Opinions on visible tattoos

Interesting point. Not sure I agree with you though.

Imagine a young man who, in a state of alcoholic and peer-induced stupidity, goes out and gets himself a tattoo. Your lowering of the bar means that when he grows up and qualifies as a doctor he will still be able to get a decent job and be accepted in polite society. I think what I’m saying is that I don’t see why tattoos need to be judged. They used to be, but now we’ve got better things to think about.

There was a time, and there are still places, where long hair marks you out as a drug-taking layabout hippy and/or artistic type. Today it just means that you have long hair, and you don’t have to worry about being judged. I’m all in favour of this kind of liberalism.

If you’re talking about aggressive and confrontational lyrics to music originating in gangland being played in restaurants, then I’m right behind you. You might like this little article by Clive James too.

Well, YOU do. Not because of your hair but because of that fawn pullover with the orange stripes on it. Holy strange uncles, batman! :laughing:

We aren’t really that liberal, here in Blighty. People are ‘free’ to do what they like, but people make implicit judgements about who they are. My gran still sniffs about the time I got my nose pierced, back in university. She doesn’t even like earrings and I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 30 and take them out when I see her. Like it or not, tattoos have class associations in Britain, and associations, as sandy says, with the armed forces and sectarianism. I prefer to look neutral. My sister, on the other hand, gets a kick out of being a tattooed lawyer.

Loretta: Nice article. The man is one of our greatest exports.

Taken in isolation, many of these things seem rather trivial. However, I’m saying they’re part of a greater package where we aspire to the depths of our culture, rather than the heights, and there are certain flow-on effects from that. I realise many people won’t agree with me and my views will be considered quite conservative.

Hmm, yes. He was ‘exported’. Like the Australians.

Hmm, yes. He was ‘exported’. Like the Australians.[/quote]

The best thing my ancestors ever did was to leave the old continent, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The worst thing they ever did was to go back to defend it.

Bloody right. One reason for me remaining a long way away from the place is that as a foreigner I am expected to be weird, whereas as “one of us” there are an awful lot of expectations to live up to. Brits can be very intolerant people, especially the Scottish variety who will take any opportunity to lambast a man for his clothing even.

When I see a girl with a tattoo, I think she’s probably pretty easy. So my opinion is that I like tattoos.

A lot of people won’t agree with you because they smack of elitism. How dare you suggest that anyone can be ‘better’ than anyone else? There is a very strong social movement these days in support of the idea that everyone is equal and the standards aspired to by the average Joe are perfectly good enough for everybody. The idea that some people can aspire to more is repugnant to our over-‘democratic’ society.

I think the emergence of the wider tattoo culture is a reaction to a perceived repression of average people by those of us who can write our names without moving our lips. It’s a “proud to be thick” sort of statement, in some cases anyway. And once you get harmless idiots wandering around with Celtic jewellery inked onto their arms you get hordes of not-particularly-smart young pseudo-individuals wanting spiders on their ankles or Chinese characters on their foreheads.

Tattoos have ceased to be low-class because it’s become fashionable to be not highbrow, hence the comment I saw elsewhere on this site about the existence of words like nerd, dork, geek, egghead, etc. Tattoos are a symptom of the deeper issue, which is the social dominance of the twobs, not part of the problem.

You get in a lot of trouble for being different. These days, not having a tattoo and having a vocabulary of more than a few hundred words marks you out as a trouble-maker. You’re in danger of making yourself out to be a ‘toff’ in a plebeian world. Be careful, as they say in Taiwan.

I agree with your post.

I’d say it’s a feedback loop, though of course you’re right that they’re merely a symptom. Even in the old days, they were still only a symptom (as ugly as they are). This is what I’ve been arguing all along though.

Unless you’re sporting fake gang tats, I wouldn’t worry about showing them in public.

But for work, best to keep them covered and take off your tongue ring too.

englishrussia.com/?p=1755 (a la Eastern Promises) - there’s some interesting tat ideas like

  1. a tat of Lenin or Stalin on vital parts in the hopes that Soviet government police, etc doesn’t hit you there

  2. Nazi-ish tats, not because you’re nazi or aryan, but anti-establishment, anti-Soviet.

  3. cat or tigers means you’re a predator

  4. Stars for rank; Stars on knees is Captain or man that kneels to no one.

I regularly attend Chamber, Industry and Company events throughout Asia and I’ve never seen a tattoo. I’m sure many people have them but they’re concealed pretty well. Teaching English is probably different but for business I would be careful about what people say and what they really think.