good work. Or they got tattooed in prison. Shoddy work is what doesn’t age well, and even the best quality tattoo will probably have to be touched up after many, many years.

    Judging someone based on their decision to get a tattoo is ludicrous, considering you don’t necessarily have any idea why they got it. Even a seemingly ordinary symbol or phrase could have deep meaning behind it that you’re way too much of a jackass to inquire about.

  82. Don’t forget: the police really admire your tattoos, so much so that they wish to take pictures of them, because cops know two things: tattoos are forever[1] and those photos will come in handy to identify you next time you attract police attention, which you likely will, because you’re either a criminal or a fool.[2]

    [1] Laser removal has belied this recently but it’s so costly and painful at present that most people don’t bother to get it.

    [2] Of course there are exceptions– you might (have) belong(ed) to some special subculture like the Navy or Merchant Marine, etc. in which even respectable people get tattooed, or you might hail from some exotic culture where tattooing doesn’t indicated stupidity or criminality– but the exceptions certainly do not swallow the rule.

  83. I am a retired sailor. I’m a biker, and I’m a redneck.

    Triple threat. But I don’t have a single tattoo.

    Why?

    Because it’s MY form of rebellion.

    When I was a sailor, all the sailors were getting them…so I didn’t. I’m still a biker and most bikers have them…so I don’t.

    Now it seems that everyone has them. Little old ladies and pencil necked geeks are getting tattoos these days.

    Not having one is my way of saying that I don’t need to follow the crowd like a lemming, I don’t have anything to prove. And I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m a “loser” because I don’t have a tattoo.

  84. Listen bro. i know your getting your emotions all up in a tizzy, but dude… wake up and smell the mocha la tae. your writing a article about tattoos, and thats cool and all. but bitchen about why people rejected your article is not gonna solve anything. the only thing its gonna do is make you look even more like a ass than you already are. As you read my comment that i have written to you you might be wondering something like ‘damn this guy is a dick.’ or Most likely you might be sitting their all hyped up, and all pissed off thin ken all defensively and negatively. the fact of the matter is just so simple bro… You alienate your self, and use it as an excuse to get back at everyone thats rag en on you. and then you build on your failure to fit in with the {norms}, and thats what drives you to be an even bigger dick to everyone that dose not agree with you for what kind of person you are. Now im not saying that any of this is true, and my judgement of you could be totally wrong. but just be chill for a sec and think about what im saying bro..

  85. My body has been covered in moles and marks since i was small and I get them checked regularly and I am quite healthy, however I have always been selfconcious and embarressed about revealing myself in public or even to my partner in private. Im wondering if an answer would be to “colour in” and create something to be looked at rather than have something to hide….. for the rest of my life!

  86. To all those who say that tattoos are just a fad (like the mullet), I say not. Tattoos have been around for over 5000 years and will continue to be around for another 5000 years. It is only in the Great (yea right) USA that they no longer have a cultural meaning. But then again the USA has very little cultural meaning. Go on a trip to to any country that is older than 250 years old and you will find that they do have very big cultural signifagance. Tattooing is one of the oldest ways of saying “I love you” with out using words. I would know all three of my kids see that I love them everyday, I do not even have to say it. Try this site out and then you can go on with your “I hate tattoos” out look. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/…..23606.html

  87. Do none of you appreciate that this is art?

    there are distasteful tattoos,
    terrible artists.
    bad decisions.

    but if you truly feel for something, if you can connect an emotion or memory with a song, can not have the same love for art? enough so that they feel they should never forget it?

    everything has meaning.

    you guys sound like a bunch of old people. The stats are debatable.

    society has accepted far worse.

    Not that we ever asked for any sort of acceptance.

    insightful.
    Thank you for making me realize how close minded people are capable of.

  88. being.

    it is just skin.

    My body is a canvas.

  89. i love it. i don’t regret any that i have. matter of fact i got another one yesterday. and 1. i’m republican 2. my girlfriend thinks its sexy 3. i’m not rebellious (i’m a church worship leader)

  90. i love it. i don’t regret any that i have. matter of fact i got another one yesterday. and 1. i’m republican 2. my girlfriend thinks its sexy 3. i’m not rebellious (i’m a church worship leader)

  91. I’m heavily covered from neck to toe, and I just graduated from Colombia. I guess that makes a moron.

  92. I’d also like to note, that when I roll up my sleeves, or take my shirt off, woman flock to me with extreme interest and attraction

  93. i hate articles on tattoos. people love, people hate them, no one is forcing you to get them, we need to grow up because we have a tattoos? you need to grow up and get something better to do with your time besides be in other peoples business. full ride to one of the best highschools in manhattan, full ride to private college, 20 years old, full sleeve and chest piece, 2 years away from masters degree, thanks, i must be a moron as well.

