This is for all the young people out there…
Tattoos are awesome; I have always wanted one. Not enough to actually get one, but I think my commitment phobia might have something to do with that. Plus my deep-seated belief that it’s best not to draw any additional attention to this malformed body of mine. So I live vicariously through other people’s tattoos. I like to see what and where uncommitmentphobes decide to tattoo, and lately I’ve noticed a few troubling trends.
Let me start on a positive note. We are fortunate to live in a time and a country where you can literally become anything you want. Trust me; if I can become a network engineer, anything is possible. The world is your oyster. If you can dream it, you can be it. (Insert all other hokey life-affirming quotes here.) You are limited only by the obstacles you place before yourself, and perhaps a bad tattoo choice. Because no one wants a surgeon with PANCAKES tattooed across his knuckles.
I remember when tattoos started becoming popular outside the military and the prison system in the 80s. I still recall my college buddy gathering us all around the pub table to proudly display his new ink, a tattoo of the Cheetos Chester Cheetah on his bicep, while we all appropriately ooh-ed and ahh-ed at his coolness. Then I thought: This is really cool now, but someday he will be a 50-year-old man with a snack food mascot on his arm. Not cool.
Soon all the young men were getting tribal tattoos and the young girls were getting tramp stamps. Then came the Chinese character tattoo phase, followed by the sleeve tattoo phase. Somewhere in there was the rosary tattoo phase but I can’t remember when. Which brings us to today’s trend of tattooing outside areas that can be easily covered, specifically the face, neck and hands. I have two words for this trend: Perry Sanchez. (See also DIRECTV’s poor decision making Rob Lowe commercial. Meathead Rob Lowe is way better, but the message is clear.)
Pitbulls and Parolees is a fantastic show. Who doesn’t love rooting for the underdog(s)? So I enjoy watching it instead of doing the housework that needs to be done. One day during said activity, my total bad ass husband (PTST) walked into the room while Perry Sanchez was in a scene and asked ‘’Why does he have a racing stripe on his chin?” As I am often wont to do, I told my husband he was wrong; they are not racing stripes, but center of the road double line markers.
I’m no psychic, but I’m pretty sure that is not the reaction Perry was going for. I am quite confident there is a deep, meaningful reason Mr. Sanchez chose this method of expression, although I am unable to find it on Google. I’m willing to place a shiny quarter on betting the reason was not so bored, bickering middle-aged couples would ponder what inspired him to put traffic guides on his face.
Ahh, I hear the voices of the young screaming, this is the point. We refuse to conform. We don’t care what middle-aged people think. We will never be our parents. And I laugh so hard at the innocence and naivety that I can barely finish writing this sentence, along with all the other older people reading this who know, despite what Mick Jagger says, time is not on your side. Proof to point: Snoop Dogg is a youth football coach; the Toxic Twins are sober; ditto Keith Richards (allegedly); Ice Cube is a family-friendly film star; Duff McKagan founded a weath management firm; Suge Knight—the only one still living the thug life, so to speak—collapsed in court because he hadn’t been able to successfully manage his diabetes while in jail; 50 Cent—Get Rich or Die Tryin’—got rich and then spent all his money on tattoo removal so he could get richer being in more mainstream movies; Justin Bieber ten years from now–enough said.
Unless you Kurt Cobain or Heath Ledger yourself, you will grow up, you will age, you will wonder what you were thinking when you got that snack food mascot tattoo. Trust me on this. (Please take note that both Cobain and Ledger were smart enough to avoid a face or knuckle tattoo.)
Continued next week…