Stereotypes Associated With Tattoos Cultural Studies Essay

Tattooing is the act of doing a grade on the tegument by infixing ink to the tegument utilizing acerate leafs and dyes. The name ‘Tattoo ‘ came from the Tahitian word ‘Tatu ‘ which means, ‘to grade something ‘ . Therefore, tattoo, in this instance, would intend to go forth a grade on our tegument. As its name suggests, tattoos have become a manner to individuality and represent people in both the negative and positive manner. From the yesteryear to show, tattoos have undergone a passage from spiritual patterns, stigmatization of slaves and individuality of pack members to a widely accepted pattern by everyone as a manner to stand for themselves. Yet, the stigma of tattoos can still be felt today. Peoples tend to hold an feeling of tattooed people as evil and being portion of a three pack. There are several grounds for this phenomenon, it could be due to foremost, the manner tattoo was used in the yesteryear, the fact that pack members do use tattoos as an individuality and in conclusion, the image created by the mass media, we will discourse them in item subsequently in the paper. To turn out that these are so stereotypes, we will unveil what tattoos genuinely represent.

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The earliest Tattoo seemed to look in Polynesia where archaeologists discover tattoos around the islands dating to at least the 2nd millenary B.C. However, the exact location and twelvemonth is ill-defined until today. Therefore, our undertaking will be more interested in how tattoos were spread throughout the universe. There was no definite reply to which state began to distribute the usage of tattoos. Margo DeMello wrote in his book that North America was the state that caused the broad spread of Tattoos when Captain James Cook visited Tahiti and discovered the art of tattooing there in the seventeenth and 18th centuries. He brought the thought of tattooing back to American and was since so distribute to Asiatic states. The image below, Figure 1, is an image of an ancient North American with tattoos. In the image, the individual has a full organic structure tattoo which stretches from the face to his mortise joint.

In another beginning, ‘A Brief History Of Tattoos ‘ stated that Egypt was the 1 that spread tattoos to other states. Historical groundss of tattoos in Egypt can be found to be dated every bit early as before the Pyramids were made. Figure 2 is an image of ancient Egyptians with tattoos. It is seeable that the antediluvian Egyptians had tattoos on their weaponries and legs.

The tendency of people acquiring tattooed today is an increasing one. In March of 2005, The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found out that 24 % of the general U.S. Population had at least one tattoo ; 17 % of those people have thought about holding a tattoo removed and 5 % of them have had a tattoo covered up with a different design. The National Geographic News stated in April 2000 that 15 % of Americans were tattooed or about 40 million people. The art of tattooing is so popular that the authorities of America had to put up a tattoo association called the ‘National Tattoo Association ‘ to modulate the activities carried out by tattoo partisans and to restrict tattooing clip and gross revenues of tattoo equipments. There are two chief grounds for the increased popularity of tattoos. First, the procedure of tattooing is less painful and less clip devouring today. The most common method of tattooing in modern times is the electric tattoo machine, which inserts ink into the tegument via a group of acerate leafs that are soldered onto a saloon, which is attached to an hovering unit. This method is much more comfy as compared to the agonising traditional method which was to utilize a tool made of carven bone or wood, and tipped with a bunch of bantam acerate leafs, the creative person punches into the tegument with a sequence of painful poke. Figure 3 is a image of ancient tattoo tools found in Egypt.

Figure 3

Second, the media, although besides portrayed people with tattoos in the bad visible radiation as we will discourse in the ulterior portion of our paper, it has besides played a major function in transforming tattoos into something so popular. Ads for common trade goods runing from cellular phones to alcoholic drinks have in the past 10 old ages intentionally included tattooed tegument. The advertizement for Chuck Taylor gym shoe has created an ad in which a adult male with facial tattoos is photographed with a brace of places decorating his cervix. Therefore, with these factors, it is inevitable for tattoo to go so popular around the universe.

