Changing The Perception Of Tattoos

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Why do people perceive tattoos as being dangerous, dirty, and generally belonging to a class of “undesirables?” It could be because people cannot live in a world without narration and stories. Since the dawn of mankind stories have been developed both through natural happenings and casual relations, as well as constructed through characters, themes, language and the meaning of words. The story of tattoos as well as countless others are narratives that have been developed and passed down through the generations without much revision. Walter Fisher once wrote that, “..narratives are fundamental to communication and provide structure for human experience and influence people to share common explanations and understandings.”(pg. 58), which could perfectly explain why tattoos have had a bad rap for centuries. Similarly Kenneth Burke wrote that “..a similarity is taken as evidence of an identity.” when writing about how the world is defined through nothing but a vast array of symbols that people have attributed meaning to. Narratives, themes, characters, and symbols through the years, as they are shared among the public, are the reasons why tattoos are seen as anything but beautiful and non-threatening.

Questions that arise as a result of the above mentioned discovery are philosophic ones, because they propose hypothetical changes in the way society acts and lives. Is it possible to change public’s opinion on tattoos? If so, how would one go about that? Would tattoos become more admirable, perhaps even regarded as an art form if they were accepted into public? To answer some of these questions it is necessary to critique the narrative of tattoos. To do that though, some preliminary attributes have to be categorized.

To start, ever...

... middle of paper ...

...80 degree turn, and the tattoo story would have a new ending. Everybody dance and sing.

General narratives, themes, characters, symbols, and societal views are all still reasons why tattoos are seen as ugly. By altering the way the general public perceives tattoos through the use of positive media and revised storytelling/narrative, tattoos could become more acceptable and even beautiful in today’s society.

Works Cited

1. Burke, Kenneth. Attitudes Toward History. Third ed. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984.

2. Fisher, Walter. Human Communication as Narration: Toward a Philosophy of Reason, Value, and Action. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 1987.

3. Perse, E. M. (2001). Media Effects and Society. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Questia database:
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