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Doomy Tattoos, anyone? 
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Post Re: Doomy Tattoos, anyone?

Like you I'm reading these quotes and thinking about them myself. My old man come from an era when really only tarts and roughy toughies had them, it wasn't judgemental, it was how it was. Gangsters, boxers, street fighting thugs, and commados had them. The post-vietnam biker gangs had them. It marked you as a soldier and an alpha male and if you met someone similarly marked not from your clan, it was a fighting matter. It's only since normal people starting having them that the 'how it used to be' has become confused with 'how it is now', and that's where the judgemental bit comes in, applying the old to the new and turning into prejudice. It's quite shocking how much of the old view had become ingrained in me, and how near judgemental I can come if I don't check it. My daughter's boyfriend just got a tattoo all down his arm, he's not a killer, he's a plumber. My friend's daughter got a tattoo last year, she's a sweet little thing of a student, not an old pro on the game.

Is getting a tattoo the poor man's option instead of getting a BMW? Is it the same as not going out without makeup on? Is it art or is it cartoon? It's good to think about these things before your own daughter gets one.

Another big question that comes to mind, is it self-mutilation?

Quote:
Individuals with apparent self-mutilating problems have an inability to think coherently in times of high stress, and become frustrated and powerless that they cannot express themselves as they would like to. Physical incision could be considered an act of self-relief in that it relieves tension. But with tattoos, surely the number of tattoos present on an individual's skin will indicate their level of emotional distress? If a person has ten tattoos does this mean they are more likely to self-destructive than say a person with just one? Does the count divide the people who want a tattoo purely for body decoration from the people who view the process as having a therapeutic effect? Tattooing is a desired scar, representing a person's thought processes at that particular time. Now, whether the decision to get a tattoo is a result of positive or negative inspirations, only the individual's honesty can truly be the judge after the outcome.

On a personal level, I will confess I chose to have a majority of my tattoos done to alleviate my boredom. However, as you will gather from the explanations of the individual designs, I put a lot of thought into each and every one of them beforehand. I'll also admit that, on the whole, my tattoos represent a variety of mood, and I gained a sense of satisfaction from the physical pain I encountered just to get them. Does that make me a candidate for self-harming, or a simply a person who has too much time on his hands? Most probably both, I'd say.



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Researchers collaborated with a tattooi and piecing magazine, recruiting 432 of their readers to complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their tattooing and piercing practices and motives. 119 of the participants admitted to cutting themselves in childhood. That's 27% of the sample, a much higher proportion than the 0.75% found among the general population of Germany.

Compared with the readers who said they had never self-harmed, those who had were more likely to report "bad things" having happened in their lives, and to say they had previously had a bad relationship with their own body.

Moreover, the self-harmers reported that they often had their skin tattooed or body pierced to help overcome a negative experience, or simply to experience physical pain. Another clue that self-harm and piercing/tattooing might, in some cases, be linked, derives from the fact that many of the self-harmers said they had ceased cutting themselves after obtaining their first piercing or tattoo.

Stirn and Hinz concluded that most people who partake in body modification clearly do not do it because they have any psychological problems. "However," they continued, "because body modifications have become so common and accessible, they are also used with probably increasing frequency as a convenient means to either realise psychopathological inclinations, such as self-injury, or to overcome psychological traumas."


I found...

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many of the self-harmers said they had ceased cutting themselves after obtaining their first piercing or tattoo.


...very interesting. Note sure how a 1-off permanent scarring and pain experience, puts to bed the need to keep doing it again and again. There's definitately something going on.

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Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:12 am
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Post Re: Doomy Tattoos, anyone?

I think it's simply something that younger people have grown up with as a readily-available and not particularly significant commodity, so they've been spared a lot of the moral and judgemental issues - and many of the 'tribal' ones - that you identify. Perhaps in the same way that, as a cohort, they're far less concerned about internet data security and privacy than our peer groups; they've never known a time when you couldn't share anything and everything online. The general attitude to tattoos, body-modding, piercings, seems to actually be a pretty casual one, there's no social stigma involved whether it's a spur-of-the-moment 'that might look cool' or a seriously thought-through and deeply personal statement.
Is it mutilation? Well, yes, I think so in that's an indelible marking, but (not that it's a subject I'm really clued up on) not from the same sort of place as self-harm. It's a pretty small sample set, and probably quite out of date now, but the people I know who did suffer from that generally did so uncontrollably, were ashamed afterwards, and did their best to conceal the cuts and scars - almost complete opposite behaviour to getting a new tat, or a piercing or whatever. Personally, I see the elements of choice and control as being the important ones: it's a part of your physical appearance and projected persona you can determine for yourself, as opposed to many aspects of that which are inflicted on you by time and nature. The 'rite of passage' of getting it done means you both 'earn' and own the end result, so it can actually be quite a deep experience, even if you embark on it with the most casual of motives or intentions. That, I suspect, might be what the self-harmers benefit from, whilst possibly the small-dolphin-on-wrist brigade don't experience quite the same depth of self-reflection...

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Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:47 pm
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