Body Art: A Unique Form of Self Expression

The Pros and Cons

Selah Bamgbose, Staff Writer

With all that is changing in today’s fashion industry, one may wonder, where does body art fit? Does it fit? Moreover, why is it suddenly making such a booming comeback?

There are many personal benefits to decorating one’s body with tattoos and body art. For some, it is a way to express their religion, relationship status, beliefs, or passions. For others, it is merely a way to decorate their bodies a little bit. While these are all good things, body art can also have some adverse effects. A lazy body artist may not clean their needle correctly or at all, which could result in some severe skin conditions or allergies. These conditions could include methicillin, hepatitis, or even an STD or HIV.

It is always important to check that your tattoo artist is using a clean, fresh needle. It is also crucial that you are aware of the complications that could be associated with getting a tattoo. One could also contract infections from piercings. Again, piercings are usually just a way for people to make their bodies more interesting or a form of self-expression. However, a piercing is done with a needle, just as a tattoo is. If the piercing needle is unclean, one could get hepatitis, tetanus, or HIV. No matter how spontaneous the moment is, making sure your tech is using a clean needle should always come first.

Although it seems as if body art is only now creeping onto the scene, tattoos have been around for thousands of years. Historians believe as early as 3370 BC. After studying preserved bodies from ancient Egypt, they concluded that many of them were tattooed. They think it was either for decoration or used as a medical treatment.

However, not all cultures loved the inking idea. In early civilizations such as China, Greece, and Rome, tattoos were seen as barbaric and only used on the lowest of the society to put shame upon them. It is only recently that body decoration has become more widely accepted in society.

Tattoos and piercings are also making a startling comeback in the modeling and celebrity world. Models such as Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevinge have used tattoos on the runway as a statement, displaying French Surrealist statements in temporary ink as the strut down the catwalk.

Celebrities such as Rihanna and BTS’ Jungkook use tattoos to attract the attention of fans, teasing them by flashing the tattoos now and then to leave them wanting more. Many celebrities also decorate their bodies with piercings, making them look younger to attract teen fans.

Many of the GC students whom I have spoken to, and who have piercings have agreed that the best time to be pierced is when you are young. Some get ear piercings as young as a few weeks, while some wait a few more months, years, or even never. Decorating your body with tattoos and piercings can be a fun way to show off your uniqueness. It is also crucial that you are mindful and educated on the challenges and long-term effects it can have.