Since the time human beings could express themselves to the world around them, tattooing and piercing body parts has been a form of permanent form of expression. While it is theorized that at first, tattoos were utilized medically, it has come far, far down the line to not only a medical tool but a more so an externally social means of marking a stake in identity to others.
Contemporary adolescent and young adult culture has embraced tattooing and body piercing, supposedly as a form of self-expression. Londoner Jaime Prue says, she started adapting body art to show her unique personality to other.
“Since the time I could understand what tattoos and piercings were, I knew it was something that was right for me and something that I was interested in. I wanted the fact that my personality was so different from everyone else’s to show on the outside.”- Jaime Prue
Tattooing and piercings were practiced in Canada long before European settlers even discovered the art form. It was common for natives throughout North America to tattoo themselves for spiritual reasons, to honor victories in battle, for beautification, and to show tribal relationships. Prue says she wouldn’t get married until she gets completely inked one day.
“I always said I wouldn’t get married until I had both my sleeves done because I love the way they look in a wedding dress, so I plan on being totally covered one day.”- Jaime Prue
Fanshawe student Zech Brockington got his first tattoo when he was 16 and his fascination for body art is growing every day he says.
“I decided to get my first tattoo when I was 16 before I could even get one without my parents’ signature. I do plan on getting more; I plan on getting a full sleeve on both my arms.”- Zech Brockington
A tattoo is a form of body art that’s created when ink is inserted, using a needle, into the dermis layer of the skin. This changes the skin’s pigment and can be used to create almost any image imaginable.
“Everyone always ask if tattoos hurt? Of course they hurt they’re needles, but never let that stop you from getting something that you are passionate about.”- Jaime Prue
Famous tattoo artist from Toronto, Immortal Ace says body art is a popular form of self-expression, but people who decide to get a tattoo or body piercing should go to a licensed facility and take time to discuss the safety procedures with the artists working at the tattoo studio.
Health Risks Involved: Tattoos & Piercings
- Risk of skin infection or tuberculosis
- Risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and tetanus; these can be contracted by using contaminated tattoo needles that haven’t been sanitized
- Risk of tattoo dye reaction on the particular area
- Risk of burning and swelling at the tattoo area
“In my studio everything is new for every client, everything is disposable. When we start the process of tattooing we take out new set of needles for every customer. The station is should be very clean and hygienic to avoid unsanitary reactions.”- Immortal Ace
As with all cosmetic treatments, there is some element of marketing hype. Tattoo removal is a roughly $75-million-a-year business, mostly catering to young professionals who think tattoos are hindering their rise, mothers who decide the art no longer fits their image and tattoo enthusiasts who simply want to redecorate. Ace says one should be extremely careful and wise and plan before getting permanently inked beforehand.
“I always say this to everyone- you have to think about it not search about it. Everyone search on internet and google, which is wrong. If you search about anything you’re not going to like it forever, if you’re going to think about it before getting permanently inked then it’ll stay with you for lifetime.”- Immortal Ace
Before making the decision of getting a body art you should always keep in mind tattoos can be removed, but not always completely or with satisfying cosmetic results. The process is expensive and requires repeated visits to a doctor. Scarring is also likely.
Kamal Sandhu says he regrets picking up a horrible design for his first tattoo and went under the long procedure of removing it recently.
“It was my first tattoo and I picked a horrible design that I wanted on my arm and got carried away basically. After that I finished my school and had to start a professional job and this tattoo did not look good on my arm. So I had to go through a long process of getting it removed.”- Kamal Sandhu
The procedure of removing a permanent tattoo can be dangerous and time consuming.
“The process was really painful; they have to basically scrape the surface of your skin with a laser to remove the tattoo so it was a long process and expensive too.” -Kamal Sandhu
Tattoos have become more and more popular in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, almost four of every 10 people born after 1980 have at least one tattoo.
Make sure you get a tattoo from a licensed, reputable facility. Tattoo regulations and requirements vary by state, so check with your local department of health for the latest safety laws.