Tattoos are non worn upon the organic structure but instead inscribed into the organic structure. It is frequently regarded as a trade good which resists consumer ”throw-away ” . Tattooing is a merchandise that involves the consumer to go the informant, participant, and life-long carrier of a alone production procedure ; a procedure in which the manufacturer and consumer unite in complicated exchange that is at the same time ritualistic and individualistic. However, before acquiring tattooed, one will see tattooing as a procedure which they pass through assorted barriers. Like Lawrence, we think that tattooing requires one to go through through the barrier of come ining the studio, make up one’s mind the design of tattoos, the location of the tattoos and the hurting of tattooing. The procedure of tattooing involves a needle vibrating in and out at an unbelievable velocity dipped in ink making an unerasable grade on the tegument that will defy all the elements and remain at that place for a life-time. As tattoos are lasting, there will frequently be a 2nd idea whether they should acquire tattoos. For one to acquire tattooed, he or she must be determined to acquire tattooed in order to go through through these barriers.

Stereotypes of people with tattoos as ex-convicts and delinquents were due to feeling from the yesteryear. In the past, many states used tattoos to grade felons, to divide them from the bulk and to discourage people from perpetrating offenses. In China, for illustration, governments would tattoo the faces of captives who committed terrible offenses before they were banished to another land. This is a terrible penalty as captives who returned to the mainland after their sentence would still be identified as ex-convicts by people and it would be natural for people to eschew them. Therefore, it is non surprising that the feeling of tattoos related to felons last until today. Peoples in the yesteryear besides used tattoos in another manner, which was to trade name slaves. Slaves were tattooed by their Masterss to claim ownership of their slaves. In ancient Persian, tattoos were used on slaves to bespeak both ownership and position. If a slave were to get away from their proprietor, they can easy be identified by others that they were slaves and who were their Masterss. Slave tattoos gave the people a position of ‘slave ‘ in the yesteryear, slaves would be beaten up and abused by merely any other people on the route. . In the Greek and Roman civilisations, around 2200BC, tattooing was besides used in a mode similar to that used with slaves-in other words, a adult male would tattoo a adult female to guarantee that she was recognized as his “ belongings ” and as a reminder to her to maintain her sexual desires under control. Therefore, people today may tie in people with tattoos with useless people. Peoples today look at people with tattoos as unnatural people ; they would believe that people with tattoos are non like any ordinary individual, something must be different about them. One of the ground could be due to how dime museums and circuses in the past exhibited tattoos. In the 19th centuries, ‘Freak shows ‘ better known today as circuses emerged. In these public presentations, tattooed people were considered ‘made monsters ‘ , which means that they were non born with tattoos but looked like monsters. In dime museums, tattoos were exhibited alongside people with disablements and natural admirations like wild animate beings and native people. Therefore, this made tattoos look bizarre at that epoch.

Tattooed people as pack members?

Second, tattooed people are frequently stereotyped to be gang members. This is true to a certain extent because tattoos have become a popular method adopted by pack members to tag their group individuality and their disaffection from the mainstream norm and societal webs. Gang members in peculiar take pride in branding themselves as exterior of the boundaries of conventional society. Tattoos have long been a agency of placing oneself with a group or civilization and triad packs were one of the first groups to utilize tattoos as a agency of denoting individuality and affinity. Tattoos are a manner of both asseverating rank in the pack and flashing their deficiency of rank in consecutive society. For this ground, street pack members will frequently acquire tattoos on their custodies and faces so as to for good exclude them from being a portion of normal society. Tattoos can state other inside informations about the carrier, including rank in the pack and figure of “ hits ” or other services performed on the pack ‘s behalf, for illustration, the yakuza foreman has full organic structure suit tattoos. Tattoos were besides used to show gang members ‘ frequently fatalist doctrine of life. One popular tattoo among Latino mobsters is a word picture of the smile and shouting comedy and calamity masks, significance, “ drama now and pay subsequently, ” or “ my happy life, my sad life. ” Clock faces are besides found within the intricate graphics that can do up a mobster ‘s tattoos. If the clock has no custodies, it symbolizes making clip in prison. In add-on, tattoos served as a manner for them to disrespect the authorization, a desire for retaliation, obscene words and obscene images. Take for illustration, the Yakuza have full-body suit tattoos on them as a symbol of being portion of the pack. Tattoos are painful and lasting, this permanency marks their deathless trueness to their pack leader and that they will ne’er go forth the pack while the hurting derived from tattooing was a symbol of their maleness and that they were unafraid persons. Tattoos were non merely popular in the western threes, Asian pack threes, like those in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan excessively have tattoos on them. Some Hong Kong triad members have firedrakes and Phoenixs on their weaponries as a symbol of portion of the pack. This may be because in Chinese traditions, Phoenixs and firedrakes are auspicious and powerful animate beings. These symbols will bless them and let them to be a successful three. From our research, we see that that pack triads worldwide seems to hold a liking for tattoos and the pattern of tattooing, therefore we can reason that tattoos as a representation of pack threes is really a worldwide phenomenon. Therefore, it is no surprise that when people encounter a tattooed individual, they will tie in him or her with pack threes.

