Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tattoos

Hi all,

Florida vs Tennessee week. If you are from Tennessee, presently live in Tennessee, have family that live in Tennessee...I am not talking to you. Imagine me with a scowl on my face. That is my game face. I want to beat you so bad that you will pray you had Phillip Fulmer back.
This is where being a man of God and a football fan conflict. I am not suppose to hate, but I don't think there was college football in Jesus' time. If there was there certainly would be an 11th commandment.

Lots of comments on the Implant vs Bridge blog. I don't think I will comment on it so much any more until it is more of a rivalry. It was an unanimous vote. A landslide to say the least.
Everyone would do an implant. They would do an implant on themselves and their patients.
If you want to see the comments go back to that blog and scroll down and you will see all the comments. Remember, if you comment, to check the box that reads "email me with follow-up comments" so you can see all of the comments after yours.

I went to the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentists annual meeting this weekend, Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and Saturday. Thursday was a digital photography lecture, I saw John Kois on Friday and John Cranham (this is a guy who practices in Virginia Beach but is a big-wig at the Dawson Institute).
Man, my head is spinning. I have to tell you I so enjoy being with other dentists that are passionate about teeth and getting better but I am not a fan of feeling like "I suck and I don't know how to begin to stop sucking" after a weekend.

I will probably start putting my thoughts on my laptop soon. Maybe Friday.
I saw the movie Jacket. Weird but pretty good. I was an hour and a half into the movie and I said to myself, I think I have seen this before. I told you I am getting old.
I finished Mr. Destiny. Pretty good for a late 80's movie.
As you know I am off on Mondays. My wife and I hang just about every Monday. We have some friends that are also off on Mondays so sometimes we hang out. His wife wanted to see Julie and Julia. I was like, "Come on, are you kidding me?" But friendship takes sacrifice so I went, kicking and scratching. Making fun of the movie even as we are watching the previews. Oh by the way, there was no one in the theater except us. This also opened it up for more jokes. But I have to say, I loved this movie. It dragged just a little at the end and I think it finished weak but during the movie was saying out loud (remember no one is there), "this movie is great".

Topic du jour
I wanted to talk about tattoos. Okay before I start, I want to tell you I know this is going to be a real touchy subject. There are going to be readers that feel like tattoos are taboo and some readers think they are creative and they can't wait for another one.
I get that. I will try to be as fair as possible.
And lets get this out of the way right now. I have a tattoo. I got it when I was in dental school. In college I wanted a tattoo and I wanted to get Yosemite Sam tattooed on my ankle. Well, luckily someone said, "that is stupid, why don't you get something that means something to you."
That got me thinking, maybe a cartoon character might not be such a great idea.
I decided to go with a peace sign. I had my brother, an artist, draw my hand holding up a piece sign. I think it is cool (my kids ask me what it means and I tell them it means I love two kids. They say, "Dad, you have three kids." Then I say, "You better hope you are one of the two." Ahhh, that is parenting at its best isn't it.)
My sisters have tattoos at the base of their backs. My mom has one on her ankle.
I don't mind tattoos. Let me rephrase that, I don't mind tattoos in places that can be hidden when you feel like hiding them.
It is these tattoos that got me thinking...the tattoos that you can't hide.
I think I am a pretty with it kind of guy. In as much as my conservative self can be I think I am pretty liberal. I think I can see the good in this new generation.
I think I see each generation doing things that are kind of stupid but I see where they are coming from.
I did my share of law fracturing (don't tell my dad).
But the tattooing has kind of gone to a new level. Tattooing has gone from the occasional tattoo on the deltoid muscle to where it is now. That is tattooing on necks, forearms, hands, heads.
I am not even talking about the piercing stuff because most of that stuff can come off for a job interview or something important.
I go about my daily life and I see tattoos everywhere. I look around and think to myself all these people can not be NBA players. They all can't be X-games athletes. They all can't be in bands. Lets say a 20 years old wants to get a tattoo on their neck. Not the back of the neck under your hair, but a real nice one, say some Chinese symbols (to me they look like a Chinese menu...like Beef and Broccoli) right down from the ear.
Do they think they are ever going to want a job in the future? So I assuming they are they know they are never going to get a white collar job. So at 20 years old they have written off an office job for the rest of their life.
I saw in newspaper a dude, who was tattooed all over. He had LOVE written on his fingers on one hand and HATE on his other hand. He had a tattoo of a spider web on his neck. The reason he was in the newspaper is that he was having a tough time getting a job. He felt that he was discriminated against because of his tattoos. YAH THINK?
"Yes this is my new front desk person, her name is Sam. Please excuse the tattoo of SCREW OFF on her forearm. You know these kids now-a-days."
This guy in the newspaper was trying to form a coalition. Something like, Tattooed but employable, and fight the establishment.
Well, the article goes on to talk to an employment attorney and the attorney goes on to say, "Sorry sucka."
I mean he used words that were much more gracious but basically the employer, as long as it is not discriminatory/racial, has the right to choose who he or she employs.
But as more and more "kids" get tattooed now a days, the trends have to change.
Either the employers are going to have to realize that everyone is tattooed and they are going to have to change OR the kids are going to have to realize this might affect my chances of getting a job.
I was in TJ Maxx last week and one of the employees had the big hole earrings and tattoos on his neck and arms and such. I was shocked. And he looked like someone of importance there, not just a stock boy or something.
But I don't think this is an overwhelming trend.
I know what you parents of teen agers are thinking. John, you don't have a clue about teens now a days.
I was talking to the 16 year old across the street last week and he asked if I wanted to see his new tattoo. About a 6 inch cross on his deltoid muscles, down his arm.
His mom went with him. GREAT.
16 years old. A 16 year old doesn't have a clue about what his/her future holds. This is the role of the parent. Parents actually parenting. Hmm? What a concept.
I don't know. I like a lot of people with tattoos. I have a lot of successful patients and friends that have tattoos. But I think the vast majority of the ones that have them in revealing spots wish they never got them.
I know its all about the generation and kids staking a claim or something. But do they have to stake such a claim. Can't they just listen to crappy music?
Can't they just wear weird clothes?
Why do they have to let everyone know that ADRIANNA was their first love by writing it in the inside of their lip?

