Diggin’ a Little Deeper

Further and further into inquiry. Now comes the hard part. To dig deeper, think harder and relate more- a concept I have never had to do in high school. GREAT. Instead of dragging out everything that seems to be repeated over and over- here’s a long story short. My main inquiry question is, “what do tattoos have to say about American Society?” From this, our group split up into subsections and each developed two questions that relate. The questions I chose are, “Do different generations tattoo movement have different significance?” and, “Are there generational divides?”

For this blog, I have been asked to accomplish three things.

  1. Consider your questions and readings and write your opinions on the matter
  2. Go back through and identify statements and find terms that need clarification
  3. Make attempts to “fill in” the “missing links”

So here it goes…

My opinion. Oh boy. From every blog post on this inquiry proposal, it should be very clear what my opinion is towards the matter. I strongly believe that tattoos are a work of art, specifically in this generation. They are a way of representing an individual, a way to make you different from others, a way to express your beliefs, feelings or ideas. I absolutely hate the fact of someone saying, “why would you put something permanent on your body?!” or, “what’s going to happen when you don’t like it anymore?” People put something permanent on their body because they feel strongly about it at the time, whether that is short or long lived. If they don’t like it later on in life, well too bad. It’s a way to look back and see what/ how you were feeling at the time (then if they want to get it removed that’s on them). I do believe that there are generational divides as well. People of different generations, get tattoos of different meanings and for different reasons, just as people acquire different things at different times (such as technology).

Now, on to statements and phrases that I have read that need clarification.


“Now in the twenty‐first century tattooing is experiencing wide‐spread acceptance. More people – and a more diverse group of people – are getting tattooed. “ (pg. 20)

Acceptance– Does the word acceptance really mean it is accepted? Is it accepted in the work place? How about society? If someone is walking around completely tatted, do they not get stares? Aren’t people still judgmental? Is tattoo really being accepted? What about other generations? Many elderly/ middle age are still quick to judge this generations acts or getting certain tattoos.

The Psychological Bulletin reports that “repeated exposure to media content lead viewers to begin to accept media portrayals as representations of reality” (Grabe et al. 460). This engineered perception of reality results in what is called the “ideal body type.” (pg. 28) 

“Repeated exposure to media content lead viewers to begin to accept media portrayals as representations of reality”- Have you ever though that children of this generation are more exposed to the media? Older generations didn’t have technology and the things that we do now. They didn’t grow up around it. Maybe tattoos have always been very significant in every day life, but older generations didn’t notice it, due to lack of media. They weren’t really seeing the world for what was going on. Does media really have an affect?

“Idea body type”- Who is to say what the ideal body type is? What is the ideal body type? Is there one? Are women supposed to be skinny, tan and beautiful? What is beautiful? What if tattoos are an example of the “ideal body type?”



This is where the modern tattoo gives us great insight, because they are in fact the product of a society that has lost its way.

“Product of society that has lost its way.”- A product or society? Isn’t this the perfect example of the society we are engaged in shaping us? We feel the need to tattoo something on us that is important to us or means something because society made it that way.

Tattoos are mementos of important eras in one’s life.

Mementos”- They have become a way to remember important things/ events during one’s life. What is a memento? Does everyone have the same memento? Doesn’t this make us who we are, as an individual? Who is to judge you for placing something memorable in your life on your own body?

Many are quick to judge this generation as embracing narcissism and superficiality, yet the modern tattoo tells a different story; in fact, it tells a million different stories. Stories of love and loss, trauma and triumph, of honouring the past as we make sense of our future. “To live is to be marked, to acquire the words of a story.”

Story”- The extent of a story lies in the hands of the teller (or in this case the person getting the tattoo). Stories could mean so many different things to different people. When telling a story, it may change, in many ways- whether that be feelings or detail.



Art”- Who is to tell you what and what is not considered art. Isn’t art ways of expressing you, or something you are feeling? Isn’t art all around us? Would you consider this blog a form or art? What is considered art?


“Body art/modification says nothing about the content of the person.”- It doesn’t? Isn’t coming up with the idea of what to put on your body saying something about whom you are? Even if they are all over someone’s body, you shouldn’t judge a person by them.”

“Some people are so covered that I find myself totally distracted by it.”- Couldn’t you be distracted by other things too? What about someone’s attitude? What about their weird habits like chomping on gum, or tapping on everything? Are you really distracted or are you being judgmental?

And here comes the hard part. YAY. After all of the statements and phrases I have pulled out, I know there are thousands of more I could argue. Based off of this post, it makes me think that I should maybe look into the psychology of humans accepting others and why we accept certain things. I also thought about looking into media and body image and its affect on younger children. How much does media influence children and how likely are they to follow something they see in the media? I also thought about the influence of society and environment on individuals. How big of a role does society have on humans? Is peer pressure really a thing? I also thought very hard about art. Art is all around us. What other forms of art are weird to certain people. What about music? What is art?


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