You always hear people arguing about whether others are born with an innate predisposition to feel, do, or act certain ways. Some of these debates center on very emotionally charged topics so I always steer way clear. However, I am beginning to think more and more that there is a certain predisposition that people are born with, one that doesn’t cause bitter feelings and heated arguments.
When we are born I think we have a switch either turned on or turned off in our heads when it comes to the desire to get tattooed.
I am not a tattoo guy. I don’t have a speck of ink on my body. In my life I have never had the slightest bit of interest to get a tattoo. Not to get a cool design, not to stand out, not to honor a deceased loved one, not to forever connect me to a group, not to denote my undying fandom to a certain team. But I don’t have a vendetta against them either. I just don’t really see their appeal and I lack any interest whatsoever of putting a permanent mark on my body.
But I know when my DNA came together if the coin landed on the other side I might be a tatted up stud. At least half the people I know, well, at least half the people in my generation, have tattoos. Of that half, probably 60% have more than one. If you took a poll of Missoula residents I guarantee that number would be even higher. Just take a walk in the town anywhere during the summer and you will witness a full-fledged ink convention. People like me with boring blank skin canvases are the minority.
This large group of tattoo fans has a fascination with ink that I just can’t relate to. They are voluntarily showing others their tattoos, constantly talking about the next one they are going to get, regularly posting their body art on Instagram, and gleefully texting their tattoo artist. While I don’t particularly understand it I definitely accept it.
It is not like I am strictly anti-tattoo either. While I wouldn’t let an artist’s needle get anywhere close to my body I do enjoy some aspects of ink. I find some women with tattoos attractive, even the variety that sport full sleeves. I find the show “Best Ink” entertaining, one of the few non-sporting programs that I will actually watch. I admire the amazing skill that many tattoo artists possess. I liken my thoughts on tattoos to horse racing: while I would never participate in it, I do enjoy certain aspects associated with it.
So while I might play the “where would I get a tattoo if I had to?” game I would never in a hundred years actually consider getting one. In the same way I know there are millions of people out there who would never in a hundred years think about leaving their bodies ink free. People have different tastes and preferences and that is a good thing…it makes life interesting. Don’t Blink.