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 What’s cool today is likely to be outdated rather quickly.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
  • Young people should be involved in sports People who know me are probably aware that my favorite sport is football. As it turns out, I’m not alone, at least in terms of the number of high school kids who take part in the sport. During the 2012-13 school year, a total of 1,088,158 high school

    August 19, 2014

  • A Washing-ton of baseball trivia On our recent, although not really so recent anymore, I guess, since I’ve been writing about it for weeks on end, summer vacation, all the guys in our group -- me, brothers-in-law, nephews, sons, father-in-law -- went to a Washington Nationals vs. Co

    August 19, 2014

  • Habitual behavior Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 19, 2014

  • Driving Highway 40 in the 40's My days in the 1940’s would today be extremely quiet and sedate. I have remembrances of having an enjoyable day with family and in reality doing little. On a Sunday afternoon, we would take off and head toward Dunreith and Highway 40, the only 4-lane

    August 19, 2014

  • Card, why do I need a stinking card? I would consider myself a typical male shopper, I buy. That is not to say that I don’t look for a good deal, but I am not going to travel from store to store in search of saving a few pennies here or there. With that in mind, I recently was in search

    August 15, 2014

  • Giving young people a second chance How many of you know what the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy is? More basically, how many of you know where it is? I had a vague notion of where it is, but I would have been hard-pressed to tell you much about what it is. The Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe

    August 12, 2014

  • Civil reunion My wife and I enjoy doing many things together. But when our entertainment preferences are not in sync, we can communicate openly with each other. That makes for a perfect union. But it may make for a lousy reunion. Let me explain.The Wolfsie family

    August 12, 2014

  • A capitol idea, sealed with a snog On our recent summer vacation to Annapolis, Maryland, we made sure to see as many memorable sights as we could in nearby Washington, D.C. This included a tour of the United States capitol building. Or maybe it’s the Capitol Building? – I suddenly rea

    August 12, 2014

  • Tuesdays with Auri It began with a simple phone call to my friend Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a d

    August 5, 2014

  • Technology is taking over You see them everywhere you go. Electronics. Adults are using them daily and so are children of all ages.I am so glad that when I was growing up, electronics were not big yet. Of course in school we used computers to do work, but they were new. I rem

    August 5, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
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.