Gone are the days when just prisoners and society's drop-outs desecrate their bodies with symbolic representations of their killings or gang-related misdemeanour's. These days it's become socially acceptable, even expected, to coat yourself in an ink disguise. Without a tattoo you are considered a jock outcast- forever exiled to the realms of decency and dweebness. You are considered a sissy, an over-achiever, a wife-beater-consuming coke-sniffing pop-music-loving commercial junkie.
Mothers nationwide frown upon new piercings, tattoos, haircuts that inspire images of awkward poodle shavings. They forget that time breeds change. As the decades have swum passed trends have developed, broken, sustained and switched into new categories of existence. What was once considered as a badge for the screw-ups has now evolved into a broach for the trendy. We wear our ink proudly, showing it off with a pompous confidence that proves our alternative coolness, our separation from the over-crowded commercial society we dwell in.
Problem is, in trying so hard to be quirky and alternative, we've spread our influence, taking over the top spot in the race for majority acceptance. We no longer hold the minority, we seep into conventional society, declaring our difference all the while dominating the populace. Despite the irony of this situation, we remain a proud gaggle of human existence. We continue to inject ink into our skin, we pierce and stretch any appendage that can be located by a plastic glove-wearing sadist. We strut like peacocks, flashing our decorations like Christmas trees, glittering like proud glow worms.
I knock our separatism, yet still sign up for it every time I add to the growing list of baubles that adorn my body. I like it, we all do, that's why we partake. We give ourselves a sense of tribal recognition; connecting through sight with others of our kind, nodding in the direction of one we respect, sending our mutual condolences to those, like ourselves, who are outcasts. ([sic] all irony.) We “creative types” with our “alternative ways” and “trendy traits” will undoubtedly become a generation of child-rearing awkward misfits who were once cool, yet now are left with daily momentos of the folly of our youth.
None of us are likely to ever don a suit, we choose careers that allow for individualism, fearing the future and what our adornments will mean for it. Bring on times and their changes, I vow to retain my difference, to be an ageing hippy, to defend my tattoos to the end.