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Tattoos– symbol of Power/ fashion ?

December 4, 2009

Yesterday I met an old friend of mine and I was surprised to see an exquisite tattoo that ran down her thigh from under her skirt and traveled all the way down her leg and around her calf.

The color was incredible and she obviously wore her tattoo with much pride.

When asked why she got a permanent tattoo on her body and that too such a big one she replied

“I am a shameless exhibitionist and truly love having unique marks on my body. The symbols are important to me and of course it is the style statement of the day. I get the attention of so many people that is why I wear special cloths to show my uniqueness. You know what, I had to go hunting for some special clothes so that people can admire my tattoos (  I have one on my waist too )This is how I stand out amongst others.”


In olden days Tattooing was restricted to illiterate population of villages. I remember in my childhood days I used to laugh at my maid servant who had her name written on her wrist, and two tiny dots on her chin. Tattoo was something which was synonym with the lower class of society or the tribals

And of course how can we forget the great affiliation which Bollywood has with tattoos. Tattoo on the body of some character and it is presumed that we are going to witness a lost and found story or

the very famous “ MERA BAAP CHOR HAI” inscription on the wrist of AB in Deewar. But these are all different stories.

But these days it has become a fashion to support a tattoo rather number of tattoos that too of varying sizes, shapes and colours.

The educated, so called modern generation has become addicted to this.

These days girls think it highly fashionable to move around with guys who sport trendy tattoos.

I read somewhere that tattoos have become symbol of machismo, rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love (remember the much publicized tattoo of Saif and kareena), punishment. Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person .

I was stunned when two years back Neha announced that she is going to get a tattoo on her. I was so scared that she, who runs miles away with injections, she who raises the whole house with her cries if she gets a small cut, how will she tolerate the pain of tattooing? And frankly I was not in favour of having a permanent marking on the body.

But she said, ” Mummy tattoos are something personal, it gives an attitude to the person .

But I was really surprised to see her proudly displaying her tattoo. Not only that during her next visit she again went out to get another one on her calf.

Thank God she didn’t go for those huge ones but tiny ones aesthetically done( according to her)

For some the “ art of tattooing one’s skin is a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world, I am in control of my own flesh. This intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation has addicted millions to flesh altering practices”.

That proves that human beings craves mastery over what the all mighty has given him

I wonder why people go out of the way to mutilate their bodies with these markings. Aren’t they are the same ones who get panicky if a pimple appears on their face, or they get any scar of mosquito bite. If they cannot bear to have the pimple for a couple of days how can they go for something as permanent s as a tattoo?

I personally don’t see anything fascinating or attractive about Tattoos that too the huge ones. They are painful, they can do damage to body and they cannot be removed without a lot of aggravation. Why would one want to do this to one’s body. The body is already beautiful in it’s many forms.  Then why mar the beauty which the God has gifted us with with such ferocious looking images

Just tell me what is so attractive /stimulating/sensational/exciting about these?

but then each one to their likes and dislikes.

never know I may change my opinion some time in future and may decide to adorn my body with these marks of high fashion  🙂

22 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2009 1:47 pm

    Now this is an excellent post. It is just that the young generation likes to adorn themselves with these tattoos. Personally I am not such a big fan of these but I must admit that if the design (or pattern) is good, i tend to like it. Though I still do not have the guts to get one made but if I know my own self then I will surely get it done once I loose weight (and thus have the body to flaunt it)..

    All in all, loved this post…

    • December 4, 2009 4:16 pm

      all the best for loosing weight. but I think weight has got nothing to do with adorning yourself with a tattoo 😉

  2. December 4, 2009 2:56 pm

    hmmm…i wonder how such a tangential topic came to your mind…
    ur post tells a few facts that i had no idea about…like tattoos are a symbol of lower class…wow…in that case…tattoos have really come a longgg way 🙂
    i personally feel..tattoos are for urself…they give u an inner kick…an attitude…and if u wanna flaunt it…nothing wrong in that too..but like most say…they are addictive… the process gives u a high and i feel an inner happiness when people comment on it…it an adornment on my body… and also for my inner-self:)

    i like how u have chosen a topic different than ur comfort zone ( aka social causes/issues) and yet written so profoundly on that…

    keep it up

    • December 4, 2009 4:20 pm

      thanx for your motivation.
      what do you say if I also go for one 😉
      just kidding

