Adam Chapman

The Taboo Of Tattoos

Tattoos, and forgive me for using the tired old cliche, are like marmite. You love them or you hate them and those who don’t like them can’t understand how you can. I love tattoos and I hate marmite, WOAH, game-changer, but honestly, how anyone eats that smelly yeast extract is beyond me.

Tattoos originate back nearly as far as human society itself. The first recorded tattoo was found on the body of “Otzi” who was commonly referred to as “The Iceman”. That’s not a cool ass Top-Gun nickname of some caveman stud, it’s because he was preserved in ice and was believed to have lived around 4000BC


Tattoos whether you like it or not are becoming more and more popular, especially in the younger generation. A recent study shows that around 1 in every 5 British adults has let someone stab them thousands of times with a needle. That number is only bound to rise with the dying out of the elderly amongst us. I know my Nan nearly had a fit when I revealed the colourful grandfather clock that rests upon my upper left shoulder.

The tattoos I have are to be a form of a diary. I can recall where I was, how I was and what was going on in my life each time I got one. They bring back memories and make me feel happy in times of hardship. The response I love is when people suggest that “You’re going to hate them when you’re older” and my reaction to this is that if I ever get to that age I’m probably going to have bigger things to worry about. My hair falling out, pissing myself in public or creeping ever so much closer to the big sleep will probably occupy my mind more so than a drawing of a grandfather clock on my shoulder.

Now I’m not covered in tattoos, far from, I have 3 that go, as previously said, on my left shoulder, the left bicep and left part of my chest. All 3 of these are easily covered up when wearing a shirt and so can’t be seen in the work environment, but honestly, is that still an issue in 2017?


I know recently there was that big hoo-rah about that guy who got the “devast8” tattoo across his face and was claiming it was impossible for him to find work. Sure, something like that may put a few people off. It might have been the fact it was a prison tattoo done purposefully for intimidation so I can’t see why he was surprised that it did in fact, intimidate people.

The fallout from this was that he was inundated with job offers from people and even had offers of laser tattoo removal if he felt that would benefit his life. He subsequently turned down the laser removal surgery claiming he was too busy with his new scaffolding job. So alls well that ends well right? Not because of the fact that I’ve heard laser tattoo removal hurts nearly as much, if not more so, than getting the tattoo itself.

The job market is kinda fucked worldwide for younger people as it is. 5 years experience required for a graduate job and the vicious circle of experienced required to get a job that will give you experience but won’t offer you employment until you have experience. Most of us have been there.


As with everything happening in the world, it takes time for people to get used to it. People seem to be afraid of change or something different from tradition. You only have to go back a few generations for people to think it was impossible that someone of an ethnic minority would be seen in the same office as a white person in England & America. Sure there are some people who still have a problem with this, but those people are morons.

Maybe with a tattoo as extreme as his then yeah, it’s probably going to be hard to find people comfortable with it. I’m not 100% sold on the idea that if someone is more than qualified for a job, will benefit the company no end and is a likeable person that they’d be turned down purely because they have a butterfly on their ankle. Sure it happens somewhere but I can’t imagine that it’s a widespread problem. The way the media reports it though seems to make it seem like once you chuck a few hundred quid at someone to scar you artistically that you’ll never EVER be able to make that money back as nowhere will hire you.

It’s almost as if the media has some sort of agenda. Remember when they said Theresa May was the best person to lead us for the next 4 years? how’s that working out?

I mean come on, David fucking Dimbleby got a tattoo of a scorpion on his upper back in 2013, if that doesn’t show a changing attitude than I don’t know what will.

Honestly, the world has bigger fish to fry at the moment than worrying if someone wants to go through hours of pain to express themselves. Is it any different from plastic surgery? If it makes someone feel comfortable in their own skin, then who the hell are you to have a problem with it?


Don’t get me wrong I can see where some companies are coming from. They have to pander to the minority of people who may have a serious problem with it. There are assumptions made about people with tattoos that they’re creative, they’re risk-takers and live for the moment. Most of these assumptions apply to some but not everyone. It’s like looking at someone who works out and assuming they’re some sort of gym monkey who lack intelligence. A lot of the time this isn’t true. If you believe that, then it would suggest you believe the opposite, that someone who doesn’t spend all day in the gym is a genius. If that’s the case, with the state of my body at the moment, then I’m on par intellectually with Einstein.

The corporate world doesn’t seem to be fully ready to accept the growing trend but hopefully, this will die out in a few generations time. In the past it was sailors, soldiers and tribesmen who ventured into the world of skin art, nowadays it’s barmen, estate agents and hosts of question time, the future? Who knows, CEOs, marketing executives and someone’s Nan.