This question certainly divides people when it comes to tattoos. Is it due to a generational gap, upbringing, culture? There could be any number of reasons why ink on skin affects peoples opinions the way it does. Having tattoos can alter others perception of you, whether it be positive or negative. They can be the reason why you cannot get certain jobs or they can be an icebreaker.
I often find people choosing favourites of my tattoos when they do not know me, of saying one is better than another simply due to what they consider aesthetically pleasing. Is that fair of them to make such a rash comment without considering how it might affect me? Would they be so quick to say something of my personality or how I look? Not only comments but strangers actually invading my personal space without consent to touch one of my tattoos. Since when did that become an acceptable thing to do. Most of the time no malice is intended, however does this mean I should just expect this from everyone and take it as a compliment or should I be offended at their intrusion? All of these questions to consider that do not even cross their mind as an after thought.
The flip side of this of course is people standing back or moving away from me as they are offended by my tattoos, which has happened before on public transport. There are still prejudices in the world against those who have tattoos, that we are criminals and bad people. This kind of thinking is ridiculous. The way I behave and conduct myself is not determined by my gender, the colour of my skin or what is on my skin for that matter.
For those who are part of the “tattoo world” they are a visual representation of an artists hard work, a glimpse into someone’s personality and a piece of art. Tattoos can be extremely personal or superficial, it differs from person to person and their reasoning behind getting them. Do you get discrete tattoos for your eyes only, to cover things up or to showcase them to the world? There is a multitude of reasons with no right answer. Some travel in order to have a piece from a certain artist they admire, because as with other art forms tattoo artists are very distinctive and recognisable with their styles and work. The beautiful thing about getting tattoos is having your own personal collection of art that you keep with you at all times. You can expand upon this collection throughout your life or choose to keep what you have.
I find something so satisfying in seeing my own collection grow and how it has changed me. In my experience they enable and inspire me to feel more confident in my own skin so I enjoy the chance to share the artists work. With each new addition it is as if I am more myself, as though they have always belonged there and now everyone else can see them too. Whether you get them for personal reasons or simply because you love the design, all that matters is how they make you feel.