Tattoos: No Longer Rebellious


O’Neill, Brendan. “Tattoos Were Once a Sign of Rebellion – Now They Are Evidence of Craven Conformity to Cultural Norms – Telegraph Blogs.”News Tattoos Were Once a Sign of Rebellion Now They Are Evidence of Craven Conformity to Cultural Norms Comments. Telegraph, 9 Aug. 2012. Web. 05 Jan. 2016. <;.

What: In past decades tattoos were always seen as a form of rebellion and were only worn by young people who wanted to stand out from the boring, everyday crowd but now tattoos have become so common they are more of a conformity. Young people see celebrities all over social media as they post pictures of their newest tattoos, no matter the area they wear them. People have always followed the trends set by celebrities in order to fit in, now that tattoos are more common and public with celebrities, young people are getting tattoos because it’s just the “thing” to do. An issue with having tattoos in public areas such as the hands, face, or neck, can be finding a job that will accept these works of self expression. Just a few decades ago, not receiving a job because of a tattoo was not an outrage but now that tattoos are more common people are beginning to rebel against companies who are unaccepting.

Why: I chose this topic/ article because a large amount of people now have at least one tattoo, even if it is not visible most of the time. As times change so does the need of flexibility and understanding, even if the change is only slight. Just as tattoo of changed from being seen as rebellious to just another way to fit in, reasonable tattoos should be accepted in the job market. If just a few companies begin to loosen the rules pertaining tattoos others will follow. Just like in the podcast from Freakonomics, hanging signs stating that everyone else is trying to change will eventually spark change in the companies that are dreading change. Now I’m not saying people with completely inappropriate tattoos in extremely obvious places should receive the most extravagant jobs, but there is no reason to turn away a hardworking individual because they have a memorial tattoo on their forearm. Employers and many Americans need to open their minds to justifiable change and understand change is not bad. Change and rebellion is what originally sparked the start of America and without it, America will no longer be different from other countries.

How: This article mentions how a Japanese mayor fired every employee who had a tattoo, that was completely shocking. Obviously in other countries, people have a lot fewer rights that Americans but I don’t think Americans always remember that. Today in America people are upset when they can not find a job because they have some ridiculous, inappropriate tattoo in a public area while in Japan people are being fired for having a concealed tattoo. Americans should be happy they can have jobs and concealed tattoos but they should also press the government for change to keep our government changing, just as our times.  I want to see what can be done and what can be changed here in America regarding justifiable tattoos in the workplace.


4 thoughts on “Tattoos: No Longer Rebellious

  1. rosalyng2015 says:

    I guess I have several thoughts running through my mind. First, I understand craven to be a fancier or more academic word for cowardly. So the title of the article represents cowardly conformity to accepting tattoos as a social norm! Something about that sounds odd to me. Does this imply that by accepting tattoos as “normal” social behavior American society is becoming morally weak or irresponsible?
    Second, the real question is, do I think tattoos should be accepted with minimal concern over the well being of the general population? Whose rights do I think should be more protected, the individual who has the harmless, concealed tattoo or the individual who is being serviced by the tattooed individual. It is true that more and more celebrities are getting tattoos (and the culture is following this fashion trend). However, they are also getting divorced more, abusing drugs, spouses, etc… more. Does this mean I want to encourage such behavior in American culture? I have a couple of tattoos myself and will probably get more. However, each time I do I have to complete a medical form and a waiver of responsibility because of the health risks involved. These health risks are not just to myself but to others as well. I came to America because I want more opportunities and freedom. However, I am not so sure I am ready to put my individual freedom before the well being and safety of others. Legitimate tattoo parlors are supposed to be closely regulated by the Department of Health. However, I know a lot of people who got their tattoos outside of the regulated tattoo scene. These individuals, regardless of the nature or location of their tattoos represent a possible health risk to others they come in contact with.


  2. sarahsjs96 says:

    I am not saying that by accepting tattoos as a norm America has become morally weak, Im simply saying America has been and needs to continue to be more accepting of tattoos. Tattoos are a growing trend that is no longer seen as rebellious or “bad,” they are now being viewed as a form of self expression.


    • rosalyng2015 says:

      I agree that what YOU wrote was not implying a morally weak America. The title of your source used the word and I was raising the question towards the title – not your written opinion. I apologize if that was the impression. The question I was left with after reading your article dealt with the health issues and whose rights are more important? After reading your WP #2 I tried to find government regulations on tattoos and most searches led to blood borne pathogens and the significant risks tattoos represent to the artist, customer, and then those the customer comes in contact with (depending on the pathogen). As much as I like tattoos, as easy as it would be to convince me they are simply a form of art and individual expression, do I really want to lose site of the fact they still represent a health risk, especially in the service dominated industry of America?


  3. SamU says:

    I actually wrote my first writing project on the exclusion of people who have tattoos, naturally it makes a good topic under the theme of conformity and rebellion. I definitely agree with you on the subject that tattoos should be more widely accepted have definitely become a trend nowadays. I’ve actually seen it among many people I know who haven’t gotten their tattoos all their life, yet suddenly they really want one. I’m not ragging on people who are getting tattoos however it’s pretty easy to recognize a pattern. I would have to agree that getting tattoos has began to become an act of conformity in some circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

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