Tattoos Are More Common Than Ever Before, But There Are Also Consequences
Decades ago, it felt like tattoos were taboo. If you had ink on your skin, then employers wouldn't hire you. Your partner's parents might not take you seriously if you have tattoos all over you. Now, the number of folks with skin art has increased incredibly. More than ever, American culture is embracing individuality and self-expression. If you're considering getting a tattoo, however, there are some things that you should be aware of, including the risks. Wait until you find out what can happen to your body...
Are They For You?
Of course, tattoos aren't for everyone. Some people love them, and there's no problem with that. They say that tattoos can become addicting, and once you get one, you'll want 20 more. Someone with a tattoo on their arm might want it to become a full sleeve.
That might not even have been what they originally wanted, but the first one came out looking better than expected. Do these same people know of all the risks that come with the ink?
The Process Of It
Everyone old enough probably knows the process of getting a tattoo. An artist grabs the needle and applies it to your skin with the ink. It's pretty straightforward.
The main objective is to get the ink in the deeper skin layers. That means the needle needs to be fine and dipped while repeatedly sticking into the skin where you want your body art to go. If it sounds like it hurts, don't worry because it's just a little tingle.
Call It A Body Modification
When you think of tattoos, they fall into the same category of other body modifications. For example, they're in the same kin as piercings, hair-dye, branding, splits, and many other bodily changes.
Some people like to decorate their body to the fullest extent. That includes ear and nose piercings, colored hair, and tattoos wherever there is space left. At a certain point, it becomes more than just art, and the modifications are expressions of themselves.
The Cultural Aspect
Modding one's body isn't something that spurred out of nowhere in popular culture. People have been doing it for centuries across all cultures. Have you ever seen the giant lip plates Ethiopians use? What about the Chinese foot-binding?
Getting creative with your skin isn't new, and shouldn't get frowned upon in any manner. It's what humans have been doing for so long. It just took a while for the trend to hit the western world...
Entering The Western World
Even with tattoos being popular so many centuries ago, things didn't pick up in the western world until the 19th century, thanks to a certain captain. When Captain James Cook came back from Japan and Polynesia with one, he set the trend.
Many became inspired by the sailor and followed in his footsteps. During this time, people were only allowed to get inked overseas, making it easier for those in the military to get onboard of the cool trend.
When it comes to the Polynesian culture, they look at the art of tattooing differently. In America, some view the act as defiant, whereas cultures like the Maori and Samoans see it the exact opposite.
For hundreds of years, they've been well-versed in tattooing. They do it for traditional purposes, so it's token of honor more than anything — even more of a reason to never feel ashamed of your body art. Your ancestors might've had ink all over their body as well...
The Start Of The Art
Finally, after some time of tattoos only being accessible overseas, things changed. When German artist Martin Hildebrandt saw a market opportunity, he opened up a shop in New York in 1846.
People all across New York rode the wave like no other. Then fast forward to 1891, and the electric tattoo machine came out. That's when tattoos became available for all classes. The world of ink had opened up like no other thanks to that new machine.
The Other Side Of The Coin
Even with the positives that come with tattoos, there still is a dark side to the art of inking your body. After it became easier to get ink into people's skin, people became easier to mark.
One of the most famous examples of this is the marking of innocent Jewish people during the Holocaust. This cruel act turned people into nothing more than a number they could never erase. That's just one of the cons associated with tattoos...
Livestock Aren't Safe Either
Not only have humans felt the repercussions of the wrong side of tattoos, but animals have too. That's right, even our livestock is susceptible to tattoos.
Livestock animals such as pigs receive tattoos inside their ear to signify their age, health, and if they're ready to be slaughtered. If it's a painful experience for people, imagine how the animals must feel about it, especially if they don't know what's going on.
With the previously mentioned ill-side of tattoos, there are still plenty of positives about them. They can help people cover things they aren't too proud to look at, such as scars or burns.
