The Art of Tattoos

The award for one of the most controversial and trendy art forms can definitely be given to tattoos. They mean different things to a variety of cultures and have very diverging connotations for groups of people. For me, tattoos are a form of expressing your beliefs through ink and skin. However, for my boyfriend, tattoos mean the complete opposite. It has always amazed me how for people who are very similar something so minuscule as tattoos can be a topic for confrontation. 

For people who are about to make the decision if they want to ink their body for the rest of their lives the typical and common questions or comments always arise. 


    “Do you realize a tattoo is a forever thing?”


    “Don’t tattoo something meaningless on your body”


    “Don’t make it too big, or too seen because of employment opportunities”


All in all, people always have something to say whether they are tattoo enthusiasts or hate them. The one thing you should care about when inking any part of your body is if you are going to be comfortable with it and that the place and person you are going to do it with are safe and clean. 

Another common argument given about tattoos relate to the different cultures. As tattoos travel around the world they mean something completely different on all the places you go to. In Samoa, tattoos are very unique to men and women. Where men’s tattoos are chunky and symmetrical, a woman’s tattoos are inked below her knees. 

Tribes in New Zealand, like the Maori tribe, are said to be some of the most famous tattoos because of their tribal look. Their name “Ta Moko” is significant to the tribe and they are usually drawn on the face, lips, and nostrils. For us, in the contemporary world these tattoos usually are located in arms or chests. 

One type of tattoo that had reached worldwide fame is the Buddhist art of mandalas. They usually mean eternity, universe of completion. Yet they can change from meaning or design depending on the person. 

For Japan and many Latin American countries like Honduras, tattoos are not very widely adored because of their connection with gangs. Many gangs in the modern Japanese society tattoo their entire body, hence why people dislike them. As in Honduras, tattoos are usually frowned upon because gangs dress themselves in ink to be able to recognize each other. 


In a place like FIU, relatively small compared to the world, you will notice a merge of cultures, different identities and a variety of opinions. In my world and my personal bubble, my aunt loves tattoos and she showed me the love for tats. I only have two small tattoos that mean a lot to me, however for my boyfriend that is one too many. This just goes on to say how small the world can be and how opinionated and different people can be. At the end of the day you and your body should be the one making responsibilities for it and if a tattoo is what you want, go for it.