Tattoos… guaranteed, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. For a very long time, I wasn’t majorly impressed by them either, but probably more so from remembering an ex-colleague frantically chasing me when I absolutely wasn’t the slightest bit interested in him. When my brother had his first tattoo, I was impressed, and when the second and the third popped up, I quietly told myself that one day, I’d follow his taste in artistry.
Living in an age where the likes of David Beckham caused a rise in acceptance of sporting tattoos in the social world, I believe he therefore also paved the way for the media to find out why exactly people want to permanently mark their bodies this way.
To some, tattoos are a token of bad behavior, nasty characters and lower classes. However, nothing could be more wrong. From watching the series ‘LA Ink‘ or ‘Miami Ink,’ it’s clear that people do not simply decide to ‘scar’ their naked skin for the rest of their lives. Some do it in honour of one of their loved ones, or because they survived horrendous situations, illnesses and whatnot. Others simply choose Celtic or tribal designs because they love this kind of art and others again, do it to tell people that there is something they should be aware of.
In my own case? A little bit of rebellion, I suppose. I also started seeing tattoos as art; Kat von D or Corey Miller for example, create, absolutely stunning images from photos or from their own imagination. Being able to translate this to skin, is art in it’s purest form, as you can’t just use a magic marker to erase mistakes.
My own first tattoo is very loosely based on the entrance stone at Newgrange, and I got it on my 4th anniversary of living in Ireland. I wanted something to mark the day, as well as in honour of the country that accepted me in its arms. Since I love history, especially Irish history, I could not pick a nicer idea than this (the image doesn’t show the tattoo in full, so please image the curly ends on the other side of it also):
Last year, and really in love with tattoos at that stage, I wanted another one, perhaps to mark my 10th anniversary in Ireland or in honour of my mum, who is the strongest person I have ever met. Because my mum’s Chinese astrology sign is the dragon, I thought of a little one in the back of my neck. I simply could not decide… Celtic or little dragon, or something else altogether.
Eventually my mum and I found a middle ground, and it became the Caduceus sign with the abbreviation MS under it to point out to doctors that, in case of an emergency, I have multiple sclerosis and I therefore need MS treatment also. It’s on the inside of my wrist and about 2 inches tall. Big enough to alert others of my condition, it’s the perfect way to be more safe and sure.
While the Caduceus symbol is quite often mistaken for a medical sign, I did not want a big red or a blue medical cross on my wrist. I choose the caduceus symbol because it’s aesthetic and it stems from Greek mythology. You can find the difference between the “correct” Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus symbol stemming from Hermes and his links with alchemy here.
In the meantime, a lot of people have seen the tattoo and have said something about it. I was happily surprised when people had really positive words to say, just when I thought they’d be dead against it. Doctors and other medical staff also jumped on the positivity-train so it’s definitely worth considering if you should get a medical tattoo yourself.
I want to thank Golden Cat Tattoos in Dublin, they gladly inked my arm with this caduceus symbol earlier this year! Here’s the result!
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