By Yvonne Sam
Recently when asked if I liked guys with tattoos, I immediately made my feelings known. In some cases the color of the skin hinders one from gaining a full appreciation of the beauty of the artwork, or conveyance of its intended message.
Again, this is solely my personal opinion, which of course has absolutely no bearing on what others choose to do with their bodies.
Now a number of questions, repeatedly floating in my mind, have left me wondering whether tattoos take away, or add, to the sexual appeal of the Black man.
Does the so called bad–boy appeal, which, apparently, tattoos exude, attract women to men? Or better still, are black men getting tattoos more than ever because it adds a certain swag factor? Perhaps the rationale for getting tattoos varies as much as the tattoos themselves. With the increase in people stepping into tattoo shops one would think that this was something entirely new.
Tattoo wearing is nothing new as they have been worn for thousands of years. It has been said that mummified bodies from different cultures have been discovered in different parts of the world. Dating from about 2000 B.C tattoos were found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies.
The frozen and preserved body of a man was located high up in the Alps, at the border of Austria and Italy. The body was more than 5000 years old and was tattooed with 58 tattoos. So it is apparent that tattoos have been around for quite a while — www.msu.edu/~krcmari1/individual/history.html
Now the lingering question: did those men get tattoos simply for the swag appeal? No one knows. Their tattoos may have showed off their male prowess or they may have been used to attract a female suitor, much like today.
Seeing that tattoos have been around for quite some time one wonders why have they become such a big deal and in some cases taboo with some members of our community. Could it be, possibly due to the celebrities, especially athletes and rappers, wearing them more? Or better yet, could it be due to the fact that people have chosen to wear tats in some places that are considered inappropriate, such as the face and neck?
Should we really be concerned with our brothers who have personally chosen to wear tattoos as if they are personal accessories?
When a man tattoos himself for swag appeal, self-expression or just because it’s the-in-thing to do, should others really become concerned even when it does not affect them?
Whatever the case may be, it is obviously apparent that this is one argument that will continue to be a point of controversy for years to come?
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is Vice-president of the Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.