THE PERMANENT STEREOTYPE THAT COMES WITH TATTOOS
This morning as I dropped my six-year-old son off to school, he asked me…. Daddy, do you still like having your tattoos? Yeah, sure I said. I mean, I better, right? Can’t really do a whole lot about them now. My son continued the conversation, ultimately asking me that if I didn’t like them, why I couldn’t I just erase them.
As I proceeded to explain things (thoroughly confusing him by now and making it ultra complicated), I sensed he was over it and on to something that had much more meaning to his existence (video games). I, however, was still left thinking about his question, along with my tattoos, long after he left, and we said our goodbyes.
Now as luck has it, at the very moment there seems to be a story trending that just so happens to pertain to what I was thinking about. Here you have Hall of Fame basketball legend Larry Bird:
Championships, MVP awards, endorsements, money, fame, and a beloved icon to his home state of Indiana. What more could someone want, right? Well, not tattoos.
Seems Larry legend doesn’t appreciate a recent artist rendering of him that depicts a cool, young Larry fully tatted up. In that respect, Bird refers to the mural as “tarnishing his brand and image by affixing tattoos to his body“.
Furthermore, he asked the creative artist to remove said offending tattoos, to which she’s graciously accepted, with both sides coming to a compromise with removal of all (tattoos) but one.
Look, I know opinions will vary on this subject. Some people care for tattoos, others not so much. But to feel like they tarnish your image or brand – the hell exactly does that mean?
Is it a black or white thing, or more of a societal hang up? That said, what does that say about society? That it is still uptight and rather conservative. And is there discrimination over tattoos?
Of course, that is our world. The fact that the world is now predominately covered in tattoos confuses the situation further, where it’s a polarizing issue with both sides grounded in their convictions.
But to imply that maybe you don’t want to look like an uneducated thug, (which is a preconceived notion out there) – is that what Larry Bird meant? That he didn’t want to be looked upon in that light. I guess I’m trying to understand, but it’s not like he was a rocket scientist anyways.
Really, he was a fugly basketball player. Is it safe to take the under and say that ninety percent of the league is inked up now.
Be that as it may, I get it. Different strokes, huh. Not everyone wants ink, and especially a large amount of them. After all, it takes a certain type of strength and confidence to endure the persecution that comes with it.
I’m sure over time there have been certain jobs or opportunities where I may have been excluded (unbeknownst to me), and even some companies that would not be too happy that lurking underneath those clothes, their key employee was all tatted up.
I even remember an occasion where I tried picking up some random chick at a bar, and she was repulsed by my tattoos. She actually told me that. She was turned off by them and she wouldn’t go home with me. That only happened one time but does happen. Anyways, f*** her.
Over the years I’ve had a few weird looks too especially when someone “discovered” I had tattoos. These are the same jackasses who follow up that look with the question, Do you regret it? No, but I regret the conversation I’m having with you.
That’s the world we live in. What appeals to you may not appeal to me. I guess Larry can like what he wants and it’s his right. In that same respect, I like tattoos, and I don’t think it interferes with what I want from life. You could even say “my image and brand” involves them, and the thought of having them removed would only harm that.
Maybe I’m not the best endorsement, but I don’t regret mine, as I’m perfectly happy carrying them for the rest of eternity. Prejudices are alive and well, and just reality. To make the case that only uneducated barbarians have tattoos is stupidity though. More and more business professionals are developing the confidence in their abilities and are becoming secure enough to say screw it and the judgement that come with.
Sure, some assholes may view you in a different light, but it’s what your tattoos represent and the meaning it gives. Let them be a symbol of your strength and confidence in your ability. That despite any preconceived notion, you are the best at what you do.
Not only that, but life would just seem so boring if I couldn’t desecrate my flesh without something to always remember it by. Plus, it would leave me feeling rather naked without them. Educate yourself on your situation, because nobody will do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.
–The Educated Felon