Friday, May 15, 2009

Tattoos & Piercings

I was recently watching some old video tapes of NBA All Star games that I had recorded over the years. Whenever I watch old footage I expect to see shorter shorts and old hairstyles, but one unexpected thing really jumped out at me. The tapes I was watching showcased the biggest NBA stars in the late 80's and early 90's and I could not see one tattoo on the court. Even up until 1992 I could not see any players with visible tattoos and Dennis Rodman was even playing in that game!

Contrast that with today. It's rare to find a professional athlete or an Olympian who does not have a tattoo. Body piercing is another popular trend that I just don't get. Sometimes I see young guys at the mall that go crazy with facial piercing or with gauges in their ears. What's the deal with that? I can understand if you are a member of an African or Aboriginal tribe and that is a normal part of your culture, but I can't understand the appeal it has to so many people to mutilate their bodies.

Several years ago while I was working out at the gym I noticed a big dude near me with a barbed wire tattoo around his bicep. A younger kid came up to him and said "That's a cool tat." The kid was shocked when the his compliment was not accepted kindly. The guy snarled back how he regretted it and it and said it was the dumbest thing he'd ever done. I was surprised by his reaction and his regret for having what many considered to be such a cool fashion statement.

I know there are many great people with tattoos and piercings so don't think I'm judging them or labeling them as bad. Tattoos may be popular today, but that can quickly change and unfortunately we live in a world where people are judged by their appearances. Because of this, I suggest people think things through before doing something that will permanently change their body. If you want to express your tastes and styles then do it with clothes. At least you can change out of them when they are no longer cool or in style. Your skin is an amazing organ. You should respect your body and take good care of it rather than color it and draw all over it.