By Nick Picataggio

Tattoos have been synonymously tied together with degenerates for the longest time. This dark light has made it difficult for people with tattoos to walk around without being judged for the blob of ink on their body. Many jobs require that their employees cover up their tattoos due to the thought that they look unprofessional or dirty. However times are changing and perceptions about tattoos need to change too. People should be able to display their ink proudly without needing to worry what others will think about them.

        When people used to think of tattoos they associated them with the sex, drugs & rock-n-roll lifestyle as well as acts of rebellion. We all know parents who want their child to remain as pure as possible, yet the kid will go out and get a tattoo because “it looked cool”. This is one of the reasons tattoos have a bad reputation. Also whenever we watch a movie or show involving jails or gang violence the actors are covered in tattoos. The most famous tattoos situated with “the bad side” of tattoos are the tear drop and the spider web. Those these are popular tattoos in the gang world, the media overplays them making it seem as though if you have a tattoo you are most likely bad in some way. An example of this could be seen in the movie Star Wars where Darth Maul boasts a tribal tattoo on his face while the good guys (Jedi’s) don’t bear any. Another reason people tend to shun tattoos is because they say it will fade overtime and they may not enjoy it anymore. Aging is inevitable so the tattoo will fade, however tattoo artists are able to touch up their work allowing the tattoo to always appear fresh and crisp.

        Though there are many arguments of why people shouldn’t get tattoos, there are plenty of arguments that show the pros of getting a tattoo. One thing that many people don’t know about tattoos is that they can actually have a health benefit. Yes you read that right! When you get your first tattoo you are more prone to illness such as a cold due to the stress that the process puts on your body. However when getting your second or more you could be improving your immune system. According to research at the University of Alabama, “Tattooing may stimulate the immune system in a manner similar to a vaccination to be less susceptible to future pathogenic infiltration”. Though this study was done with a small sample size, it is an interesting start to the research. Another reason people should consider getting a tattoo is because they can tell a story or even be a lifelong memento. I know plenty of people who have tattoos of their loved ones which help them show their love or cope with loss of someone. For the arguments that say someone will regret their tattoo down the road, all I have to say is that if someone wants a tattoo they should really want it. Tattoos are incredible because they can tell a life story, however if someone gets a tattoo to just get a tattoo they probably will regret it down the road. Your body is a blank canvas. People should take advantage of this and feel free to express their personality with ink.

With the help of athletes and TV shows such as Ink Master Tattoos are starting to get out of that dark light. More and more people are starting to get tattoos which is also helping tattoos get accepted in our culture. If you’re planning to get a tattoo just be smart about it. They do last forever and are part of your brand. They are incredible works of art to have as long as they have a meaning to the person they’re on.