EricaFree_FinalPaper - Free 1 Erica Free Ms Burton English...

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Free 1 Erica Free Ms. Burton English 1102 22 April 2009 Expressing Identity When choosing a topic I tried to think of something that was important to me. I thought about it for a while and finally stumbled upon tattoos. I was walking through the mall with a friend of mine when a girl walked by with a tattoo on her arm. When my friend made a negative remark about the girl I told her that she shouldn’t judge someone by the tattoos they have, unless she knows the meaning behind it. She didn’t say anything back, but it got me thinking, “I wonder if she would feel different about me if she knew I had a tattoo of my own.” Are there a lot of people that feel this way when they see someone walk by with a tattoo? This encouraged me to do research and look into the topic of tattooing, the way people feel about it, and how to change views like the one my friend made very clear. I believe that others should be treated with respect and should not be judge by their body art, because it is a part of them . America is the land of freedom, therefore Americans are able to express themselves freely through tattoos and should accept and respect others tattoos as well. The many dispositions of my friend’s negative view of tattoos continues to be passed on. People were afraid of what older generations would think of them such as their parents and grandparents. Others said that it was against their religion to get a tattoo. Scholars even had input in saying that it was linked to deviance because of its association with criminals. However, there is always another side to every story. Many
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Free 2 academics believe that even though tattoos might have been used for criminals a long time ago, that information is no longer valid because times have changed. People are learning to become more accepting in so many aspects of life, including body modifications such as tattoos. In Atkinson’s book he states, “Indeed, academics also have taken notice of the cultural changes surrounding tattooing, moving away from the traditional characterization of the tattoo as a de facto indicator of deviance and instead focusing on the tattoo as an expression of identity” (132). This statement made by Atkinson is saying that the art of tattooing has changed and continues to change as time flies by. In today’s world tattoos are not being seen as a sign of deviance, but rather a way of allowing self-expression through body art. My very own tattoo is important to me in many ways. My tattoo is an anchor. It has a navy outline, colored in with blue ink, a yellow rope, and white hooks. Everything has a symbolic meaning to me personally. The navy and blue ink are associated with stability. Much like an anchor is the stability for a boat at sea, the anchor is there to help me keep stability in my life. Yellow stands for hope, the hope that one day I may fulfill all of my wildest dreams. The white on the tips of the hooks are a symbol of purity. Purity can mean different things to different people but to me it means truth.
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EricaFree_FinalPaper - Free 1 Erica Free Ms Burton English...

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