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Why can't people simply appreciate a tattoo for it's artistic quality?

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Long before I got my 1st tattoo at the ripe young age of 50, I always admired them. I didn't necessarily look at tattoos longingly, but I admired them as art. Maybe that's because I played piano since I was 5 years old and was already into the arts.

Now here I am two years later with two upper arm tattoos. And in my small "circle" of peopple I know in this vast world, I've already tasted the tattoo stigma. I have no qualms about telling anyone that I have tattoos. So since I do, I get to see lots of reactions. When I tell people, some of them have tattoos of their own and we share, some of them don't have tattoos but like them, and some just haven't put it on their priority list (haven't given the subject much thought).

But then there are "Those" people. It's the people who cringe at you or can't even look at the tattoo for reasons such as "why would you inflict a wound on yourself?", and then there are those people who frown at you and feel uncomfortable because all of the sudden "you aren't the person I thought you were?". Why can't people just simply look at a tattoo from an artistic/quality viewpoint? Regardless if they like the style or not, at least give me your artistic impression. I realize there are people who don't like art, so if those people just said they are not interested in tattoos, that would be fine. But to berate me, or make me try to feel uncomfortable because I have a tattoo - why bother? (I know, it's because in general people suck). Why put a stigma on something as personal as a tattoo? Hey, if it sucks then tell me, but why stigmatize it?

Damn, this tattoo culture sometimes feels like a cult. Geesh. (But my 80+ year old parents really like both of my tattoos :-) )

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Step one, breathe.

Lol it will be ok.

You will never change people's mind about tattoos if they dislike them. They may change on their own, but nothing you can do will change them.

But you are a 50 year old man. You should know by now how people are in this world, and your tattoos were your own choice, you probably knew someone would disagree. Why do you care about those who said you've changed, you werent the person I thought you were? If a mark on your skin changes people's good opinion of you, then their opinion wasn't worth much to begin with.

You ask, why can't people look at a tattoo for its artistic quality? Why do they stigmatize?

Because they can. Why should they be forced to look at something they do not like and then legitimize it for you? Why do you have to force them to recognize something that they simply cannot... that tattoos are beautiful, but only in our skin, they dont change who we are at our core.

but for you to say, why oh why cant they see it the way I do, and not judge me for the choices I made, is just as intolerant as them saying/doing that stuff to you. We cannot control the minds of others, or ask why. If they like it, they like it, if they don't, then don't associate with them. Also, it won't help your cause to go up to someone you know doesn't like tattoos, whip out your arms, and essentially say "APPRECIATE THE ARTISTIC VALUE!!!! APPRECIATE IT!!! WHY CAN'T YOU APPRECIATE SOMETHING YOU FIND ABHORRENT, BASED ON HOW GOOD I THINK IT LOOKS?

btw, comparing tattoo culture to a cult... maybe you're too enthused about being tattooed? How about comparing tattoo culture to a lifestyle... Cult kinda has bad connotations

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I think it's very shallow.

Then there are those that just have some off-ideas about tattoos. Like my mom said one time, "Doesn't that mean you don't respect your skin?"

She has said a lot of negative stuff about tattoos to me and I always just argue with her lightly and laugh. But that one stumped me for a sec. Respect my skin? Sure. I respect it even more now! What the hell?

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Step one, breathe.

Lol it will be ok.

You will never change people's mind about tattoos if they dislike them. They may change on their own, but nothing you can do will change them.

But you are a 50 year old man. You should know by now how people are in this world, and your tattoos were your own choice, you probably knew someone would disagree. Why do you care about those who said you've changed, you werent the person I thought you were? If a mark on your skin changes people's good opinion of you, then their opinion wasn't worth much to begin with.

You ask, why can't people look at a tattoo for its artistic quality? Why do they stigmatize?

