Sometimes in life we just have to start over and reinvent ourselves. We may have taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up becoming the kind of person we did not envisage. Human beings are highly susceptible to suggestion, especially if those directions are coming from an elder, parent or someone that you look up to. It is easy to fall under the spell of a more powerful person when you are young and impressionable. Things like tattoos and piercings, often, are the hallmarks of these kinds of relationships or peer group pressure. Tattoos in themselves are neither good or bad, in my view, they are ink drawings designed to go on skin. Starting over: Image reinvention required post tattoo.

A Desire to Change the Inner Person

How society feels about tattoos changes with the fashions and different cultures have different attitudes towards things like this. A tattoo can signify an individual’s desire to appear differently from other human beings. It can be an act of rebellion toward parents, the status quo, and/or authority, in general. A tattoo can be a shared act between friends, teammates, and confederates. Putting aside the tattoo question, we may want to start over and reinvent ourselves, whether we have a tattoo or not. Changing the outer appearance of ourselves is, usually, a consequence of the desire to change the inner person or the result of that change.

The Rebellious Stance is Fuelled by the Sexual Self

New non-negotiables are forged by the individual undergoing reinvention. He or she no longer feels the need to look a certain way or act in a particular manner. The fire for rebellion may have gone out or mutated into a more sophisticated form. Making classic statements, in the guise of James Dean or pop’s Madonna, cannot, usually, sustain itself into middle age. The rebellious stance is fuelled by the sexual self and as biology dims that flame, the posturing is put away. Strutting your stuff is a young person’s game! Identity is driven by hormonal change at various stages of our lives.

Squaring off Against Society

If a person’s appearance immediately makes a defiant statement, then, it limits his or her options in any negotiation. Many vocational pathways close for those dressed to provoke a reaction via things like tattoos, piercings and startling hair styles. Certain types of relationships become harder to establish, when you square off against society. The ‘look at me’ strategy may work wonders during the teenage years, may be opportune up on stage, and may deliver results in the media, but down among the hoi polloi and the middle classes it may not work so well.