If, as the sayings go, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and “every picture tells a story”, what does it say about a person when the picture in question has actually become a part of their human anatomy?
Tattoos and those who have them used to be considered to be from the “wrong side of life”: prisoners, gang members, bikers, sailors doing god-only-knows-what with god-knows-who as they travelled the world. “Good people” from “good families” wouldn’t be caught dead getting one.
A tattooed woman was nearly unthinkable, unless you were to visit your local freak show or, perhaps, a Polynesian island.
We all know that things have changed quite a bit now that tattooing is in its heyday. In fact, it’s become so commonplace as to be mundane. And yes, you might say that in some cases, we’ve gone more than a bit too far. Although, upon reflection (and some in-depth Googling), “a bit” may be somewhat of an understatement.
Yes, that IS an eyeball getting tattooed.
But what’s the story behind all the ink we’re seeing in today’s society? It can’t all be explained by too much booze while on Spring Break in Cancun and too many bachelor parties in Vegas. While a lot of ink can be passed off as a mere impulse buy, one that’s no different from a Snickers bar at the cash register, most body art can be explained in deeply personal terms: “I had this done when . . . “, “I got this design to honor . . .”
There are serious reasons and crazy reasons. Sad ones and joyful ones. There are tattoos to memorialize lost loved ones and to act a reminder of good times. They celebrate birth and death and pretty much everything in between.
To those of you who are among the inked, what was your reason? Why that design, on that part of your body, and that point in your life? What were you thinking? Were you thinking at all, or acting on impulse? Was it your first and last tattoo, or just another in a long line in your, shall we say, personal collection?
I want to hear about it. I want to know your inspiration or, if you will, your INKSPIRATION. “My Inkspiration: The Tattooed Tell Their Tales” is a work in progress which will, if God is willing, allow me – as researcher/author and, at times, photographer – to tell your story.
I want to hear the where and why and when behind what is now a part of you forever. Tell me your story. Or, “stories”, if you have more than one. If there’s one thing I like more than looking at and admiring someone’s body art, it’s hearing about the genesis of its very existence.
For more information on how you can be a part of this, email me at MyInkStory@yahoo.com. And let YOUR tale be told!