Social Issues / Body Modification/Speech

Body Modification/Speech

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Autor:  anton  01 April 2011
Tags:  Modificationspeech
Words: 1381   |   Pages: 6
Views: 381

Someone once said, The tattooed body is a unique object- a naпve and provocative moving fresco.” Take a moment to consider what it means to you, to have the opportunity to be living art, to be living art permanently. Would you jump at chance or run away.


Understanding the tattoo’s origin, purpose and removal process will help you make an informed and healthy decision about your own possible tattoos.


In order to increase your knowledge of tattoos, so you or someone you know will be less likely to regret their possible tattoos I’m going to focus on the following areas:

The reason for getting a tattoo, the risks and the myths about tattoos, and tattoo removal.

The history behind tattoos is just as fascinating as the tattoo itself. Whether flaunted or hidden, sought as art or bought on a whim, the tattoo varies from culture to culture, person to person, and its place on the time line.

The Japanese were interested in the art mostly for its decorative elements, as opposed to magical ones seen in other cultures. The horis - the Japanese tattoo artists - were the undisputed masters. Their use of colors, perspective, and imaginative designs gave the tattooing practice a whole new angle. However, Polynesian tattooing is considered the most intricate and skillful tattooing of the ancient world. Polynesian peoples, believe that a person's “mana“, their spiritual power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo. The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, were elaborate affairs and were a key part of their ascent to a leadership role. The permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever celebrate their endurance and dedication to their cultural traditions. Where as, the Hawaiian people had their traditional tattoo art, known as ‘kakau’. It served them not only for ornamentation and distinction, but to guard their health and spiritual well-being. There was also widespread tattooing among Native Indians. Outstanding warriors were recognized by their tattoos, and woman of some tribes were tattooed to indicate marital status and group identity. Tattooing as an art form has over the years been claimed by many countries tribal and ethnic groups. People have always striven to change one’s appearance, and for millions of people throughout time, tattooing has been one of the most popular forms of permanent body art.

(TANSITION: Now that you’re more familiar with the history of tattoos, let’s continue to my first point: people who get tattoos)

However tattoos started, they are here to stay. 24% of Americans ages 18-50 have tattoos. That is 1 out of every 4 people with a tattoos. Tattoos have become more popular in recent years, and the people who get them are just as diverse as the styles and designs they choose. Tattooing has been a male-dominated art form. The typical tattooed person has been a military man, sailor or prisoner. But, these days, tattoos have lost a lot of their “taboo” stigma and have become much more common in mainstream society, especially in the United States. You can find visible tattoos on professional athletes, white-collar workers celebrities and college kids. And increasingly, you’ll find that the person getting a tattoo is a young woman. Surprisingly, the tattoo statistics for men and women in the U.S. are now nearly identical. 16% of all American males are tattooed while 15% of all American females sport tattoos. Today, tattoos are becoming less taboo and more accepted as cleaner, more professional shops open up and the artistic boundaries are pushed with the medium of tattoo art. Also, the advances in color and other tattoo equipment have made tattoos more than just a symbol or a testimony, but a real piece of art on skin. During the last ten years, according to U.S. News & World Report, tattooing has become one of America's fastest growing categories of retail business. There are now an estimated 15,000 tattoo studios in operation, furthermore, it is estimated that at least one new studio opens daily

(TRANSITION: We just discussed the people who get a tattoo, I’ll share my 2nd point: The myths and risks of tattoos.)

No matter how popular they are you should always consider the risks of a tattoo before you let the ink mark you skin. The process of tattooing involves needles that move at very fast speeds to penetrate the outer layers of the skin, between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. The needles break the skin, and inject dots of ink into the third layer, creating the image of the tattoo design in the skin. Whenever you are getting a tattoo, common sense and a bit of safety are always the most important considerations, but there are a few myths about tattoos and their safety. Such as hepatitis and HIV. When getting a tattoo, most people fear these two the most. However according to the Center for Disease Control summary about tattooing states in it’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports, that there has been no documented cases of HIV transmission through tattooing anywhere in the country since it began tracking such data in 1985. By comparison, there have been at least 7 cases of HIV transmission associated with dentists and dental workers. Another concern is hepatitis yet, of the 13,387 annual cases of hepatitis reported, only 12 are associated with tattoo studios. By comparison, 43 cases - or better than 300% more - are associated with dental offices. Because tattoos work by piercing the skin with a needle and injecting the ink the risk of infection when getting a tattoo is always there. If the tattoo artist isn’t sanitary and doesn’t clean his equipment after every use, the risk of infection will be much higher.

(TRANSITION: We just discussed a few myths about tattoos, now I’ll share my final point: Tattoo removal.)

At some point or another or for various reasons, people often make the decision to get their tattoo removed. Tattoo removal was once a pipe dream for those who made the decision to get "inked" and then felt reluctant about it later on. It used to be that once you got tattooed, you were tattooed for life. That no longer is the case. Today, tattoo removal is a real possibility, although the methods used and the ultimate results may vary based on a number of factors. How completely your tattoo can be removed depends a lot on how expertly it was applied and the type of ink used. Professionally administered tattoos are usually applied at an even skin depth, making the ultimate removal more effective because the ink is all in the same layer, receiving equal treatment. Tattoos from more questionable sources such as jailhouse artists or some guy named Chuck who does it in his family room, however, can be much harder to remove. Laser surgery is by far the most effective and most popular method of tattoo removal used today. Laser light is applied to break the ink pigments under the skin into particles small enough for the white blood cells to carry away. This method can virtually erase a tattoo to the point where no one would ever know it was there. Costs vary from one removal provider to the next, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 for a small tattoo to over $2,000 for large scale body art. The number of treatments necessary also effects your ultimate price. There are some social programs available that offer free removals for certain types of tattoos, including gang colors and symbols. While removal is a possibility, your skin will probably never look completely normal again, so make your choices wisely.

A tattoo can be a very beautiful and artistic way to express yourself, provided you know a little behind its history, common purposes and the removal. I sincerely hope this information helps you or some you know make a safe and regret free decision

Concluding Remarks: I leave you with this final thought, What does the opportunity to be “a moving fresco” mean to you?

Work Cited

Bernstein,Mike, aka “TattooMike” in person interview at Fine Line Tattoo studio, Mesquite,TX July,19,2007

Gilbert,Steve.Tattoo History:A Source Book.New York:Juno,2001.

Hudson,Karen.Chick Ink:40 Stories of Tattoos and the Women Who Wear Them.Avon:Adams,2007.

Miller,Jean-Chris. The Body Art Book.NewYork:Berkley,1997.

Swan,Anna.“Tattoo Statistics: Americas Ink Trends”.May,16.2006

Wilson,Tracy."How Tattoos Work". April 01, 2000 http://www.howstuffworks.comtattoo.html (July 23, 2007)

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