  3. December 4, 2009 4:33 pm

    Tattoo in Hindi is called as “Gudai” if someone doesn’t know. I don’t know if it was a poor man’s thing in olden days or not coz even Rajputs and Kings had their names tattooed on their body in their childhood.
    Just like if we go back in Indian Kshatriya cluture, ear piercing was a common practice among male kids too. Then it became a feminine concept and later on male teens adopted it as a fashion. Still some families do get their boy babies ears pierced and continue to walk the traditional path.
    If we look back in ancient history, we find traces of tattoos in almost all civilizations and had meaning attached to them in those times. Like for example, among Nazis, tattoos were considered as identification and soldiers were tattooed with their serial number, in Japan and China, tattoos represented their calligraphy skills and even had hidden treasure maps and at times were the medium of showing their culture and tradition. If we peek in Egyptian civilization, tattoos were used on mummies and they narrated major facts of the person mummified. In India, tattoos had religious meaning, identification to represent which clan a person belong to and for some it was a sign of slavery which was common in almost all civilizations around the globe, kind of punishment in form of pain and remembrance.
    Now a days, getting tattoo is more or less a fashion stunt to decorate your body and to create a buzz in the crowd, more or less getting people’s attraction, which again I don’t oppose. Everyone has his or her own way of getting attention so having a tattoo and flaunting it is nothing wrong. But with time the meaning and purpose of tattoo has changed definitely.

  4. December 5, 2009 8:13 am

    i have to go for one !! regardless !!! 😛

  5. December 5, 2009 12:40 pm

    wonderful post!

    I wonder if I can think of any design.text…to have home in my body for life,guess I’m not the one to make myself into a canvass 🙂

  6. December 5, 2009 1:15 pm

    A very timely topic for a blog post.
    Tattos were important during the days of Raj-Rawadas.
    I am personally,not in favour of the Tattos but I give credit to her for being very clear and frank.

  7. December 8, 2009 10:28 am

    before I comment: I stumbled across your blog
    Tattoo… its the trend. its a self expression.

  8. Azahar idris permalink
    December 9, 2009 6:23 am

    Is it a tattoo or a hennae? I think Asian women should not follow whatever Western women do. Asian women are better if they put on hennae instead of the permanent tattoo

    • slayer of the adharmic permalink
      July 11, 2012 4:06 am

      tattooing whether permanent or henna has nothing to do with western or eastern culture. perhaps you would be better off not telling asian women what to do in the first place.

  9. December 9, 2009 8:09 pm

    To some tattoo is an art to be adorned on their body almost like a jewel, to some a fashion statement, to some mindless scribblings on the wall (body).

  10. December 10, 2009 4:15 pm

    I am neither for nor against the concept of Tattoo. It’s a very personal thing that I will leave it to the individuals who want to have it and to those who don’t like it. My stance is clear and I will not have a tattoo on my body.

    Time will tell if my next generation decides to have one and how will I react to that. Until then, I am agnostic.

  11. December 10, 2009 8:27 pm

    excellent post,
    like the pics.

  12. December 16, 2009 9:27 am

    I agree with ‘To each their own’ 🙂
    My daughter has a tiny tattoo on the inside of her elbow … I find it too invisible 😉 I plan to get a tattoo on my upper arm and it’s only blogaddiction that is preventing me from getting one … all my free time is devoted to the blogosphere 😆 But now that we are going to Delhi, I hope to finally get one – it will probably be a peace mark or my blog url 😉

  13. December 22, 2009 11:08 am

    🙂 which one will you get done 😉 ?

  14. February 10, 2010 2:52 am

    It takes a commitment to live the tattoo lifestyle. You can change your clothes, but a tattoo is more permanent…


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