Sinful Art?

By Kristian Buckner | Oct 08, 2012

That prickling touch of ink spreading with swift lines across skin. Art to last a lifetime. Beautiful or sinful?

Sometimes the result of wanting to be on trend, or a party gone wrong, or maybe a life change. People get tattoos for millions of reasons, and the more liberal that society becomes the more popular tattoos become.

I remember talking to my grandfather about tattoos. We joked about silly ones like a giant tigers face on a man's arm, or the rainbow unicorn on another's. He told me about when he was young, the only people that thought about getting tattoos we hardcore guys, or guys in the military, and of course, sailors. Years have passed now, and life is so strangely and wildly different. Pastel hair, pierced skin, walking artwork. It's no wonder the younger generation sees things so differently than the older, more reserved generation. Because we've grown with this culture of vibrant art and openness. They never did.

But more on subject, tattoos. Everyone seems to have them, but religious text claims them a sin. (Leviticus 19:28 for those who don't believe.) Yet, how can such beauty be a sin? What about tattoos of crosses or bible verses? My opinion of tattoos is, they are beauty. Our bodies were born clean and pure, a clean canvas one might say. It is in our own choosing whether or not we mark upon it. Whether one wants to keep it pure or create permanent art, a memory saved forever, engraved in skin.

I'm an advocate for tattoos, and although I don't have any now, I do want to get them when I'm older. All with reason of course. My first will be on my wrist so I can always see it, so I can be reminded every day. It will say, "this too shall pass." In memory of keeping strong, in memory of my uncle who allowed and helped me realize who I was. (Why I named my blog "This Too..." as well.) Because sometimes I need to be reminded that things pass, and it'll all be okay. Bad things, good things, all things. My life will move on, and that's okay. I need that reminder, and sometimes, on bad days, I can't remember, and it's devastating. Days like that when hope is nearly lost, I need those gentle words to remind me that I'm okay. Is that a sin? To need a reminder? To be a writer and need words to live by? How could that possibly be a sin?

A friend of mine, Kira, told me a story recently. A story about a broken spirit and a lost soul making a stupid mistake. Getting a tattoo because she thought maybe that was what she should do, just because. She got an quote that would help her, getting it done in a place that would be convenient. She got the words, "chase your dreams" something she said, "my mom and dad have always told me." Unhappy with it, she decided to make it a piece of art. Adding things that meant something to her. Butterflies for her father about a bonding memory they shared, and colors to make it pop. "I turned a stupid, irrational, spontaneous mistake into something beautiful, something that means a lot to me." Her story was one that I found to be a story worth sharing. A story of hopelessness turned into beauty. A mistake into something to be proud of.

Tattoos can often help define a person, they tell a story, remind of memories. Most tattoos are best created when well thought out, when one is passionate about it, when it really means something for them. Words of wisdom, an image to live on. Although I agree with tattoos, I don't agree with getting one to go with the trend, getting the name of a person you've been dating, oh, two months? Or a naked women, (or man), you never know if you'll actually settle down or not. (Unless you're getting the figure in nude for the sake of art, and perhaps you are an artist, or an art teacher... Okay, maybe not an art teacher, unless it's a professor. That probably wouldn't be appropriate.)

All in all, it's a matter of opinion. To one person it may be a deadly sin, to another maybe a life saver. Personally, I am for them. For those of you who are completely against them; "don't judge someone because they sin differently than you."

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