Indecisive and Proud

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An amalgam of typical tattoo designs, including a pin-up a skull, a heart, a rose and random oriental characters

Tattoos have always seemed like a strange thing to me. More so the lifestyle and statement of individuality and freedom that seem to get attached to it. Some how, branding your skin (pretty much) permanently has never quite struck me as an appropriate symbol of rebellion and free-spiritedness. When happens when free-spirits change their mind? For surely they must, being free spirits and all.

More importantly, being a free-spirit, how does one commit to a design for a tattoo anyway? I was wondering what would happen if you had to be a rebel just like everyone else, and couldn’t decide on which of the regimental imagery of this freedom you wished to sport. I’d say this tattoo design would work very well.

3 thoughts on “Indecisive and Proud

  1. My, my the NSFW tag is being well used. I am proud of all the nipples popping up on our blog. : D

    Your post reminds me of this painting by Norman Rockwell: http://www.thunderbeardandlightning.com/love/being-in-love-c-s-lewis/attachment/norman-rockwell-tattoo-artist/

    It’s funny that tattoos have this stigma now of being a statement of freedom/individuality since tattoos and body mod originally began as ways for people to show they belonged to a certain group. West African tribes used it so they could discern tribe members from foes during battle, indigenous peoples of the Amazon use piercing and skin stretching as ways to mark status and age and peoples of the Greco-Roman eras used tattoos for mystical healing purposes (I just did a term paper for my sociology class on tattoos and body mod, thus the font of facts). There is this interesting paradox of tattoos in our modern era being used to both separate a person from more traditional values while also including them into a subgroup of tattooed people.

    As someone who has several tattoos (11 and counting!) I am often met with the question of how one chooses a tattoo (though I hardly consider myself a free spirit) and it really all comes down to a “special feeling” that I get when I come across a particular image. Sometimes I’ll sit on an image for several months, and sometimes I will run out and get that tattoo right off (I think 3 or 4 days is the shortest amount of time I’ve waited to decide on a design).

    I think knowing oneself is important in the choosing, and being able to look back on that image and remember a particular point in your life is what makes it great. Of course, I take my body art REALLY seriously, so I can’t speak for the people who go to the cheap shops and pick something off the wall and then subject themselves to a terrible tattoo (there is a reason why tattoos are expensive!).

    ANYHOW – nice image! You’ve caught all the major “sailor jerry” iamgery, roses, skulls, sexy ladies… I love the scroll w/ “indecisive” – what do the symbols beside the scroll mean?

  2. Thanks for the thoughts Spyder. It’s always nice to hear of these things from the pragmatic point of view. I agree with all of what you’ve said. I was merely making a clichéd visual statement based on prevailing clichés. 🙂

    The symbols besides the scroll are complete gibberish, my little homage to the many who get oriental characters that either mean little or not quite what they thought they mean on themselves.

  3. I have always maintained that should I ever decide to get a tattoo, I would like the words “Egg Fried Rice” in Mandarin/Cantonese inscribed, unironically, on my person.

    But having given it further thought, I’d much rather have this!

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