Figure 4: A common tattoo among Latino pack members, normally tattooed on the manus between the pollex and index finger.

Figure 5: This symbol that stands for “ mi vida loca, ” “ my brainsick life. ” Southeasterly Asiatic mobsters have adopted the same tattoo of the three points, specifying its significance as “ To O Can Gica, ” or “ I care for nil. ”

In this paper, we will analyze the function mass media dramas in making and determining the stereotypes of people holding tattoos. Mass media which includes the newspaper, films and telecasting has ever been a great power of influence of people, impacting our point of views, determinations, perceptual experiences, beliefs and even our wonts in life. This is because, promotion in engineering has made entree to mass media content easier to everyone, so much so that it has become a tool for people to obtain cognition of the universe. In add-on, as the society we lived in is commercial- and media-driven, telecasting shows, advertizements, films, sketchs and even music will impact the manner we perceive the universe around us. It is of import to observe that our cognition of the universe or what is go oning about is often derived from the mass media. Many times, it is hard for us to see or see it obviously to cognize of it. Hence, we assumed what portrayed in the mass media to be truth and grounds of what is go oning. Surveies have shown that mass media tend to show a limited and repeating scope of images and thoughts which differs from worlds hence the mass media is non a dependable beginning of information for the people. However, the mass media is non wholly undependable as its credibleness will depends about wholly on the unity of its writer. This is frequently subjective among writers of Television series, newspaper and films. Therefore, we think that careful thought should be taken when we are sing the mass media and the use of its content. We should non presume that all is true or incorrect in the mass media but do our determinations and sentiments on what is shown in it. Television play and films like LOST, CSI and Prison Break ( See Fig.8 ) have portray tattoos in the bad visible radiation, utilizing tattoos as manner to place felons, scoundrels and pack members. Take for illustration, local situation comedy ‘Police and Thief ‘ , Mark Lee who acted as the pack member had a tattoo on his arm. The changeless portraiture of stereotyping of people with tattoos will do people to internalise the image that tattoos are related to scoundrels and felons. The effects of internalisation can be drawn to instance survey of mass media and thin ideals. Research shows that continual exposure to the image that thin is beautiful has result in people believing that thin is beautiful. The manner the mass media causes people to internalise the images of thin ideals is similar to the manner it causes people to internalise the image that tattooed people are scoundrels, felons and pack members. Hence, it consequences people to see those with tattoos as people who are felons, scoundrels and immoral. Research has shown a consistent relationship between the sum of telecasting viewed and beliefs about the societal universe.

As our universe modernizes, tattooing on felons was abolished and became a tendency for many others. The thought of tattoos being associated with offense and pack members besides changed. This is partially due to the mass media and the alteration in packs ‘ pattern. Mass media created the stereotype that tattoos are associated to felons and mobsters but on the other manus, it besides showed famous persons have oning tattoos. With the proliferation of the amusement media worldwide, it increased people ‘s exposure to famous persons which resulted in an lift of the power of influence of famous persons. Hence, famous persons play a function in act uponing how we see tattoos. Actors, theoretical accounts, instrumentalists, and adored jocks proudly herald the mainstreaming of a antecedently marginalized and historically belowground pattern. This causes tattooing to be gentrified and repackaged as desirable and stylish. For illustration, David Beckham has a no. 9 tattooed on him to stand for himself ; the figure he wore for Manchester United.Next, there is a lessening in the pattern of tattooing in pack members, the grounds why they do non desire tattoos will be discussed farther in our undertaking. To unveil the worlds of tattoos, we will look into why gang members no longer want tattoos, and besides show that tattoos really have many other different definitions other than the usual image people have.

