The Relationship Between Addiction and Tattoos

For the longest time, tattoos and addicts have been so intimately linked that you cannot possibly get one without being the other. While this negative association is losing its hold as a stereotype with each generation that passes, it still holds true today that some people still make the ‘addiction connection,’ and as with body piercings in usual places, it’s high time this ought to proven untrue.

For those who are familiar with this and those who aren’t, the negative association with tattoos and addiction stem from the stereotypes of the personalities that initially made them famous such as scoundrels and prisoners, and the thought that those who get tattoos are addicted to pain.

What many need to realize is that there are more reasons than these as to why people get tattoos. People who sport a lot could have them over a few years or decades, and there are others who arbitrarily see their favorite tattoo artists and parlors from time to time. But automatically labeling this behavior as “addiction” isn’t only untrue, it is also unrealistic and unfair.

Every individual who has ever sported a tattoo or is willing to get one have their own unique reason for doing so. I, for one, got one on the inside of my wrist to serve as a personal reminder that I should always focus on the “here and now” and just enjoy living in the moment whenever I look at it.

Unless that person says so, you’ll never know for sure what there reason for getting permanently inked on was. Some just like the concept of permanent body art, some do so in honor of someone or something special, some do so to feel like they belong to a certain group, while some simply have nowhere else to spend their money. In as much as the motive for getting a tattoo is highly personal, almost none of them have anything to do with being “addicted” to them.

A tattoo artist, upon saying that tattoo getting was a “fever,” was in essence referring to a simple, odd pleasure that several of his clients posessed in being able to get permanent art on their bodies, so much so like the “Bieber fever” that has been invading Twitter and Youtube for the past few months.

“I think I will get another one” was an expression heard in his shop often. Some come back, some don’t. But rarely does this constitute an addiction by definition, nor did he ever encounter any customer who enjoyed the pain that came with tattooing in his decades of practice as a tattoo artist.

The word “addiction” and its loose applicability to getting tattoos often bounces off from the tongues who haven’t given a sincere thought to what the term “addiction” truly means.

Addictions are compulsions, things over which people don’t have any self-control. Addicts cannot distinguish between wants and needs. People who are addicted to many things such as drugs, alcohol, and behaviors like masochism can just as likely get an addiction to tattoos.

But that’s certainly not how things are for the larger lot of men and women who make a decision to get tattoos. Most of us just get one simply because we want to, free from any association to how weak our characters are, which true addicts possess for them to be driven to do what they do.

Unfortunately, both ideas that tattoos in themselves are addicting and only masochists get them put tattoo wearers and tattoos in general in a negative connotation.

While people who get tattoos for less than desirable motives do exist, this cannot possibly mean that the rest of the crowd who does also are.

It’s an unfair generalization which neither deserves, for both are unfounded, to say the least. Both these misconceptions can only come from those who are ignorant and those who have some personal issues of their own.

So, no, tattoos aren’t an addiction. If someone else attempts to sway your opinion, you have probably found an addict who doesn’t realize that the majority of tattoo wearers who aren’t like them are not.

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