What’s Behind Your Tattoo? | by Sonya Finley
An Interactive Blog
What’s Behind Your Tattoo . . .? Besides skin of course. LOL!
I remember back in the day, growing up in a most sanctified way, tattoos were totally taboo. Woe unto the one who, kinda-sorta-in a way-maybe, even suggested they were thinking about getting a tattoo. That idea was met with a strong sermon that detailed the follies of the flesh and reminded us that our bodies were to be the holiest of temples. My how things have changed. . .
Tattoos, while becoming mainstream, have a long and rich history. They have literally been around forever. They usually held an important role in rituals and/or cultural traditions. For instance, did you know that in ancient Borneo women tattooed their forearms with symbols indicating what skills they had? This was used in determining her marriageability. Now how interesting is that? I mean, ladies, think about how many tattoos you would have to have on your arms to be considered good wife material? OUCH!
The Greeks used tattoos to communicate among spies. The Romans and the Japanese, at differing points in history, used them to mark criminal and slaves. The Japanese later added the art of tattooing to many of their religious and ceremonial practices. And, in the Western part of Asia, tattoos were used to denote social status. The art of tattooing spread across countries and cultures. Each of them adapted the art to suit their own philosophies and cultural aesthetics. The meaning, use and symbolism of tattoos ranged from denoting social status and a woman’s suitability for marriage to a freak show fad and walking advertisements.
By the turn of the century, in America, tattooing had lost quite a bit of credibility and had declined in popularity so much so that it moved underground and could only be found in the “sleazy” parts of town. For a long time tattoos were negatively associated with “biker types” and juvenile delinquents.
These days, that once taboo thing is now crossing cultural boundaries again. No longer considered symbolic of the less than desirable, tattoos are now favorably regarded. Tattooists are considered artists and their beautiful works of art can be found on anyone from the biker, to the rocker, to the businessman, to the student, to the youth pastor, to the traveling missionary, to the fifty-something year old lady I met at a birthday party a few months ago who proudly showed me the tattoo she got about a year prior.
Every tattoo is different but all have something in common—a story or meaning for the wearer. Today TFH Daughters blog is offering you chance to tell us a bit of your story. Yay! In the comments section, upload a photo of your favorite tattoo and tell us the circumstances around why you got it and/or what it means to you. And to make things a little more exciting—the blog staff will award the submitter with the most amounts of “likes” a $10 Starbucks gift card! How ‘bout dat? So show us your tattoo, tell us your story and be sure to forward to all your friends so they can read the blog and vote!