As mentioned earlier in our paper, tattooed people are stereotyped to be felons and pack members. Tattoos were a manner to stand for pack individuality, it besides became a manner for the constabulary to descry gang members and catch them. This causes tattoos to go a disadvantage for pack members and packs. This is because their illegal activities could be easy discovered if constabularies see a group of tattooed people around. Hence, some pack members and packs really deter tattooing in order to let their illegal activities to travel unsoiled. Take for illustration, in Japan, modern Yakuza foremans discourages tattooing in order to avoid the attending of the constabulary. Another illustration is seen in the Yamagumi foreman Takenaka Masahisa who has no tattoos. In add-on, ex-gang members besides try to avoid being identified as pack members for fright of being attacked by other pack members. For illustration, see in Figure 10, a adult male by the name Hugo removed his tattoos as he was attacked on the streets. From here, we can deduce that tattoos are no longer the proud symbol pack members wore to demo their individuality or ex-gang members wore to demo that they were portion of them before. With the dangers attached with tattoos wore on them, there is a lessening in this pattern in some packs. Thus it is a stereotype that tattoos really represent pack threes as pack members can look like the normal mean individual without tattoos on them.

Tattoo may be a symbol to stand for the individualistic character of one through self-expression and making an individuality. Tattoos allow the wearer to be differentiated from the mainstream and contribute to the image of them as being alone. In Ervin Goffman ‘s expounding, he suggested that the physical cues offered to others through scripted organic structure public presentation are pivoted in determining readings of the ego. This statement was farther supported by Mark B. Stephens, he said that tattoos are an of import manner to self-express and make an individuality for many, particularly the younger coevals. Among the general stripling populations, between 10 % and 30 % of striplings or immature grownups presently have tattoos. Adolescents and their parents are frequently at odds over the acquisition of bodily ornaments. For the stripling, piercings or tattoos may be seen as personal and beautifying statements, while parents may interpret them as oppositional and enraging insults to their authorization In utilizing such ornaments, and by taging out their bodily districts, striplings can back up their attempts at liberty, privateness, and insularity. Seeking individualization, tattooed striplings can go unequivocally demarcated from others and singled out as unique. Therefore, by holding tattoos, it is a manner for adolescent to convey a message to their parents that they should be in control of their ain organic structure and life. In add-on, tattoos were often used to make group individualities, other than mobsters, in the modern universe. Tattoos were used as an individuality for modern adult females in Thailand as females were non allowed to hold tattoos in the antediluvian times because the tattoo creative persons were work forces and therefore, they were non allowed to be touched by other work forces. Therefore, adult females with tattoos in Thailand today would mean a new epoch and the alteration of conservative adult females image to a more broad individuality.

Tattoo can besides be as a symbol of following the crowd and worshipping of their graven images. With famous persons have oning tattoos, it causes people who enamored with the peculiar famous person to follow in their way. This has resulted in a different apprehension of tattoos. Those who were followings of the famous persons would decidedly see tattoos from a different point of view. They will non see tattoos as gang members but cool and stylish. To the fiends, their famous persons have the ideal expression, therefore they will seek to look and move like movie and telecasting stars by following their vesture manners and idiosyncrasies. Hence, we see that if famous persons have tattoos it could most likely cause their fans to hold the tattoos excessively. Take for illustration, Angelina Jolie have tonss of tattoos. Her fans tend to follow the tendency and start to hold tattoos on their organic structures.

Following with the group in instance of equal groups will frequently impact young persons. Youth, aged 12 to 17 undergoes a period of uncertainness of their individuality as this is period which they are neither kids nor grownups. Adults treat them as kids while they want to be treated as grownups, but yet, they are still immature to do some of their determinations. Therefore, it causes them to seek the equals for support as they are the 1s who can outdo identify with and understand them. Youth become subjected to peer force per unit area as they would desire to be portion of the group. When their equal group wants to hold a tattoo, they excessively would desire a tattoo in order to be portion of the group as the tattoo would be a group individuality. Although there possibly some dissent about where and what tattoos should be topographic point on them, but Youth would normally travel in front with the bulk. In this instance, tattoos may non be a symbol of being gang members or felons but purpose to mean one ‘s alone individuality among equals by being tendency followings, which is to hold tattoos.