Am I making sense?
Do you have an opinion?
John


5 comments:

Connie said...

Have you heard of these new tattoos that you can only see under black light?

I can only speak from personal experience. I have 2 tattoos, one on each ankle. I am a physician. I wear pants to work or long skirts every day. I have heard my boss equate tattoos with track marks (as if tattoos are just as bad as doing heroin). I don't think he knows I have any and I don't want him to know. I wish mine were even more easily covered up.

I go to academic meetings with dermatologists, and on numerous occasions they have gone off on people with tattoos, making fun, talking about how low-class, slutty, sleazy, etc they think they are (of course mine are covered and I just keep quiet). Other physicians like to joke that "the number of tattoos someone has is inversely proportional to the number of teeth they have."

Like it or not, people are judging. If you want to work in any kind of professional area, you will be judged. If you are working where the boss is 55+ years old, most likely they are pretty conservative with respect to this issue.

Many of these dermatologists are making a fortune off of tattoo REMOVAL. Lots of people regret having them and are spending thousands to get rid of them.

Kids will just say, "Oh, I don't give a crap about what other people think, screw them." Well, one day, they will care!

I don't mind them, obviously. Half of my dorm in college got tattooed over the first couple of years of school. Maybe things will change in the future and they will become the norm. I wish I had been smarter and either not gotten mine or gotten them in a different place. A lot of people will regret theirs. But you can't tell kids that! They will still tattoo themselves and text naked pictures of themselves and write inappropriate things on MySpace and Facebook!

Anonymous said...

There is a patient in the practice where I am an associate who has tatoos all over his body-- arms, neck, fingers. He is mid 30's and apparently he used to have swastikas all over. He got most of them covered up with other tatoos as he "matured". However, he still has a swastika on the inside of his lower lip. That was a firstfor me when I came across it during an oral cancer exam. He seems like a great guy, showed up for his appointments, was always pleasant and thankful for the work I had done. I can tell you however, that if I had passed him on the street my stereotype would have been much different. People change and their views evolve, but their tatoos do not!

Anonymous said...

i agree with you john, and the first thing that i think of when i see someone with tatoos everywhere is "how badly are they really craving attention?"...don't get me wrong, i think alot of them are cool, but tasteful and ones with reasonable meaning. i still consider getting one, but just can't decide what and where.
as far as being a professional and having tatoos, i think it could work, but only in the right place, and only on the right person. i worked in northern canada in a very blue-collar town as a dentist, and realized that people there are much less judgemental than in the big city. i grew a huge beard and had my hair long enough and put in a ponytail (i also wore flip flops to work, but that's another story)....anyhow, to my surprise, no one cared! old ladies, kids, people my age....no one seemed to care, as long as you talked to them straightforwardly and honestly...i really think that tatoos (of course depending where and what) might just be the same....now this is a specific location, and i'm not sure it will fly in the city. i've never been someone who "sells" myself to patients, and really only care to see people who want to see me. real people will want to see you because of who you are, and your quality of work....on the other hand, if you are competing against others for patients, it might be easier to be the boring, hair-parted-to-the-side, khaki and golf-shirt wearing normal dude if you want to conform....as frank sinatra said "i did it my way!"...but, if you're gonna do it like frank, you better realize there might be consequences....ha!

my 2 cents

jamie

Anonymous said...

Like everything in life there is a time and place for it. Certain times tattoos are acceptable and certain times they are not. It like clothes you dress appropriately for the occasion. So I agree with you John, tattoos should be shown when you want them to be shown and hidden when you want it hidden. I personally don't care for and don't have any tattoos. The only problem I have really with tattoos today is that the PARENTS ARE ENCOURAGING it because they have one too. Just like you pointed out. It blows my mind. I feel you shouldn't be able to get a tattoo legally until you are 21 or at least 18.

patti said...

Best line: "fracturing the law" I love it! LOL!

I dont have a problem with tatoos in the sense that I dont find them moral or immoral. I dont personally have one, but am not opposed to getting one. That said, there are two points I think are worth dicussion. Working in the arena I do (with teens) there are the two questions that I pose to students.

1. For those who choose a visible tatoo...that is one that is not easily covered by clothing...I would ask "what is MARKED inside you to a degree that you feel the necessity to put that mark on the OUTSIDE Of your body?" Some answers are valid... truly, some are and that I believe is a good reason for a tatoo. Some, are not.

2. Second statement I often give is this; That if you are looking for a way to rebel, to go against the conservative mainstream of culture, TRY DOING SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE ELSE AND THEIR MOTHER IS NOT DOING! every one has a tatoo. Big Frigging Deal is what i say when a kid shows me a tatoo proudly. I generally admire the art work and walk away...its so mainstream not is not anything special. My suggestion, (and I say this to kids all the time) If you want to do something that is counter culture, something that will give you a charge beyond belief, try giving food to someone who has none, try sacrificing yourself for a cause, try forgoing 7-11 and instead give a 10 spot to the bum hanging out at the intersection. That, I will say, will give you a charge.

Thank you...ill step off my soapbox now! :)

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