Some people often get inked for the wrong reasons – the most common of which is to look cool to be a part of the popular clique. But anyone who’s got themselves a tattoo knows that the decision to get inked is never easy. Despite the ubiquity of tattoos and tattooed individuals in contemporary culture, they are still regarded by many as pretentious, tacky, scary and unattractive. Quite a lot like bullies.
Tattooing and bullying are two of the most complex yet widespread social phenomena today, transcending age, gender and race. Some might say that these two have nothing in common. But look closely and you’d find out that tattoos and bullies actually share plenty of similarities. Check out some of them below:
Like bullies, tattoos also cause physical and emotional pain. Bear in mind, though, that people have different tolerance levels for pain. While some may describe the feeling as similar to getting bitten by an ant, others might find it as bad as being kicked in the groin. Some even faint or cry simply at the sight of needles or blood. The important thing to remember, though, is that pain – whether from getting a tattoo or being bullied – shall pass and always leads to something more beautiful. An artwork, newfound confidence, a stronger and better you.
Sometimes you get more than one
They say you never get just one tattoo because you get your first tattoo. Proof to this is the many ink aficionados coming back to tattoo parlours to add more markings or art to their bodies. Some get multiple tattoos because they seek to memorialise important events or simply to beautify their bodies; others also do it because celebrities, from David Beckham to Justin Bieber, have plenty of them. Nevertheless, an affinity for tattoos can occur in much the same way as bullying – you start out with one or something small, until one thing leads to another and the next thing you know you’ve got a hundred tattoos or a legion of bullies after you. That is why tattooing and bullying are often considered as addictive and even contagious.
They leave scars
Tattooing may also lead to some scars, especially if the tattoo artist digs too deep on the skin. The most obvious sign of a scarred tattoo is a puffy or raised skin, which you typically can’t tell unless you touch it – just like how other people never notice the scars carried by bullying victims. Bullies scar their victims for life. On the inside. And everyone knows that while they’re easier to conceal, emotional scars are much harder to remove than the physical ones. But these scars can serve as great reminders that you’ve been hurt once, but have now healed.
You think you can’t get away from them, but you can
Tattoos were supposed to be permanent – that is, until a number of tattoo removal methods were developed. Today, there are plenty of ways to erase or correct tattoos, from tattoo removal creams to more advanced methods like laser treatments, which can be availed in skin care clinics. And if you can get away from tacky or poorly done tattoos, you can also get away from bullies with the help of counselling, a change of environment and, of course, standing up to your bullies. Although, try as you might, you can never do so using lasers. These processes may be painful and may take a lot of time, but they’re surely worth the outcome.
Getting a tattoo and being bullied may be two different experiences that can happen at any point of our lives. And while they may share remarkable similarities, knowing their main difference is also important: choice. Nobody chooses to be bullied, but one can always choose to get meaningful tattoos… or just get inked.