Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Are Tattoos So Addictive?

What it is about new ink that makes you want to go back for more? I ask this question only because I’m currently in the clutches of tattoo addiction. *twitch*
I may need a 12-step program.
I got a tattoo back when I was 18 years old and while I thought it was cool, I mainly did it to drive my parents crazy and boy, how I loved to drive them crazy.  That tattoo was like my way of outwardly showing them that I was no longer in their control; that I had grown up and I could make decisions that they may not like, but they’d have to accept. I was claiming my independence.
Fast forward another 18 years to about a month ago when I up and decided that it was time for a new one. I got it and absolutely loved it! And before the skin had stopped itching on that one, I had already gotten two more. And before I left the tattoo shop for the last two, I had commissioned another one and I can’t wait to saddle up for it.
Half the time, I’m deliriously fantasizing about how much of my body I could tattoo while still being able to cover up and look professional in the workplace. Honestly, this is the only thing that keeps me from going flat-out crazy and covering a whole arm and part of my chest.
It’s surprising seeing as how I’m not exactly what you’d call the poster child for tattoos. Kat Von D I am not. I’m a fluffy housewife with three kids who teaches Sunday school and has a noticeably frumpy sense of style. Talk about not fitting the bill. I suppose that speaks to how mainstream body art has become. And how these days there isn't "a bill" to fit when it comes to tattoos.
Nowadays, you see body art on a majority of people. Not to mention, you can read about it on the internet, in magazines or even watch TV shows about it! I’ll ask this again since I so defiantly avoided the question five paragraphs ago: what is so addictive about tattoos?
Clearly it’s not the pain. Well, I suppose it could be to some. You most certainly get an adrenaline rush from a new piece. But for the most part, tattoos hurt. A LOT! I’ve had them done on my ankles, wrist and chest and all three times, it felt like someone was scraping my insides out with a jagged nail file.
In fact, when I was getting the one on my wrist, I kind of wished that the artist would nick a vein and put me out of my misery. So for me, the pain is definitely not what’s drawing me back to the needle.
I suppose it’s a really personal thing. Each person is drawn back for their own reasons, but for me, I guess, it has to be because it allows me to externally share my individuality. It’s more significant than my hair color or the shape of my body.  Sure, those things say something about me, but my tattoos, well, they give you a visual testimonial of what’s in my heart. The idea of being unique is appealing.
And once you express one part of yourself, it’s really hard to stifle that expression.
Of course, it could be that they are just so darn cool!
What about you? Do you have any tattoos? How many and do you want more? Why did you get them and what do they mean to you?
If you don’t, do you want one? What do you think of people who have them?

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