From the Revd Liz Brown
Sir, - Since Simon Parke remarks that "everybody has a tattoo
these days" (Comment, 27 September), I wonder
whether he is speaking from personal experience. If so, his
assertion that the sporting of such body art is "a cry for
permanence in an impermanent world" or a "search for external
identity where an internal sense of this is shaky" may be taken as
his own reasons for going under the ink gun.
I am puzzled, though, why he should suppose that the motives he
suggests can be applied generally to everybody else who is so
I have several tattoos, including one that goes the entire
length of my right arm, and my reasons for choosing to have them
are personal and varied. They are also entirely positive. I see no
reason why anybody should suppose that personal choices like these
must be attempts to compensate for lack of security and/or
identity. It is always tempting to suppose that people who choose
to present themselves in unconventional ways have a "problem", but
if the prospect of somebody who appears to be atypical is so
disturbing, perhaps those who are worried need to ask themselves
exactly where the problem lies.
They may find the answer even more challenging than the tattooed
body of their neighbour - and considerably closer to home.
21 Ferriby Road
North Lincs DN18 5LE