Tattoos: Art or Self-Mutilation?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Kessel Runner, Aug 6, 2002.

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  1. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    For the vast majority of my life, I have felt that tattoos were vulgar, ugly, and distasteful. Even if I knew better, I immediately thought less of a person for having one. I never EVER considered getting one myself.

    Recently my opinion has changed drastically enough that I actually have one. I am curious whether our other esteemed members of the Senate Floor stand on the issue of "body art".


    As a secondary question....what about body piercing?
  2. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    A tattoo is ink on your skin. No biggie.

    Of course the extent (and designs and locations) you choose to mark yourself can be plain-out sick.

    Disclaimer: Which, naturally, is only my humble opinion.
  3. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Thank you for the disclaimer...of course this thread will be a discussion of opinions, but I'd like to get at the root of these opinions, if possible....why do you feel the way you do about tattoos?
  4. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I think if you have lots of tattoos and they are really prominent, it can be distracting. The same way that clothing can be distracting. But it is your right. I personally think tattoos can be really cool, but of course it's up to each individual whether or not they want something permanent like that.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  5. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    I used to dislike tattoos and piercing . . . but now I find that it's just a matter of taste. I don't object to people piercing their ears. If you pierce another part of your body (or tattoo a part of your body), you're dealing with the same principle (make hole, insert metal).

    So it's about taste. I would personally never get anything pierced. That's just me. I might get a tattoo, but never anything large or obscene. Or funny. Because nothing's so funny that it doesn't get annoying after a while.

    If I did get a tattoo, I' probably do it as sort of a memento (kind like yours :p).
  6. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    So, solojones, do you feel that the placement of the tattoos are important? Do you ever think about the implications of having the tattoo when the person is elderly?
  7. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    So, why are tattoos better than piercings for you? (and I'll admit I agree with you)

    But doesn't it seem odd that a piercing can close itself up. The body can heal from it (depending on where the piercing is) and a tattoo is permanent, yet we find it less upsetting to get a tattoo on ourselves...

    I must admit I like mine, but every once in a while I think....will I like this when I'm 75?
  8. TeeBee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 3
    I have no problem with tattooing, but I will admit that lots of ugly ones or ones that are on parts of the body that are distracting and difficult to cover don't impress me much. On either sex.

    A young man that occasionally rides my bus has a pot leaf tattoo about the size of a silver dollar. Right in the middle of his forehead. I can't imagine what he was thinking. Maybe something like... "Let's see, how can I make sure people will never be able to look at me without staring, while at the same time severly limiting my job opportunities for the rest of my life..? Oooooh! I know...!"
  9. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    I don't understand earrings. Your ears are a handy place to append jewelry, but why poke holes in your skin for that?

    I'm a big natural-beauty guy, I guess :p

    I prefer tattoos to piercings because tattoos can really represent something.

    I hate paragraphs.

    Single sentences are the waves of the future.

    // is prophetic
  10. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    I agree TeeBee.

    Mine is on my upper left arm. It's high enough that you can't see it even if I'm in a T-shirt. It's relatively small, about 3 1/2 inches across, oval. It's a SW tattoo...I got it in line for AOTC (along with about 30 other people who were camped out for the movie).

    I will say this too, though. They are addictive. I NEVER in a million years thought I'd get one. Before this one was healed, I was already planning another.
  11. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    KR- I like your tattoo, too :) I do think people should consider how they're going to like the tattoo when their older. That's why I think it's better if you can cover it up...

    Placement of your tattoo really depends on whether you are getting a tattoo for other people to see, or as something you personally find important :)

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  12. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Sometimes I wish people could see mine easier....It's truly amazing how much cultural norms in regards to tattoos have shifted over the past 10 years. When I was in college very few people, except for "extreme" people who were often drug users, etc. got tattoos. Now, everyone seems to have them, and flaunt them.

    I find this societal shift just fascinating....I wonder why this occurred.
  13. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I don't know, honestly. I understand why people want their tattoos to be seen, but if they are too prominent it could create problems in the future, and in jobs.

    I think yours is in a good place (shoulder) because you can wear a sleevless shirt and it's visible, or you can cover it up.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  14. tenorjedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2000
    star 5
    It really depends. On tattoos, some can be art but others are just an eyesore. Personally they're a turn-off for me. The absolute worst are the old faded ones. Some very attractive girls have these old blueish stains on their skins that just repels you.

