The Interpreting of Body Art
SECTION 1: SUMMARY
The body art issue includes piercings and tattoos. Its origin can be traced way back to the 18th century. This is an indication that tattooing is a form of art that has been around in the world for a while. It is a form of ancient art only that its reintroduction comes with some modifications. The aim of this article is to explore and to analyze body art within the literature world. In an attempt to expound on this, the article takes a woman called Jade as a case study. Several reasons why she had her tattoos will also be investigated.
Further, the article attempts to explain the way visual communication approaches enhance effectiveness and efficiency of communication as well as the implications and relevance of optics in education. While trying to provide analysis, the author considers various researches that different researchers including Dorothy Holland have conducted on religious, social and self insinuation of the body arts including tattoos. These researchers concluded that tattoos can be a symbol of valuable memories of events, places or people.
Lastly, the article tries to examine various approaches that have been used in the study of tattooing as an art and interdisciplinary relationships that exist between psychology, anthropology and visual communication. It further touches on evolution and history of tattooing during the past years and what is implied by these changes. It is apparent that there are both outer and inner meanings of tattoos on the basis of the specific culture of a person who practices it. Various cultures have varying uses and purposes of tattoos. Among these uses include heroic deeds’ marks, passage rites as well as decoration purposes.
A study by Hones indicates that in the ancient culture of the Greeks, tattoos indicated a differentiation status. Both Romans and Greeks tattooed prisoners and slaves to make them different from other community members as well as to prevent their escape. They adopted back or dark blue colors for this tattooing and it served as an identification mark among the prisoners and slaves. It also caused stigma. In the 17th and 16th centuries, there was an association of tattoos with religion and magic. Individuals were protected from magic spells and diseases by inscriptions. In the renaissance era, tattoos were recognized as individual and social values’ indicators as well as personal values’ bearers. Religion and tattoos’ ideal was alive at this time. There were people who inscribed Christ’s photo and His name on their bodies.
Jade explains the reason and force behind the many tattoos that she has on her body. She also classifies them into weak and strong tattoos. The tattoo of a scorpion reminds her of the best friends that she has and her mother. She also has an anglerfish tattoo. These are weak tattoos without any strong reflection of the inner self. Jade has a tattoo on the left arm. She transformed this tattoo which was initially a proverb into a tree which serves as tribute to the son that she gave birth to first. Jade also has a stunning tattoo of an octopus on her calf. This reflects the love that Jade has for colors and waters. She had the octopus tattoo because she loves the octopus mystery which includes the ability of this creature to change its colors. She also has a sex goddess’ tattoo. This symbolizes her feelings on meeting Jose, her love. It also symbolizes what she felt when she got a child with him.
Lastly, this article analyzes three varying optics. These are Kress optics, street optics as well as Rowsell optics and how they relate to the tattoos that Jade has as well as how they are applied in the modern literacy education.
SECTION 2: LEADING DISCUSSION
Thesis: In history, body piercing and tattoos have been used by people from different places and lifestyles as a means of communicating different life aspects. The aim of this paper is to find out why piercing and tattoos are advocated for by different cultures. The paper will also find out the views of different religions about piercing and tattooing.
Reasons for piercing and tattoos
To begin with the reference of section 1 of the article, in the Roman and Greek culture tattoos differentiated prisoners and slaves from other society members. These cultures used tattoos to differentiate people on the basis of their social classes. Additionally, tattoos symbolized stigmatization. It is also apparent that tattoos indicated individualistic beliefs and values as well as magical and religious purposes.
A study conducted in 2002 indicated that majority of the individuals who pierce their bodies do so to express personal values. This study indicated that piercings also cover traumatic experiences that a person has had in life. They are also used as a commemoration of good moments and experiences. Piercing also signifies aesthetic and beauty. In some cases, they serve sexual gratification and seduction purposes.
According to Polynesians, tattooing indicates strength and beauty. In America and England, tattoos are used as symbols of authority and wealth. In Mexico, people had gods’ tattoos. In the contemporary world, people have piercings and tattoos for different reasons including beauty, aesthetics, and peer pressure as well as for expressing personal values, passage rites as well as bravery marks and belonging to some groups.
Religious views on tattoos and piercings
Piercing and tattoos are prohibited in most religions although ear piercing is allowed. To begin with, Islamic beliefs and standings prohibit tattoos. This is based on the argument that they are permanent. Muslims argue that tattoos modify the body and this is against Allah’s commandments. Judaism faith also prohibits tattooing as an art. It argues that it deforms human body and this is against the law (Torah) teachings.
Christian beliefs also do not allow tattooing. This is because tattoos have an association with non-believers and therefore they are considered unclean. The Jewish culture also forbids tattoos because they served as a symbol of identification at the time of the Holocaust. This act was demeaning. The Jewish also follow Torah strictly and it has a commandment that states that the body should not be desecrated which is what tattoos do.
However, piercing and tattooing are encouraged and supported fully by some religions. For instance, these practices are supported in Hinduism and Buddhism. Their argument is that tattoos have the ability to strengthen the faith of a person and get them close to god. There are also tattooing ceremonies in these religions which are used to strength members’ bond with gods.
In a nut shell, there are different reasons why people get piercings and tattoos. Some of these reasons might be on individual, religious or cultural basis. There are also different religious perspectives of piercings and tattoos. It is impossible to judge a religion for its stand on piercing as well as tattooing. However, it is apparent that some religions have more convincing and stronger arguments than others.