Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blog # 9: Tattoo is a Fantasy of Cool

Before I learned of tattoo as a form of art derived and practiced in the Japanese culture, I've always thought of tattooing as a trend in which the people who has one on their body are trying to "look cool." However, in his article Paul Mullowney discuss and addresses the "historical and contemporary connections between the art of the Japanese woodblock print and tattooing" (364). Whenever the topic of tattooing comes up, my mind would be triggered to think of it as a way for people to gain acceptance by their social group. Little did I knew that there's a deeper cultural meaning to this form of art towards tattooing by the Japanese artists. There were also another romantic meaning and fantasy view in regards to tattoos, as portrayed in the media such as in movies and drama series. Then again, there were the negative view of tattoos where people have adopted the notion of it to be "worn only by gangsters" (361). For some people, the idea of owning a tattoo pertains to looking hip and cool but for a certain group of people tattoos has more depth to it. For those who are more knowlegeable of the topic, "tattoing stayed true to its roots as an art of the common people, but at the same time suffering the unfortunate distinction of being appropriated into the world of the Japanese Mafia" (364). However you view it, the notion of tattoos can range from something with little or no meaning and a mark of stupidity to something of greater significance as a mark of triumph and culture. Of course tattoos also exists else where from all over the world, in which, "the record of human history shows that tattoos have served in many various and diverse cultures as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, amulets and talisman, protection and as the marks of outcasts and convicts." There is also a double standard that appeals to gender roles for tattoos. In some culture, it would be acceptable for a male to have tattoos all over his body and people would not bashed on him but when it comes to a female with tattoos on her body, she is prone to being sexually harassed and criticize as a whore.

Updating on my compact challenge, I recently bought a new dress because it was a good deal for a less-than-ten-dollars dress. Haha, I know, I couldn't resist such a good deal even though it may document to distract me from the compact challenge. This winter quarter has passed by so quickly that my experience under the compact challenge has little impact on how I choose to shop and not shop. I know for a fact that I do not have a bad habit to shop for obsolete items but only to shop when it is necessary and affordable. Though we have discussed in class that as a consumer sometimes shopping for what's affordable may affect the people who produce those affordable items and that we should only shop for products manufacture here in the US to support and promote our economic stability. But you and I both know that with the growing foreign productions and importing products, it's quite rare to find an item at any shop that does not say "made in China." Honestly, I prefer not to buy items "made in China" because I cannot trust the quality of those items. But when life is made busy for me, I do not have much of a choice but to deal with what's in front of me.


Works Cited:
1) Paul Mulluowney Ed. Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing. Caroline Valverde Ed. ASA 189B Winter 2010, reader. Print.


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