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My tattoos aren’t my problem: are they yours?

04 October 2013


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 adorned.

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

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