Rushville Republican

Columns

June 4, 2013

Barada: Fashion statements come and go

RUSHVILLE — A few days ago, I was watching the first game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, the Pacers lost by a single point. Nevertheless, I was struck by one player’s appearance. His arms, shoulders, hands, neck, and all the way up to his ears were covered with tattoos. His head was shaved except for a sort of spiked Mohawk. Doing a little checking, I found out that the player is Chris Andersen. His nickname is “Birdman.” He’s 6’10” tall and weighs 228 pounds and attended a school called Blinn Junior College someplace in Texas. He has been playing in the NBA for 10 years, although he was suspended for a couple of years for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. The website Wikipedia reports that, “Andersen is known for brightly colored tattoos on his arms, chest, neck, back, hands and legs.” I wonder what he’ll do when he retires from the NBA? I’m sure he could get a job with a carnival or in a circus side show.

What’s the point of describing the tattooed body of a 6’10” backup player for an NBA team? Well, it’s to illustrate the growing popularity of tattoos among younger and younger people and to discuss body art as a fashion trend. Just a few days ago, I saw a couple of local teenage girls with multiple tattoos on their arms and backs. The problem, of course, is that fashions change; and what’s popular and fashionable today may well be out of style tomorrow.

So what, you ask?

How many women today would wear a hoop-skirt with a bustle? Or how many men would wear a top hat and spats? The point is fashions and styles change. What’s cool today is likely to be outdated rather quickly. A tattoo, however, is pretty much with you forever. It is possible to have a tattoo removed, but it’s an expensive and painful process.

On the other hand, people have every right to decorate their own bodies anyway they see fit. My point is simply to suggest that it might be a good idea to think twice about getting a permanent decoration because, again, what may be stylish today will probably be out of style not too far in the future. But, unlike a pair of bell-bottom jeans or a tie-dyed T-shirt that can be thrown in the back of the closet, a tattoo, assuming it’s visible, isn’t going away when the popularity of body art goes away.

As I have gotten older, I’ve found that I really don’t care what people do with regard to things like body art or piercings; if you want a metal thing sticking through your nose, hey, go for it.

Another NBA player comes to mind when I think of body piercing: Dennis Rodman. He has so much stuff hanging from his body that I’ll bet he really has trouble going through airport metal detectors! But there’s still a difference between ear piercing, for instance, and a tattoo on one’s ear. You can always remove the ring in your ear, but if there’s a tattoo on your ear it’s probably not going anyplace, ever. For most people, that tattoo is there permanently, so think about whether you’re going to want that snazzy body art visible for all the world to see 30 or 40 years from now when the tattoo has faded and become fuzzy and it’s hard to tell what it was supposed to be because skin tends to sag a little over time.

Does all this mean people shouldn’t get tattoos? No, of course not. People are free to do exactly as they please with regard to body art and piercings.

I believe there are three types of tattoos.

First are the types that are intended to be seen only by the owner or a very close loved one. Second are the types that are specifically intended to be seen by others. The third type is the one that neither the owner nor anyone else can ordinarily see, such as a tattoo on one’s back. The first type usually is on parts of the body covered by clothing. The second type usually is on an arm or leg, which can be seen most of the time. Sometimes they’re even on the neck, but not all the way around the neck like Mr. Andersen’s continuous display of an uninterrupted mural of body art.

The best example I can think of to illustrate the difference in the permanence of personal self-expression is making the decision to grow a mustache versus the decision to get a tattoo. There was a period in our history when beards and mustaches for men were all the rage. When one looks at some of the early photographs taken around the time of the Civil War, nearly every male had either a beard or a mustache because that was the style at the time.

A century later, long hair was the rage when The Beatles took the music world by storm (the irony was that as appalled as the flat-top crowd was, The Beatles had relatively short hair compared to later shoulder-length styles). I can remember when I was no longer part of the armed forces I let my hair grow sort of long, not because I necessarily wanted long hair, but because I finally had the right, after six years, to grow it as long as I wanted! But, when I started going for job interviews I cut it to an acceptable length. I also had a mustache once, until Connie couldn’t stand it any longer.

What I’m getting at is I could shave the mustache. I could get a haircut. If I’d had a tattoo on my neck or the back of my hand, or in some other visible spot, there would have been nothing I could do about it except perhaps put makeup over it.

So, for those of you who are thinking about getting a tattoo, go right ahead, but think about it twice and imagine how you might feel about it 20 or 30 years from now (‘cause it will still be there!).

That’s -30- for this week.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • There's something about Maryland My family unit has just returned from a death march – oops, make that, “vacation” – in Annapolis, Maryland. In spite of constant 96-degree temps (though it dropped as low as 95.7 at night), and the stifling humidity, we had lots of dolgurn fun. Mainl

    July 22, 2014

  • Learning to say goodbye From as far back as I can remember, saying hello has been a part of nearly each day.During my youth, it was used when I met new people my parents introduced me to and was frequently followed by a handshake. I couldn’t count the number of times I used

    July 18, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 15, 2014

  • Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 15, 2014

  • Soothing '60's Surf Sounds I’m sitting in my home office enjoying a serenade of rhythmic pulsations emanating from the outside wall. It’s coming from our water spigot. No. 5 son (age 13) and his buddies are using it to fill water balloons. 1,500 water balloons to be exact. 1,5

    July 15, 2014

  • Soccer-stopping Storm a Lousy Treat What a great way to spend a Saturday morning in July: I’m sitting in my car with rain cascading on the roof, lightning skittering all over the sky, and thunder sockin’ it to the atmosphere with such force that I feel a rumbling in my bum.I’m staring

    July 8, 2014

  • Only in America - Top 10 As we move into the glorious months of summer, I thought you might be amused by reading the Top Ten List of what Canadians supposedly think of how things are going in this country. It’s a lot like David Letterman’s “top ten list.”Number 10: Only in A

    July 8, 2014

  • Government today is way too intrusive What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    July 8, 2014

  • Gone in the blink of an eye Over the holiday weekend I was able to enjoy three days, (somewhat) off work. Three day weekends are always a highlight for me and I am sure most of you will agree.I went fishing to wrap up my Sunday evening. While sitting in the old John boat castin

    July 8, 2014

  • Mum Mum If my grandmother were alive today, she would be 125, and she would still, no doubt, be walking around in her six-inch-high heels, the ones she asked to be buried in—and she’d have a Marlboro in her fingers. She demanded to be called Mum Mum because

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.