It’s a complicated question. Tattoos were originally viewed as private and private life. In part, it’s because the average person doesn’t think about that stuff, but even more so, because of the public shame we’re all taught never to acknowledge when people show off their tattoos. There are a lot of tattoos out there, and no one understands what they mean, so people think that they’ll just fade away eventually.
But to tell you the truth, this isn’t always a problem. When you’re growing up, we’re taught that these markings are not for public attention. We’re taught as kids our tattoos are for decoration. Most people are aware that tattoos are not something to be ashamed of for, but that’s the way adults are. There’s an understandable fear factor when you’re a kid, it’s your body. People have a sense that once you’re done you can forget.
But when I saw other people’s tattoos, I realized that it was something I was proud of, not ashamed of. It’s like when a black person gets a new tattoo, that’s kind of awesome, but to me that’s not always the case. It gives me energy to do something other than look at the body I’m in.
So I want to tell the public what is going to happen in the future. Tattoos are part of our psyche and people don’t know how to process certain forms of art. The majority will be taken off and the ones that remain will be marked with “X” and “O” that represent “X-rated” art. “X” represents violence or a negative message to youth, “O” is a symbol of a sexual element. The ones left intact that are a representation of love will be placed in the most inappropriate places. These symbols are not meant to be a symbol for people who like tattoos, for them to forget this is a personal part of our psyche.
I have to admit my first reaction was a little hurt that I was going to get this tattoo. But on the other hand, it’s definitely something I had to do. I wanted people to know what I felt about it, and I wanted something I could put on my chest that would communicate it clearly. Like when a couple kisses and you say, “I love you” you don’t even feel like you’re saying those words.
How has growing up changed you?
As a child, my whole world was centered around my mother and my aunt who
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