Ink: What a tattoo says about a person

Ink: What a tattoo says about a person

By Savannah McDade Posted December 16, 2009

Tattoos are very controversial; it was unique to have a tattoo 40 years ago, it just wasn’t considered classy. I recall my grandma telling me that the only people she knew that had tattoos were people in the military, or convicted criminals (not linking the two). However, tattoos have become more accepted. Tattoos used to exemplify rebellion but it seems more young people are getting tattooed, so now people are better able to focus on the art of tattoos. Of course, there are some instances when people get offensive or gang-related tattoos but overall tattoos have become an outlet for expressing oneself, assuming there is actually some reason behind your tattoo.

Mr. Taua Cabatbat got his first tattoo a week after graduating from high school. He has numerous tattoos but his goal is to finish tattooing the right side of his body. One tattoo that he is particularly proud of is a “tiki guy” on his arm that he jokingly referred to as a life-size figure of Mr. Espinola. Despite the pun aimed at Espinola, Cababat’s real reason for getting tattoos is his Hawaiian culture, it dates back to when native Hawaiian warriors would engage in tattooing, “It’s almost like a résumé, you know, what you’ve done, things you’re proud of, even things you’re not proud of,” said Cabatbat.

Example of Mr. Lucas' tattoos. /Ron Espinola • The Brand
Example of Mr. Lucas’ tattoos. /Ron Espinola • The Brand

Cabatbat also acknowledged that there is a limit on tattooing; he said that it’s about self-expression, not tattooing something pointless to your skin simply for the sake of doing it.

Regarding tattoos in the workforce, Cabatbat said, “No one has ever questioned it, the way I look at it, as long as it’s cultural and I’m doing it for a certain reason, and it’s not tacky, I don’t see why people would have a reason to question it.”

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