Yesterday, I answered a question on Quora titled “Would you get mad if your 19 year old daughter had a tattoo on her palm? My answer is here:

It was a pretty laid back answer. Alas, of course, to be fair, I also often read the other answers to the question just to see if anything is worthy of an acknowledgement and perhaps, an upvote. Unfortunately, most of the other answers pretty much said they would be angry, upset, disappointed and hate it.

Take for example, Janie’s answer. Here were the parts that stood out for me:

Truthfully, I’d be pretty upset that a young person I love deeply did this to herself.

Angry too, possibly, though there’s little I could do. It’s her body, but one I’ve nurtured and cherished to adulthood. I’d have hoped she’d care for herself better.

Basically, what Janie is saying is that she owns her child’s body, even though she contrarily and casually pointed out that “it’s her (her daughter) body”. Essentially what she said, that by getting a tattoo, her daughter is disrespecting that property she is lending out to her daughter to live in. I have a major problem with this, because in one of her other answers to a different question “How do you teach your kids about fairness?“, she spoke about teaching fairness, as well as helping her children to understand that life isn’t fair and it’s not supposed to be fair. For example, here’s an excerpt from her answer:

Justice is a noble goal, and to be pursued; but life is inherently not fair. We should also help our kids also to understand that the world doesn’t always work that way.

I agree with this statement, but she contradicts her words here with the answer she gave in the tattoo question. How could Janie recognize that justice should be a noble goal, yet become the same judgmental person as the judgmental assholes who discriminates against people with tattoos? As parents, knowing that a part of the world are judgmental assholes, shouldn’t it be our quest to help perpetuate the guidance of individual acceptance and educate broader world views? Each person have their own capabilities, own sensitivities and own experiences. We should give credit where it’s due, criticize their bad actions and express mutual respect until proven otherwise. Do parents such as Janie really judge people by their appearances, while hypocritically trying to score points with the Quora denizens by preaching fairness and equality?

She certainly did not do enough of a good parenting to think her child can think for herself and do something that is a reflection of the parenting she received. Which also means she prefer to have control over what her daughter does with her life, than to accept the fact that whatever she does with her life is a reflection of her upbringing, her own experiences and ideals. If her daughter was taught about responsibility, good health, taking care of oneself, then what makes Janie think that her daughter didn’t consider all of the negatives, as well as positives before getting a tattoo? Is Janie saying that her daughter was taught badly? So isn’t that a reflection of bad parenting and not because her daughter chose to get a tattoo? If I was an employer and her daughter came in for an interview, I don’t care about her tattoos, so long as her tattoos aren’t about evil disgusting things like loving Adolf Hitler or about raping or some other things along those things. I only care about her abilities. If my customers have issues with my new employees’ tattoos, then they can go find another company to do business with.

If it was an issue solely based on the sake of their child’s health and future, then I can understand and accept their negativity. However, even though they bring up these points, at the same time, they are addressing it in a way that tells me they think that tattoos are an abomination, that tattoos disrespect the bodies they raised, as if their children are not only their property, but they accept that discrimination. I feel that a lot of these people are contradictory, as well as hypocrites in what they are saying from the other answers they have expressed.

However, my biggest issue out of all of this is that it’s on the same wavelength as discriminating someone based on their gender, their religion or lack thereof, their political affiliation, the colour of their skin, the colour of their hair, their ethnicity, so on and so forth. Sure, you can argue that some of these things are not by choice and that tattoos are by choice, but it shouldn’t make a difference. Discrimination is discrimination, no matter how you spin it. Would you have issues with someone who is dressed like a traditional Muslim? If you don’t, then why would you have issues with someone who has tattoos? Would you have issues with someone who has cornrows or braided hair? If you don’t, then why would you have issues with someone with tattoos?

On a more positive note however, at least there was one strongly agreeable answer I upvoted. Here’s an excerpt:

Shaun Haney, studied at Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Answered 4h ago

So there’s some concerns. Get mad at her? No. She’s an adult, it’s her body and she’s made an independent decision. All these concerns I just expressed? She’s probably thought about them after the fact if not before. No need to sit her down for a discussion. Getting a tattoo removed can be worse. Besides, she likes her tattoo. Be prepared to stand by her side through life’s struggles as you would be anyway. Keep these concerns in your back pocket just as challenges you know she might face.

Exactly this.

If my 19 year old daughter got a tattoo, it is most likely because she consulted her mother and I first before getting one. Not because she needed to tell us, but she did so for advice. I certainly would think my 19 year old daughter’s decisions is a reflection of how she was raised. She would already have done research on her own, found out how to treat tattoos and read reviews on tattoo places before getting one. I would support her all the way and even do research to help her choose an artist that is more fitting for her needs. As for health and future employment, I certainly would continue to help perpetuate the education of open mindedness and acceptance within context of good health and a sound mental state, rather than continue the perpetuation of narrow mindedness, conformity and the acceptance of general social discrimination.

+ There are no comments

Add yours