In this light, tattoos make many people feel way better about themselves. Some amputees like to get creative with theirs, and many people enjoy tattoos for an added touch of humor. See, tattoos aren't all that bad...
Saving Lives With Tattoos
Tattoos even come in handy to save lives; we bet you all didn't know that. There are medical tattoos that have messages for doctors like someone's blood type, or if they're an organ donor or not.
Some also indicate a person's allergies or warn against resuscitating. All of those things combined come in handy and are very helpful if you ask us — more reasons why you can't stay opposed to body ink for too long.
Symbolizing Something Important
Like we mentioned earlier, tattoos show a person's sense of pride or belonging. Look at music artist Adam Levine. He sure does have a ton over his body, but we're pretty sure at least some of them means a great deal to him.
It could be a date, symbol, or word that carries much importance to a person, so much so that they get it forever marked on their bodies. There are tattoos specified for religions, nationalities, and much more.
What's The Big Issue?
Even with all the pros surrounding tattoos that seem to outweigh the cons, it isn't surprising that more are getting inked. People are getting tattoos without a care in the world, but should they be more concerned?
Why would they have a cause for concern if tattoo parlors are clean? Even with the proper hygienic care, there are still some issues surrounding the whole process. What do you think these concerns could be, because it can't be that bad, right?
Dealing With The Pain
One of the most glaring downsides with tattoos is the pain that comes with them. Yes, some people like to get them after a few drinks, but others endure the discomfort like champions. Some say the process becomes unbearable.
Others say that it stings more depending on where you get the art done. Some artists hurt more than others as well. One of the places where the pain is intolerable is on your spine. Getting one there might cause you to take four shots of whiskey before heading in.
Beware Of Infection
Another issue that should cause some concern is the risk of infection. There would be few things worse than finally getting the tattoo of your dreams, only later to find out your arm swollen red.
If someone whom you don't trust or know very well offers rates that are too good to be true, there's probably a reason for that. Even after leaving the parlor with a perfect tattoo, you still have to avoid things like pools, dog licks, and particular creams to ensure safety.
What's Inside The Ink?
In this new age of people becoming highly concerned with the food they put in their body, are they equally as cognizant of what's inside of the tattoo ink? What if they're getting tattoos without knowing what's going inside of their skin?
"Not only is the ink made out of extremely dangerous chemicals, like carcinogens, but it also has traces of lead, bacteria, nickel, and arsenic," AOL reported in 2016. Wow, that sounds highly dangerous...
Tighter Restrictions In Place
Naturally, adverse reports about the ink led to health departments becoming concerned around the globe. That isn't the type of news you can ignore, so something had to be done.
They've concluded that the ink can possibly cause cancer, congenital disabilities, and bring harm to your lymph nodes. A few countries have implemented tighter restrictions around tattoo ink ingredients. Still, that can't stop some from getting body art. There are other ways to meet that desire...
Henna is an Alternative Option
If you or someone you know becomes concerned over the ink, don't fret. Some alternatives are just as cool, but not as permanent. There are stick-ons you can try to bring out the inner child (of course there are adult versions).
You can also give Henna a try. However, be cautious if you're going that route. Henna has given some folks a severe reaction even though the ink isn't getting injected in their skin like regular tattoos...
Don't Be Too Alarmed
Have we scared you enough yet? Don't worry, however, if you've already received a full arm sleeve. There is no concrete proof yet that says tattoos cause severe issues. That's just part of the research.
Don't be afraid to get more. Remember, it can be part of your heritage, you can have a tattoo to honor a family member who's passed away, or you can have one to remind of you something special. That's what this next person did...
Rock On Emma!
Actress Emma Stone for sure didn't stop from getting the ink on her! She took the risk if you will call it that, so she could honor a loved one. After her mom beat breast cancer, she had tiny bird feet put on her wrist.
The feet are in honor of The Beatles "Blackbird," which is her mother's favorite song. What's better is that Paul McCartney designed it himself. That's one cool perk of being famous.