Monday, February 26, 2007

Tattoos and coming of age

Dr. Anderson is trying to develop a temporary tattoo because he knows so many people who are being affected professionally or socially by a tattoo they regret. According to this article in the Boston Globe, no removal process is perfect and it is time consuming and expensive. The statistics given show the prevalence of tattoos.

"Twenty-five percent of the population has a tattoo, including nearly half of those between age 25 and 35. And one in five wants to get it removed," he said. "But few go through the process of getting it removed because it's costly, it's painful, and it's not perfect."

The average tattoo removal requires between seven and 10 sessions under the laser -- costing up to $1,000 per session -- and even then, it may leave traces or scarring. "I worked for 10 years to improve the lasers, and at some point you come to a limit," Anderson said as his small green parrot, Photon, looked on. "That's when I started thinking about the other side of the equation: the inks themselves."

I've got an even better solution- Henna

Henna body art is traditionally done before a marriage for the bride and wedding party. It lasts less than a week and is completely painless.

I don't like tattoos, particularly on women. I suppose I could tolerate one on a pirate. But I know how popular they are. I have a theory that the real appeal, for young people especially, is that they are looking for a way to express their ability to withstand hardship, pain, opposition. It used to be that life gave those opportunities but in an overindulged western culture of families with two or fewer children and more material wealth than we know what to do with teenagers are growing up looking for a chance to prove themselves.

Of course if they have the examples of the saints- saints like St. Tarcisius who died at 12 to protect the Blessed Sacraments from a mob, St. Maria Goretta who died at 12 to protect her purity, and St. Joan, who went to war at 19 and was martyred by being burned at the stake then maybe tattoos wouldn't be so appealing. Just a thought.


Edward said...

Sorry. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I must correct you.
St. Joan was not a martyr, nor is she categorized and listed as such by the Church.
She was a victim of political intrigue, but not technically a martyr.
She was canonized for the holiness of her life - even unto her unjust death. But she did not die for the Faith, or for a virtue.
Just in passing.

Believe me, she means a lot to me. My baby daughter (no. 7! My oldest is 17) bears her name and patronage.

M. Alexander said...

My dear Edward,
You raise a very interesting question and I was just asking my daughters what they thought- St. Joan of Arc- martyr or not?

We concluded that her Faith inspired her political actions which were based upon her political beliefs and therefore she was martyred for the Faith.

And I'm thinking we must have children the same ages- we have 8 aged 16 to 18 months. My oldest has chosen St. Joan as her patron and Confirmation name.

St. Joan is the antidote for a "catholic" culture which claims, we will pray and so we don't need to act!

Edward said...

"St. Joan is the antidote for a "catholic" culture which claims, we will pray and so we don't need to act!"

Very true, Madame; and yet I still must confer WITH the Church that she was not a martyr in the sense that the Church understands TRUE martyrdom.
Which dovetails with this:

" We concluded that her Faith inspired her political actions which were based upon her political beliefs and therefore she was martyred for the Faith."

Joan, by her own admission, would much rather have stayed at home and done the work of women with her mother in their village. She was NOT a 'hair on fire' Armangac, although that is definitely the social and political milieu which formed her ego ideal.
Nor do I think that going to the stake so that Charles of Valois could be King of France can be seen as a legitimate foundation for being designated as a martyr for the Faith.
But doing God's will with extraordinary virtue and verve, no matter WHAT that may entail, is most certainly the foundation of Sainthood, and this is what Joan did not hesitate to do.
It was God's will that Charles should be King, and He chose to effect this by a very unlikely means (as He so often does). Joan cooperated completely, but it was a cooperation based very much on blind trust: which is, after all, the measure of true virtue.
Right up to the very end, she expected to be "delivered", as her voices had promised.
And delivered she was - right into the hands of the executioner.
But from here she was likewise delivered again - directly into the presence of God.
"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Edward said...

Also, you are correct in your assumption as to the closeness of our family sizes.
I say 7 children, for that is the number. However only 6 are yet alive. My fifth child, Joseph Francis Xavier (for that is what would have been his name had he been Baptized, and thus do we refer to him as), was strangled in the womb. My dear, brave wife was delivered of his corpse one week before he was due to be born.
God's Holy Will be done in all things.
But the remaining six are fine specimens, indeed. Every year they grow stronger, taller and more unappealing (ha ha).

M. Alexander said...

I'm very sorry for you loss. The loss of a baby is something that never quite goes away.

As to your final conclusion I won't even pretend not to understand you! LOL

Edward said...

Thank you, Ma'am.
Of course I was joking about the others - they're good children.
Especially (and allow me space to praise) our second, Mary, affectionately nicknamed "Frankie" by us (my first, Teresa, is a.k.a. "Katie Ka-Boom").
Frankie is an enigma. I've never known a child already more detached from the world at such an age (14).
I like to tease her, and tell her she is going to become that VERY rare entity in our day, the classic maiden aunt: her life consumed in good works, living at home, doting over her numerous nieces and nephews while she cares for her loving parents as they themselves become 'doty' and incontuant.
She laughs, leans her head on my shoulder, and somehow I know I am truly prophesying.

Please do blog about the personalities of children in large families some time.
I'd love to know your take on it.

Edward said...

Did I write that?!

I'm sorry. I did of course mean to write "incontinent".

(I really should reread my things BEFORE I hit "publish")

surgiteetcoffeamolfacite said...

Aren't those your feet and hands? You wedding was really fun, I especially lked the henna ceremony before hand.

Anonymous said...

tatoos are actually not a way for teens and young adults to show that they can withstand pain as it is a way to fit in. they see all their friends getting tatoos and want to go with the crowd. its really intreging because it is a way to stand out and go with the crowd, a win win on maslows pyramid of needs... however some don't think before they get inked... leading to unsightly mistakes. personally i think that tatoos are like piercings. get one in good taste. go overboard and you look like a freak.