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So I’m sitting in front of my computer this morning, and I come across this article on the Sydney Morning Herald website. Paula Joye, the writer of the piece, questions the value of tattoos and expresses her confusion about current tattoo culture.

As a tattooed man myself, I find a lot of what she says in the article offensive. Some of what she says is true, particularly about younger people thinking something silly suddenly has more meaning if you write it in Japanese characters, or mimicking the choices made by celebrities, but she seems to make the assumption that everyone who gets a tattoo is making a stupid decision. It’s that kind of “holier than thou” attitude from people like her that continues the trend of people with tattoos being treated with less respect than we deserve.

Just because she believes people get tattoos as a fashion accessory, doesn’t automatically make it so. I’m sure that happens, but I’m not one of those people, and it pisses me off that people would read something like this, then look at me, and make assumptions that are flat out wrong.

She is also right that tattoos are a life decision, and anyone who doesn’t realise that by now really is a fucking idiot, but she equates that with the belief that if you are going to get a tattoo, you should make sure its meaningful, and it will reflect an attitude that you will have for the rest of your life. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.

The point of tattoos, to me at least, is not always to express some sort of deep meaning. If you have one dedicated to a lost loved one, or to commemorate an important event in your life, that’s great. Really, it is. But not every tattoo has to be like that. I have a ‘Plants vs. Zombies’ tattoo on my arms, a plant on the right arm and a zombie on the left. I didn’t work on the game, it didn’t save my life. Nothing big. I just really like the game. And if I don’t like it in 20 years, IT DOESN’T MATTER. That is not the point.

I can look at every tattoo I have (around a dozen now, with plenty more to come) and know where I was when I got them, how old I was, what I was like as a person. It’s like a scrapbook or a photo album of who I am that is a permanent fixture on my body. And I think that’s beautiful. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about that, it’s what it means to me. Just like anyone else with tattoos should be proud of what their work says about them. That is the point.

So please, Paula Joye, get your head out of your fucking arse, and learn to have some respect for people who think differently to you. Your word is not gospel any more than mine.

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