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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is the tattoo fad fading?

Is it finally happening? Has the tattoo finally lost its allure with the young and impressionable crowd? Can the old navy salts now reclaim their territory as the only guys who really know what tattoos are about?

I’ve criticized the tattoo fad a couple of times in this space over the past three and a half years with my argument that although tattoos may be "cool" for a period of time, the popularity will wear off the same as it did for Fu Manchu moustaches, Afro haircuts, and pegged pants. The difference is you can easily get a haircut, shave a moustache, and throw away weird clothes. A tattoo? It’s painful and expensive to remove. Once you have one, it is usually for life.

Do you really want Mary Jane’s name and yours surrounded by a heart etched on your arm forever? Especially since she ran off with some other guy 6 months ago. Do you want your friends saying, "Damn! I can’t believe he still has that tattoo!" Even an authority on the pop culture like Paris Hilton says tattoos are "unoriginal". Pop singer Christina Aguilera is having hers removed at no small and painful expense. Is the day coming when the pop crowd will see someone with a tattoo and say, "Remember those?"

The dermatologists have to be salivating over this prospect. There are a lot of "tramp stamps" out there that I’m sure the girls are wanting to have removed. Gosh, it seemed so cool to have that eagle creeping up your back in 2002; not so much now. Even rapper 50 Cent is having his tattoos removed now that he is trying to establish an acting career. Who would have thought? They seemed like such a good idea at the time.

For those who can’t endure the pain and expense of tattoo removal, there is a product available called Wrecking Balm Tattoo Fade System that claims to "fade away" that tattoo. They have a magazine ad with a girl looking at the tattoo on her back saying, "What was I thinking?" She is depressed because it is bikini season and she doesn’t know what to do about people seeing "that hideous stamp of identity."

So, what is next to leave the culture of the young? My guess is the boys who punched out their ear lobes with gigantic holes in order to wear ear rings will be lamenting that decision soon. That is a huge defacement and may not be repairable. Maybe they will have some use if another remake of King Solomon’s Mines comes along. They can wear black makeup and play the parts of African tribesmen.

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