Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Contradiction Between Beauty and Ink

Hello, faithful audience. Do you feel smothered yet, or is this a nice break from my months of silence?

I actually haven't decided if I'll post all of these existing blogs I've written over the past few weeks all at once, or if I ought to space it out over a week or two. There's a very real danger of some of them never seeing the light of day (or at least the cold, artificial light of your computer screens) if I don't post them all once I have the internet at my place. It ought to be soon, because we twenty-somethings can't survive too long without Netflix.

On a side note, I'm officially blaming Facebook for my frequent silences on my blog. I always check it early in my cycle of websites, and after spending fifteen minutes on Facebook, I usually just want to get off the computer. That, and my social life. Since I've moved, I spend much more time alone, and therefore not discussing these things with actual people.

So, in theory, if I became a hermit, I would probably start posting like twice a week. So if anyone rabidly wants my thoughts published here, feel free to maroon me somewhere awesome. I only speak English fluently with some French and Spanish, so there's a whole mess of countries to choose from.

Anyway! I could write a whole other post about the internet and the weird combinations of isolation and community and artistic productivity, but now I'm going to talk about what I actually started with before I got distracted by kittens and musing about the internet.

There I was at work on sunday morning, taking orders and running the register, when this old dude and I start talking about my tattoo, and the conversation ended with, “You're too pretty to do any more of that.”

And then I laughed, because that's the career I'm planning on, and it's a three-quarter sleeve we're talking about. I've never seen anyone one get a sleeve and stop there. Aside from the three other tattoos I already have, I've got a few more planned.

But what I'm not clear on is the thinking behind what he said. Does having tattoos make me less pretty? No. I look exactly the same. My tattoo artist has told me several times I have wonderful skin; it's pale and smooth and it holds color really well, so it's suited beautifully for tattoos.

Also, why would tattoos make me look bad when having brightly colored hair isn't a problem? If the argument there was for the natural body being the ideal, why, sir, are you running around clean-shaven with glasses and a crew-cut?

I've never understood why it's okay to artificially color your hair blonde or black or red, but not to have pink or green or blue hair. None of those are your "natural hair" color, and if it exists on the color spectrum, it's technically a “natural” color. Blue appears in nature, as do the materials used to make things change color.

How is your burgundy hair with platinum blonde highlights any more professional than my pink and black hair?

I've tangented. Sorry.

My point here is that I don't get why people have a problem with some body modifications. If they're sanitary and not dangerous, who cares what people look like? Nature creates some impressive freaks, so why do we have issues with people altering themselves to suit their own preferences. And I say this as someone who opposes screwing with your natural body in most ways.

But I want to decorate my body the same way that I decorate my space. It's very similar for me to put art on my body and to put art on my walls.

I'm not talking about sex-changes, or cosmetic surgery, or whatever right now. That's probably a different post. During which I'll have to talk about the tiger guy, or the puzzle piece dude, or the tattooed, skin-condition girl, and horns and such.

I just don't get why people seem to be offended by tattoos. Over half the population over eighteen years old has at least one. And lots of people have tons. They're common and loads of perfectly respectable people of all ages have them.

Also, why do they feel like they have the right to tell me what I should and shouldn't do with my body? Do these people also go up to petite girls and say, “you're too pretty to have any babies. What do you think those hips are going to look like when you get old?” Or fat people?

I suspect this ties into all of the madness with everyone making women feel like they aren't allowed to have autonomous bodies. Maybe that's my feminism talking, but I seriously doubt that men ever hear that bollocks.

Seriously. Can you imagine seeing anyone go up to a twenty-something guy and saying, “you're too handsome for tattoos. What will you look like when you get old?”

My answer for that was, “I'll look like this, but older.”

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