Home / Fall 2011 / Inked skin still carries stigma

Inked skin still carries stigma

The tattoo addiction has spread out so far that even Barbie bared her skin to the needle.

A pink-bobbed, miniskirt and skull heart and bones shirt wearing tokidoki® Barbie® doll was released earlier this month online to adult collectors for $50. Parents are freaking out about this popular children’s doll having—not the miniskirt, pink hair or skull-printed shirt, but the tattoos drawn on her back, chest, neck and arms.

Oh no, Barbie no longer serves as a role model for children. Oh wait, this Barbie is targeted at adults.

But wait parents, Barbie has also been inked before.

For example, I remember one Geri Halliwell, i.e. Ginger Spice of the ‘90’s pop group The Spice Girls, doll back when “Stop” and “Wannabe” topped the charts. Well my mother would not let me have this particular doll—why? No other reason than that Ginger, and therefore her doll, had a visible tattoo.

Now, that was back in the ‘90s and the doll is a representation of Ginger.

With this controversy around a latest Barbie, the problem evidently hasn’t changed; there is still an issue of tattoo acceptance.

Tattoos have been seen as gang or delinquent related; only the bad, tough kids and adults have them.

As of 2008, 14 percent of Americans reported having tattoos, according to the February Harris Poll.

Tattoos do not fully determine a person. You should not see a person covered in tats and automatically dismiss him or her. That person could wind up being a witty, highly educated, charming individual, and you will never know if you just stick your nose up and walk on by.

Tattoos express people. A tattoo represents an important aspect of a person’s life. While I do not fully understand why some people have what they have, I am not in a position to dictate and judge. Everyone is different; therefore, everyone’s tattoos will be different.

While tattoos are becoming increasingly accepted, some employers, such as those in the education field, might overlook wonderful, qualified employees simply because of the ink on their skins.

A friend of mine, who wants to be an English teacher, considered getting a tattoo on her wrist. Several people dissuaded her, saying it would affect her future career.

Unfortunately, this is true. If parents are fretting about inanimate tattooed dolls negatively influencing their children, imagine their reactions to living tattooed adults teaching and interacting with their children regularly.

Tattoos do not look professional; that is the reason why some fields are less accepting of tattoos than others.

Ironically, some students might be more comfortable working with open-minded, tattooed teachers than with strict, anti-tattooed teachers. Tattoos seem to be more positive with a younger group and might make the teacher seem less intimidating and more relatable.

Tattoos, just as clothes and accessories, represent parts of people, not the full package. Just because I have a yin-yang ankle tattoo does not mean I turned my back to my Christian faith and now devout my life to Taoism. The symbol’s meaning of equality and harmony shows a strong sense of my values.

Tattoos should not be the eliminating factor in the work or social field. You wouldn’t turn someone away because she has her ears pierced, so you shouldn’t turn someone away because he has a sleeve tattoo.

As far as the Barbie controversy goes, the doll is sold out. This Barbie is flowing with the times, and the parents should flow with it.

And besides, parents, what kind of role model is a doll that changes her career many times and has an anatomically impossible waist size?

I think tattoos and pink hair are the least of your worries.

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