With the months going by, more teenagers are turning 18, legally able to get a tattoo, and with the popularity of tattoos rising, more and more teenagers are wanting to get one. While some get tattoos for independence, others do it for the meaning that that their tattoo holds for them. But not every 18-year-old, or adult, is able to get a tattoo be it because of religion, employment regulations, or because some are afraid of the discrimination they could face. Even though we are in a new age, the stereotype of tattooed people is still prevalent and is discouraging for some people. Are people who have, or want to have tattoos, discriminated against?
Finally, you turn 18 and can now legally get a tattoo but the stereotypes about dirty needles is off-putting and the stereotype that tattoos are a domain for bikers, sailors, and inmates (Kaiyala para. 6). With that being said, many people, of all ages, enjoy their tattoos. Roughly 16 percent of all U.S adults have at least one tattoo with the highest number, 36 percent, of tattooed adults being 25 to 29 years of age (Kaiyala para. 6). As tattoos rise, so does the industry and one of the main concerns for both clients and artists are infections and diseases.
The biggest concern is HIV for the use of needles but the biggest threat is hepatitis. Hepatitis can be transmitted through little more than a scratch with an infected needle. To combat this and any other infectious bloodborne pathogen, artists autoclave their single-service equipment (Alliance para. 3). So, while people worry about infections, all the artist’s equipment should be single service means that each needle and tube set is individually packaged, dated and sealed and autoclaved. An autoclave is the only acceptable means of equipment sterilization in the tattoo shop. It is a machine that uses a combination of heat, steam and pressure to kill all pathogenic microorganisms known to man (Alliance para. 8 and 9). Overall, the process of getting a tattoo is safe and people should not have a reason to worry other than choosing a design that they will be comfortable for the rest of their lives.
Although only 16% of U.S adults are tattooed, it was estimated that in 1900, around 90% of American sailors were tattooed (Military Tradition para. 12). Not only did they have random tattoos but they had meaningful tattoos dictating where they sailed. Sailors with a tattoo of an anchor proved that they had sailed the Atlantic Ocean. A full-rigged ship meant he shipped around Cape Horn. A Shellback Turtle indicated the sailor crossed the equator, and a dragon meant he served on a station in or near China. “Hold” tattooed on the knuckles of one hand and “fast” on the other were said to allow the bearer to grip the rigging better. Tattoos of a pig on one foot and a rooster on the other were said to protect a seaman from drowning. It was thought since both creatures avoid the water at any chance, they would help get the sailor swiftly to shore if he fell overboard (Military Tradition para. 13). And for some, it was a meaning of what they were and what they did (Military Tradition para. 13).
Although the military banned tattoos with obscene imagery, tattoos in general do not prohibit you from joining as you only need the ASVAB and a physical (Military Tradition para. 24). Even though men and women are viewed as equals in this age, Deborah Connor found discrimination when she was terminated for having a heart tattoo which, to her employer, because the company was concerned that the customers would see her and would react because a tattooed woman is seen as a prostitute, on drugs, or from a broken home ( Pechman para. 8). The same company did not require a male employee to cover up his navy tattoo, and she found it insulting and then sued the company (Pechman para. 8).
With the growing rise of television and social media. More and more celebrities are getting tattoos and their influence influences many teens to get tattoos of their own or even the same tattoo. Besides the influence, some teens find tattoos as a way to woo their partner as a romantic gesture (Religion forbids tattoos para. 4). The only problem would be if the couple were to separate and the partner would have to spend their life with the image of their ex. Either that or spend time, money, and pain to get it removed and even then, it sometimes leaves a scar. Some teens however, view tattoos as a work of art, and also a way to declare their independence (Religion forbids tattoos para. 5). For many, they cannot wait to turn 18 sorely because of that reason alone. For some, they get it because it is what’s trending at the moment. But the art of tattooing is not an old practice by any means as Egyptian and Libyan mummies have been found with tattoos that date back before the time of Christ (Religions forbid tattoos para.7).
Ironically as the first tattoos were uncovered, it was a picture rather than an abstract pattern, it was the picture of the Egyptian god, Bes. While the Mosiac Law forbade their followers to have tattoos and by that way, the Israelites stood out from different nations (Religions forbid tattoos para. 8). While Christians today are not under the Law of Moses, the prohibition it laid on tattooing is sobering (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14, 15). If you are a Christian, you would certainly not want to make markings on your body”even temporarily”that smack of paganism or false worship. ”2 Corinthians 6:15-18 (Religions forbid tattoos para. 8).
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