Because they can. Why should they be forced to look at something they do not like and then legitimize it for you? Why do you have to force them to recognize something that they simply cannot... that tattoos are beautiful, but only in our skin, they dont change who we are at our core.

but for you to say, why oh why cant they see it the way I do, and not judge me for the choices I made, is just as intolerant as them saying/doing that stuff to you. We cannot control the minds of others, or ask why. If they like it, they like it, if they don't, then don't associate with them. Also, it won't help your cause to go up to someone you know doesn't like tattoos, whip out your arms, and essentially say "APPRECIATE THE ARTISTIC VALUE!!!! APPRECIATE IT!!! WHY CAN'T YOU APPRECIATE SOMETHING YOU FIND ABHORRENT, BASED ON HOW GOOD I THINK IT LOOKS?

btw, comparing tattoo culture to a cult... maybe you're too enthused about being tattooed? How about comparing tattoo culture to a lifestyle... Cult kinda has bad connotations

I only meant cult to be a very small group versus a culture which is larger. And of course it's a lifestyle.

I guess sitting back and reading my own OP, it looks like this really bothers me. Trust me, it doesn't bother me in the least. Just making a 3rd party observation on my own life, and I get a chuckle out of the whole thing.

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To sum it up.

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Another good line, one I've used many times but I forget where it came from. I did catch the (I believe) Cheech and Chong Sister Mary Elephant (claaass, claaass, shut up!) reference in another thread too. Good stuff.

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I find that the kind of people who get offended/confused about tattoos are usually the people who don't like me as a person anyway, so I figure how much can covering myself in tattoos matter? If they want an excuse I'll surely oblige.

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people who get offended or disgusted by tattoos probably hides their own dark secret. rubber, leather, gag-balls, whips, killing people, whatever.

some like it, some don't. just like with everything.

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Long before I got my 1st tattoo at the ripe young age of 50, I always admired them. I didn't necessarily look at tattoos longingly, but I admired them as art. Maybe that's because I played piano since I was 5 years old and was already into the arts.

Now here I am two years later with two upper arm tattoos. And in my small "circle" of peopple I know in this vast world, I've already tasted the tattoo stigma. I have no qualms about telling anyone that I have tattoos. So since I do, I get to see lots of reactions. When I tell people, some of them have tattoos of their own and we share, some of them don't have tattoos but like them, and some just haven't put it on their priority list (haven't given the subject much thought).

But then there are "Those" people. It's the people who cringe at you or can't even look at the tattoo for reasons such as "why would you inflict a wound on yourself?", and then there are those people who frown at you and feel uncomfortable because all of the sudden "you aren't the person I thought you were?". Why can't people just simply look at a tattoo from an artistic/quality viewpoint? Regardless if they like the style or not, at least give me your artistic impression. I realize there are people who don't like art, so if those people just said they are not interested in tattoos, that would be fine. But to berate me, or make me try to feel uncomfortable because I have a tattoo - why bother? (I know, it's because in general people suck). Why put a stigma on something as personal as a tattoo? Hey, if it sucks then tell me, but why stigmatize it?

Damn, this tattoo culture sometimes feels like a cult. Geesh. (But my 80+ year old parents really like both of my tattoos :-) )

There are "those people" that refuse to understand so they judge as a defense mechanism. To bad for them for being closed minded. I don't think any of us wanted tattoos so that we fit in with the status quo. With that we accept whatever comes our way regarding criticism. I have friends that are shocked to see the work I have done. Most say that it looks cool, but they admit they don't understand why. Haven't received any feedback questioning the person I am.

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I think @Stewart Robson hit a good point before in the thread charity volunteer told leave store because her tattoos. You have to realize you are doing something that most people are not going to accept, it kinda comes with the whole getting tattooed thing. I know it sounds kinda harsh but that is the way I look at it as well.

I suggest to just let it slide off your back and go on your way. Life's too short to deal with people that you don't want to be around.

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@jayessebee, I'm gonna be spending my day tomorrow with Jason at Asylum. Just watching/learning. I'm gonna grab dinner with Ryan "Q" McHugh afterwards. Do you know him?

Thats awesome! No I dont know him- I havent crossed paths often with Asylum folk though

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I always find it strange when people who aren't exposed to/have interest in tattoos have such difficulty determining the image tattooed on a person. If you show them the same image on a piece of paper, they could point out the constituents of the image with no problem, but the second it's on skin they seem to lose all ability to differentiate between the elements comprising the image.

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