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Laser tattoo removal - Essay Example

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Tattoo has been around for thousands of years dating back from the Ancient times. It has been part of the culture of many different and even distant societies: the Mayans, Polynesians, Samoans, Aztecs, and Japanese. Aside from history books and written accounts by voyagers, a tattooed mummy that was found on a mountain between Austria and Italy in October of 1991, professes to this (Gilbert)…
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Download file to see previous pages Given these reasons for choosing to have tattoo, anyone can easily observe the obscurities and contradictions. That having a tattoo is a mark of stature contradicts the idea that tattoos are marks of criminals; that people have tattoos because it is a fad is opposite of anger against the society's norms. These contradictions suggest the dependence of each reason on the context one is applied to and on the prevailing societal mainstream, usually defined by the ruling class.
For example, because today, tattoos have become available to people in all walks of life (criminals, included), it would be surprising to know that there was once a time when tattoos were only available to the elite and had become a fad to the royals. This started when the King of England, King Edward VII had his arm tattooed with a cross after his visit to Jerusalem in 1862 (Gilbert). In this period, tattoos are considered as status symbols. This role of tattoo does not differ greatly from its role in some primitive societies.

The different ancient societies, distant from each other as they are, had similar views on tattooing. The Mayans, the Polynesians, the Samoans, Aztecs, and the Asians of the Ancient times: all considered tattoos as symbols of strength and stature in their societies. There, the leaders were the ones who usually had themselves tattooed; each design, although similar, was unique in a way that represented the story of the wearer-the wars they had participated, their losses, wins and adventures (Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoo).
Men who were to assume titles were tattooed as soon as they reach puberty, as a symbol of the start of their special roles. Those who refused were branded as cowards and would forever be outcasts in their respective societies ("Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoo").
This was opposite to the tradition of the Japanese and Chinese. To them, a person with a tattoo was a branded criminal. A story in the Japanese history best exemplified this. It was once said that an emperor of Japan summoned a rebel and was supposed to punish him with death as he was supposed to do, given the rebel's crime. The emperor, instead, punished the rebel with a tattoo because the emperor was feeling "benevolent." It is doubtful, however that this "benevolence" was felt by the rebel, as being sentenced to a tattoo would mean being an outcast in a society and to his family as well. As it is known to all, shame and family are two concepts that were and still are very much important to the Japanese. In their culture, tattooing was a form of punishment that was only a level short of being penalized with death. This negative view of tattoos by the Japanese was influenced by the Chinese. Prior to this, the Japanese actually viewed tattoos in the same way as the Polynesians and Mayans, being not only something that connotes one's stature but also as something that has a religious significance. This is supported by the discovery of the figures in the ancient Japanese tombs believed to be more than ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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