Appreciating art

Tattos don’t have to have deeper meanings to them


As someone who has gotten tattoos in high school, before I turned 18, I’ve been asked a lot about what each one means and why I decided to get it permanently marked on my body. I love answering this question because the answer isn’t always the same or what people expect it to be. 

Tattoos don’t have to be justified by a deep meaning or emotional connection. Tattoos are a form of art and can be enjoyed for whatever reason. 

I currently have four tattoos with a few more in the works. The most recent one I’ve gotten has prompted the most questions, compliments and disapproving looks. It’s a Japanese-style snake wrapped around my left forearm and is the first installment of the sleeve I’m working on. People will often ask me what it means, but it doesn’t really mean anything. 

I don’t have a deep, emotional connection to snakes, and I don’t think it represents my personality in any specific way. The art and craftsmanship behind it is what drew me to it. That’s a great reason for anyone to get a tattoo. Whether it’s beautiful pictures hanging on a wall or ink on the skin, it’s all art. 

There’s a saying that art is subjective, and this applies to tattoos. Whether it’s how well the piece looks or the reasoning behind its creation, there can always be different perspectives and opinions. The only one that matters, however, is the one that belongs to the person that gave up some skin. Their justification for their art might not please everybody, but they’re the one that’s going to live the rest of their life with it. 

It could be based on religion, family, a favorite food or a goofy nickname from a friend. There are tons of reasons that someone might want to get a tattoo. There are also consequences. I know that with the tattoos I have and the ones I plan to get, I’m less likely to be hired for certain jobs, but my reasons for getting tattoos outweigh the consequences. Only the people that get tattoos can weigh their pros and cons because it’s not going to be the same for them as it is going to be for someone that doesn’t value the same traits in art or tattoos. 

Don’t get me wrong. There is such a thing as a bad tattoo, and there are some tattoos that people simply shouldn’t get like hate symbols and alienating people for the sake of alienating them. But for the most part, I can’t envision a lot of scenarios that would warrant calling a tattoo meaningless. Some have more meaning than others, but the meaning of that tattoo  is only necessary for the person wearing it to understand.