The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word tatau which means ‘to mark something’. Unfortunately Andrés Martin does not explain the history of tattoos in his article Teenagers and Tattoos. Better yet, he explains some very well thoaught out reasonings as to why adolescents get body decorations in today’s day and age. Why is it so common for adolescents to take a liking to body decorations? Martin stays unbiased about teenagers and tattoos because he says teenagers get tattoos for reasons such as identity, ownership, and the quest for permanence. The first assumption Martin gives as to why teenagers get tattoos is identification. Martin states that tattoos and piercings can be a readily solution for many identity crises’ that occur in an adolescents life. When adolescents are seeking individuate on, being singled out as unique; making body decorations an obvious “go to” solution. Another statement Martin makes is that visible body decorations can restore adolescents’ sense of normalcy and control. “Turning a passive experience into an active identity” as Andrés Martin says. I personally agree with Martin, that it is a likable idea to adolescents of permanence and irreversibility. If you put yourself in an adolescents perspective and have never been introduced to body decorations of any sort and see two different groups; a group with tattoos and a group without.
Which one would you choose? Most likely the group with tattoos because they stand out and are more unique than the other group. Getting body decorations gives adolescents the feeling of control. Martin and I think this because when adolescents get tattoos under the age of eighteen, they’re aware that it was their choice and also know that it’s unlikely for other adolescents to have body decorations. Giving children with tattoos or piercings the idea of having a “one up” on other children of their generation. Ownership is the second assumption as to why teenagers get tattoos. Martin insists that when people are looking to get a tattoo, they strive for incorporation. He also mentions that tattoos can be an example of a relationship of some kind. Getting a tattoo of a relationship gives forever evidence that there was once such a bond. Tattoos can be a long process of imagination, fantasy, and planning that can start at an early age. Because piercings can be reversible, it may make a person want something more permanent, such as a tattoo. I believe something such as a memory or a date that’s close to the heart, that you’ll never want to forget is common to get it permanently tattooed on the body. This may not be the smartest idea for some, considering that everything eventually changes. Including your feelings and emotions. Tattoos can become a relationship of a relationship itself when physically placed on the body. In most cases, as I’ve come to learn, when you don’t have something stable or permanent in your life, may result in the dire need of wanting something permanent. What’s a better idea than getting a tattoo that will be with you forever?
The last and third reasoning Martin gives as to why teenagers get tattoos is the quest for permanence. When dealing with divorce, abandonment, foster placement, or repeated moves, tattoos can be a promising solution when looking for a source of grounding. Tattoos can promise stability and permanence, whereas relationships may not. Tattoos stay, while many other things in life don’t. On the other hand, the quest for permanence may offer closure to unresolved conflicts. Martin mentions that there are two ways of looking at adolescents and their tattoos. One, they can be considered destructive acts or self constructed. In my opinion, it’s more likely for an adolescent who has had a rough and/or a dysfunctional life, to prolong a stable and permanent grounding. I’m agreeing with Martin when I say, when something is deeply cared about and enjoyed, it may seem like an excellent solution to get it tattooed on the body.
Even though it may have been an enjoyable memory, you may not want to remember it as much as you had before, due to changes in life. In Andrés Martins article, we’ve come to acknowledge that one simple tattoo can give someone a good sense as to who you are; giving part of your identity to others without having to say a thing. Also, ownership of a tattoo is taking pride in it for whatever reason may stand behind the ink. Lastly, very few things stick around for a lifetime, but tattoos never fade; which gives an example of permanence. Like Martin, I too stay unbiased in the topic teenagers and tattoos.
“The History Of Tattooing – From Tattoo Temple Hong Kong.” The Tattoo Temple Studio. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013. Martin, Andrés. Teenagers and Tattoos. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.