So you’re sitting on the train and you spy a largest man looking shifty, he’s got a large puffy jacket on and has some sweat beads rolling off his forehead, he’s of middle east descent and therefore he must be a terrorist packing a bomb.
Or you’re at a meeting and the guy you’re talking to has a red nose, he’s agitated and sniffing frantically all the time – he’s a coke head.
This is what social norm perception teaches us via popular media.
Perception is crucial to living, and as hard as we try, we all judge, it doesn’t matter how good a person you think you might be it’s in our nature to label and categorise. But we have to be careful, we were all told as kids not to judge a book by its cover – not to take this literally though as some of the shittest books I’ve ever read do indeed have the shittest covers. Let’s not forget that perception and opinion can change so quickly in our ever expanding world, social norms do not stay normal for very long.
Revolution is the idea of mass change but that change often originated with one and their creative way of seeing a picture that has already been painted. So what am I getting at.
Tattooing has been part of our culture for centuries. 5000 years ago is the earliest recorder tattoos. On a man called ‘ötzi the ice man’ his preserved body was discovered on a mountain between Austria and Italy. He bears a total of 57 tattoos. We can’t clarify that he was accepted by his peers as a revolutionary or a weirdo but we can assume that because he was one of the firsts he must of made quite a stir.
The fact is since its creation tattooing has done nothing but grown in popularity. Whether it be the commercial side or the art or even the dark and scary side of criminal culture. Today we are at a time where the most unlikely people decide to get tattooed. I recently went to my studio with my mother who at 55 thought it time to get some ink. It’s so accepted these days even stars like cheryl cole are adorned with tattoos on her hands.
However the general consensus still seems to be; tattooing is something that people say ‘you’ll one day regret’. Maybe I’m different but I don’t get tattoos to make a statement – or even for art really. I get tattoos to mark a time, a place, a thought, a spark of understanding – a growth in myself. My body is my diary of my journey through life. And judging my tattoos is just you not understanding. So next time you see tattoos don’t just label them a muppet without a brain, a rebel without a cause because that might just undermine someones whole existence.