I’m an individual – just check out my tattoo

Just in case you were wondering, I don’t have a tattoo. No ink has touched my skin, ever. It may seem strange to admit it, but if you have ever been to Bondi Beach on a summer day, having virgin skin can make you feel like you’re an untrendy loser.

It’s rather ironic that something that was embraced as an expression of individuality has become so mainstream. It’s even more ironic if your tattoo is a Celtic pattern, a Chinese character, or a butterfly. In the past, having one tattoo was a bit daring, but now that everyone is getting inked, you’re so much more of an individual if you’re getting a half sleeve or full sleeve tatt.  As you may have imagined, sleeves seem to be more and more prevalent now too.

My guess is that tattoos are the latest fashion statement. Either that or everyone thinks that it’s good enough for David Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, or the dudes from One Direction, so it’s good enough for them. But what if tattoos go the way of Hypercolor t-shirts and Chris Brown and tank in popularity? Sadly then, you’re stuck with a permanent reminder of your foolishness that will cost you a lot more in money, pain and suffering to remove (or embarrassment if you don’t remove).

David-Beckham tattoos

There are some that I’ve seen that are incredible works of art, and it’s a huge credit to the artist to have created something so beautiful. Then there are others whose tattoos are deeply personal and serves to remind them a significant event or person in their lives. I can see how these would endure the test of time, even if the thought of having a massive piece on my wrinkly 60 year old body sounds about as appealing as my parents having sex.

We all want to express our individuality in different ways. For me, it was always through backpacking alone, slightly off the beaten path (everyone does Contiki!), because not many people I knew had done it before. However, as it is with tattoos, as soon as you embark on something, you meet many other people with exactly the same idea, and you realise that, actually, none of us are that unique after all.

* Image courtesy of The Beckham Tattoo’s


2 thoughts on “I’m an individual – just check out my tattoo

  1. I often thought that people just mislabeled being a social animal as individuality. That people don’t actually strive to be different as much as they do to be the same. Isn’t that how trends start?

    • So true. It’s really striking when we’re children especially, and bullies always picked on those kids that were different – the ones that were really tall, the ones that were fat, the ones that had boobs before everyone else.

      Even as adults, telling people that you like spending your spare time with friends or eating out is fine because everyone does it, but mention you have a hobby stuffing dead squirrels and people will think you’re a weirdo!

      The truth is probably somewhere in between. We feel like we want to be part of the flock (not the black sheep) but we want to be a little bit different too.

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