Sample Augmentative Essay on Teenagers and Tattoos

On Teenagers and Tattoos

According to the article, tattooing and piercing have an almost magnetic appeal to the majority of teenagers. However, the author claims that although tattooing and piercing are viewed as beautification by adolescents, the activity can turn out to be an area for battle against adults. Teens and their parents are regularly at odds over the acquisition of bodily adornments. For the teenager, tattoos may be seen as individual and beautifying statements, while parents may see them as oppositional and insults to their authority. According to the author, differentiating bodily beautification from self-mutilation may definitely prove challenging, mostly when a family is at odds with a teenager’s motivations. This claim may be true but the issue of tattooing and piercing is not necessarily an issue of conflict in all cultures. Some cultural groups allow tattooing and piercing regardless of the age (Forbes 774).

The writer provides various reasons for examining the motivation and purpose of body sculpting by present-day adolescents. It may be important to understand jointly that the skin can become the focus of another battle between adults and the young, with quarrels having less to do with tattoos than with central issues like separation from the family unit. Another reason is that investigating the motivations and importance belying body sculpting can go a long way toward resolving such disparities and can become a fresh and additional technique of understanding the teenagers. Also according to the writer, interest and unautocratic appreciation of teens’ surface presentations may grow to be a way of making contact not only on their conditions but also on their turfs. However, exploring the motivation may also add more conflict since the parents of these teenagers may not be at all times pleased with the motives behind their children piercing or tattooing (Forbes 775).

The writer uses case studies to support his argument. Firstly, he uses a case whereby a 13-year old boy proudly showed him his inked deltoid. The roughly depicted ring of the dice disclosed the day and the month of his birth. This case serves to show how tattoos are frequently the culmination of a lengthy process of imagination, dream, and planning that can begin at a premature age. However, this evidence does not elucidate the motives among all the teenagers.

The writer also explains that tattoos may become not only memorials for dearly held people or concepts, but they can also show teenagers’ struggle for incorporation, with images and abstract symbols gaining popularity as a permanent part of the person’s skin. Thickly embedded in personally meaningful representations and object associations, tattoos can turn out to be the only ongoing reminder of a relationship. However, some would argue that there can be other ways of remembering the dearly held persons without necessarily harming a person’s skin (Armstrong 19).

Another case presented by the author is about a proud father who was 17-years old and had the joyful face of his 4-month-old baby girl tattooed on his upper body. The father proudly introduced the girl to the author, explaining how he would always know how beautiful she is today when years from then he saw her face engraved on himself. However, the author refutes this evidence by stating that the pursuit for permanence could at other times be misleading and offer hasty closure to unsettled conflicts. In the context of norm-related ambiguities, teenagers may show enthusiasm towards tattoos. However, through their designs, adolescents may assert a sense of loyalty to a group bigger than themselves (Armstrong 21). According to the author, teens’ bodily adornments, at times radical and theatrical in their appearance, can be observed in terms of figuration instead of disfigurement, of the natural body. They can regularly be seen as self-constructive and adorning endeavors, rather than being hastily regarded as negative acts.

Works cited

Armstrong, Myrna L. “Adolescents and tattoos: marks of identity or deviancy?.” Dermatology nursing/Dermatology Nurses’ Association 6.2 (1994): 119-124.

Forbes, Gordon B. “College students with tattoos and piercings: Motives, family experiences, personality factors, and perception by others.” Psychological reports 89.3 (2001): 774-786.