    1. Way to go brotha, congrats on all your achievements! Only close minded people think you are a moron…and who cares what they think..sounds like you will be making more than them anyways 😉

  94. Boxers or briefs, polo shirt and dockers or t-shirt and jeans, clean shaven or scruffy (physical region unspecific), bumper stickers, car models, lavishly moneyed or conservatively spartan… pleasantly plump, obese or chiseled: Even without referencing the thousands of years that tattoos have been seen, accepted and or scorned worldwide, in America, people have and will ALWAYS choose to paint their own portrait and display their choices in a myriad of ways. Passing judgment onto others or passing off posted opinion as fact is ridiculous. As a matter of fact, I’m sure just about everything listed above will change in the eyes of the fashion gods within the next decade or so (powdered wigs *cough* pantaloons, white faces and the bees-knees), and I’m assuming those who will have partaken will deny ever having owned a pair of alpha-flights and liked it. I’ll accept the choices of a tattooed youth over the lecherous, the drunk, the woman-beaters, and just about anyone else who makes “poor” choices that adversely affect and directly harm themselves and those around them (look up the statistics on those “poor” choices)? but wait, we’re talking about tattoos, not poor choices? right?
    Please pardon my poor grammar and for those who wish to? get inked!

  95. I really enjoyed reading this year old and some article. I work at a Community College as a counselor, and I have kept my tattoos a secret. When this article was published I had tattooed my second tat and it was somewhere visible, on my calf. This came after 4 years since my first one. I had craved a second one for so long. Since then, I have added over 3000 dollars worth of tattoos. No Regrets and I want more. I am also in grad school, with famed writers – and am an artist that has sold art – and a portion is given to the needy, I volunteer my time to my community, I go to bible study, I recently had tea time with a Republican Primary Member, it went well. Hell a preacher’s wife from another congregation said I’d make a wonderful husband. I said maybe after Grad school.

    1. I forgot to mention, the reason I keep it a secret because its so much more fun and I work with an older staff, They’re older by at least 20+ years more. The ones that are more my age I have shown them and they think its cool. Out of 71 applicants they chose me, me being the youngest and least experienced. I don’t think Tattoo hinder youth, nor label ignorance. Most ignorance lies within your deepest desires or curiousness.

  96. Ok, is this page serious? I find it funny that people can label someone ANYTHING by what they do to their body. There is something to be said about American society that changes people by their “color” of their skin instead of the content of their character. Some of the nicest, smartest people I know are covered in tattoos. Sham on anyone that would convict someone of a crime simply based on if they had a teardrop tattooed on his face (as indicated in previous statements). Tattooing is something personal. So piss off if you don’t like it, you don’t hear me bitching about all the fucking fat asses in America…which is the most obese country in the world I may add. Also, I have tattoos and could give 2 shits if someone does or doesn’t when I meet them…I let their character do tha talking.

  97. Gotta love the swastika tattoos on my white supremacist neighbor’s arms, or the huge spider tattoo on the girl’s neck in the Wal-Mart line the other day. Now that’s high class!

  98. In my opinion, tattoos are not only a form of expressionism, but also statements. Statements that will never go out of style like clothes do. A person’s skin is their own personal canvas. Tattoos give everyone a unique identity. Stephen Covey once said “Strength lies in differences, not similarites.” Break the mold, dare to be different, color your skin. The world is an art gallery and I’m a piece of art in it. That is all I have to say.

  99. And another thing. Yes tattoos are permanent, but so is marriage (for the respectable, old fashioned, loyal folks) and not to mention, kids! Some may say they don’t want to risk getting a tattoo they might regret in the future. But for instance, let’s say a very close loved one of yours died of cancer. Would you regret getting a memorial tattoo for them? Or in memory of your best friend of 40 years, or man’s best friend (your dog, of course), or any other reason anyone might have for putting something on their body that means something to them. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s personal. Us tattooed folks don’t rag on you non-tattooed folks for not having tattoos. What has become of the human race? Just learn to be open minded and overall, civil! Good god. Okay, now I’m done. Thank you and goodnight.

  100. This is ridiculous. A person should do what they want with their bodies. As awful or stupid an idea may sound, it doesn’t matter, it’s their life, it’s their body. I have nothing against tattoos, I love them, they’re a way of expression, such as any other type of art. Cohen is a dumbass.

  101. brilliant. thank you for tearing a strip off that self righteous idiot xD

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  103. you know what the difference between someone with tattoos and someone without is.

    the person with doesnt care if you do or not.

  104. your an ass get a hobby that doesnt belittle people….blogging is for people with no friends….

  105. Your tattoo looks great, and you are so fucking cute it hurts.

  106. Easy rebuttal about his clothes and tattoo comparison. Clothes are temporary art is forever. Thank you.

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