Tattoos as art

Tattoos besides became a manner for people to adorn themselves, in a manner, to heighten their beauty. Research workers have shown that famous persons are icons of manner tendencies. With famous persons have oning tattoos there is no uncertainty that many people look up to tattoos as a ornament on oneself, therefore they treat tattoos as a signifier of art. This consequences in an erasure of early images and significances of tattoo by animating tattoo as a signifier of art. Peoples treat their tegument as canvas and would tattoo every bit much as they like on it. Peoples are so positive that tattoo is a signifier of art that it led to the addition in figure of tattoo art galleries for the grasp of tattoo designs. These galleries display all sorts of tattoo designs, both antediluvian and modern, which help to understand the significance behind this organic structure art that is inked into tegument. Tattoos are non merely go portion of the art gallery, it besides became more recognized internationally. Many international tattoos shows were held as a manner to showcase tattoos as an art. Take for illustration, Singapore Tattoo show 2009, International London Tattoo Convention were held to showcase tattoos as a signifier of art. These events received overpowering response, with an amazing 20000 participants for the London Tattoo Convention. We see an addition in support of tattoos exhibition and that tattoos are easy recognized as a signifier of art worldwide.

Tattoos and Religions

In add-on, tattooing is a tradition for some faiths as it represents their beliefs for their faith and can move as a signifier of approvals to them. Take for illustration Euro-Asiatic Catholics life on the Malabar Coast tattooed birds on their forearms as a symbol of the Holy Ghost, while Christian Serbs tattooed their weaponries with a cross. Catholic misss used to garner in the religious residences of churches to acquire little spiritual tattoos that they believed had charming powers in Bosnia and Herzegovina In footings of people ‘s belief and faiths, have oning a peculiar tattoo would enable them, on deceasing, to go through from this Earth to the land of the liquors. Furthermore, tattooing has become a religious act as its procedure is frequently viewed as ritualistic. For some fans acquiring tattoos after a long and painful procedure, they would normally experience a connexion with the religious universe and therefore, tattoos became an of import portion of people ‘s religious individualities. It was believed that human organic structures are sacred, therefore tattoos were treated as marks of acknowledgment in the universe of the liquors amongst the Naga, in Assam. This is because the hubbies would take a motive to tattoo on the shoulder of their faithful married womans so as to acknowledge them in the hereafter. Similarly, Bengal Hindus believed that a individual deceasing without tattoos would n’t be recognized by his relations in the universe of the liquors. The images below are spiritual tattoo designs wore by fans.

Figure 11: Gaelic tattoo

Figure 12: Holy spirit tattoo

How stereotypes affect their life?

Stereotype will impact the life of tattooed people in footings of employability, happening a life spouse and cause incommodiousness to their day-to-day life.

Harmonizing to a study, 85 % of study respondents agreed that tattoos impede one ‘s opportunities of acquiring a occupation. Regardless of who the existent individual may be, stereotypes associated with tattoos can and make affect others. In general, persons with tattoos are frequently viewed as ‘rougher ‘ or ‘less educated. ‘ ” Despite such bias, merely 16 % of employers have an official company policy on tattoos and piercings. Vault found that over half of employees with tattoos have to cover them up when they were at work. Forty-two per centum of those surveyed admitted to holding tattoos. Of that group, 40 % had one or more tattoo. Therefore, this study clearly showed that people with tattoos are prejudiced against and this caused incommodiousness to them at work.

Second, the stereotypes of tattoos caused tattooed people to hold troubles looking for a life-partner. Surveies have shown that different attitudes towards people with tattoos. This is supported by a research done in United Kingdom, the consequences showed that tattooed adult females were rated as less physically attractive, more sexually promiscuous and heavier drinkers than non-tattooed adult females by work forces, with more negative evaluations with increasing figure of tattoos. This showed that work forces tend to happen adult females with tattoos less attractive and therefore, this made tattooed adult females less possible to happen a spouse.

Last, people with tattoos experience some incommodiousness in life. This is because of its ‘ association with pack members and felons. Take for illustration, in Japan, public topographic points like gyms, public baths and hot spring resorts forbid entry of tattooed people. This is because tattoos are greatly associated with the yakuza, the Nipponese rabble. Owners of these topographic points are afraid that these tattooed people would do problem for other clients which will so impact their concern and repute.


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