    On body jewelry, some can be alright but too much is stupid. You might think it's cool but to everyone else you're like one of those tribes who stretch out their lips with a disk. No one will take you seriously. Not to mention that I don't care how good it feels, I like being able to pee standing up.
  15. Darth Mulacki Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 1999
    star 5
    I have a gothic tatoo on my upper shoulder and planing to get another along my spine.
    IMO tatoo is both artistic and for some an important part of their culture like the maori Fx. Howerever i dont like tatooes that cover en entire body part, my boss has a tatoo that covers his entire upperbody and abdomen which I think is repulsing.

    Piercings I think are disgussting and is aldo dangerrous if the piercer isn't using steril instruments.


    -Mulacki
  16. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Just as with jewelery, a tattoo should merely be an accent, not some monstrous design. Even all shoulder designs are too much to me.
  17. FlamingSword Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 6
    Wow, interesting read :)

    There does seem to be a societal shift, Kessel Runner. I know at one point I never would have considered tatoos or piercings other than my ears. But now, I'd consider a tatoo if it was tasteful.

    Piercings: I rarely have a problem with earrings, even on guys. In some cases, earrings on guys can look really cute. Other types of piercings usually don't look so good. There are exceptions though. I've seen a naval ring or two that has looked good and even a nose ring or two. Most don't. Again, it's all a matter of moderation and taste.

    Tatoos: These can look very good if they're not overdone or some weird design. The best ones are usually small and capable of being covered up.
  18. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    What really freaks me out is the people who get the spacer put in their ears to make holes the size of washers. I want to ask them what they are planning on doing with their life that they think won't be hindered by people being able to look through their ears. (The only ones I have seen with them are students).


    I have never considered getting a tattoo. I remember there was this guy that came into Wal*Mart all the time when I was working there that had gotten this awesome design of two dice and red roses intertwined on both of his forearms. He was Hispanic, and the vivid tattoos with his skin tone was really impressive. I started to feel sorry for him a few months later when the color wore off and the designs began to look ugly.


    I think tattoos can be like any other art form, it is fine in moderation, but can be overdone. I most definitely do not understand the fad over piercings however.
  19. neoxeon2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2000
    star 4
    why didn't ithink of making this thread, i also ahd the idea years ago that tattoos were not right, or for different type of people.
    then i turned 17 and tattoos became more main stream, i found out that my librarian had full back and full sleave tribals. then i got my idea for my first, now i have 3. i love them 100% fela they are art, a way of presenting yourself. each of my pieces stand for something. and the future pieces will also, i will never get a tribal, i don't think they stand for anything to me. but i love them. and they are completly coverable.
  20. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    I think it ironic that I had a greater distaste for them when I was in college. Even just a few months ago I had problems, but not as sever as a couple of years ago.

    My fiance has always wanted one but she has a medical condition which makes tattooing EXTREMELY unwise.

    We were in the parlor supporting some friends getting the Official Line Tattoo..she leaned her head on my shoulder and said, "One of us has to get it" it was all over right then and there...even though I tried to pretend it wasn't.

    What I love about my SW tattoo is that it almost looks like tribal art. For the uninitiated, and even some who are, you would think it was just some sort of Inuit Etching.
  21. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Well now you're going to have to link us to a pic of your tattoo.
  22. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Sorry, I did a thread on it when I got it....

    Here it is: [image=http://www.kesselmedia.com/myphotos/tattoo.jpg]
  23. Jake_Barnes Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 4
    Personally, I don't have them, but I'd like to comment.

    Tatoos are fundamentally different from clothing or other temporary ornamentation simply by being permanent. As such, they can't be evaluated on a purely aesthetic scale ("I think it's ugly" or "They only can be worn by certain types"). It is because they are a permanant change, that they are imbued with a spiritual component, since the process (before and after) causes a physical transformation in the individual, and this transformation is more far-reaching than more traditional costume-oriented changes. A person willing to go through the transformation becomes the type of person willing to go through a transformation.

    That said, the idea that there is some difference between art and self-mutilation is somewhat misguided, because in this case the self-mutilation itself, is art. And this is art in its truest sense, because the purpose of art is the passing of truth, and this transfer is essentailly transformational.
  24. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Very cool! Now, I bet you want more...
  25. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Well, those are some truly spectacularly philosophical comments. Exactly what I was hoping for when I created this thread.

    Do you honestly believe, though, that the sole purpose of art is to find/express truth? I think that art can serve many purposes and that is just one of them.

    Yes, I do like it, and I know that I am getting at least one more...for the next line for Episode III. Plus, I am planning on doing some minor modification to the existing one. I'm gonna ring it with some Aurebesh, I'm just trying to decide which phrase to use.


    Anyone (who I haven't told already) want to guess what the tattoo is of? Remember it is SW related).
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