~AbanDoned X-preSsionz | Exploring Hypertext Journaling~ by Carla
Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Imagined Bodies

There is no doubt that for many people a { tattoo } on the body serves as some kind of marker--identity, gender, class, race, sexuality and so forth comes to mind, and that these markers have individual, cultural, even communal meaning. In a way, I think tattoos can point out how identities develop over a period of time--for instance, in tracing my friend Josh's tattoos from the first one of a cougar on the shin of his left leg which he had engraved as a teenager, to the ying/yang sign he now sports on his right arm which he had engraved recently, (there are others also) I could probably make some interesting guesses to his state of mind or his sense of self/identity from the first tattoo to his latest.

I could be wrong of course in my guestimations, but from all our discussions, I'm pretty sure I am on the right track in terms of having some insight into how he has evolved throughout his years.

A few years ago I myself had contemplated getting a tattoo but for the life of me I never could figure out which symbol/icon best represented me in my opinion, though I highly considered the Libra scales but also, I didn't want to do it just from the sheer fact that it could be fun and that other friends were getting into body art and either had tattoos or had decided to have their bodies tattooed. And then, there was the question of where on my body did I want this symbol of my identity etched-- did I want it stored away from prying eyes or out there for everyone to see--needless to say, in the end, I decided it just wasn't my thing.

Earrings and toerings were my thing and the more unusual the design as long as they were either silver, amber or black, the better, so I just stuck with that. But getting back to tattoos, this entry came about because of a strange one I saw while riding on the train yesterday. It may not be strange to you but I almost gasped when I saw it--cat paws treading across the upper portion of a girl's boobs. They weren't tiny cat's paws which I thought would perhaps have been more cute, but large (and I take back the word "treading" I used before, for TRAMPLING seems a better description) paws trampling across her chest. I was shocked! A couple of people snickered or just glared at her as if to say, "what the hell was she thinking!"

In any case, I just figured that to her, she conceived of the cat's paws as being to some degree representative of who she is--a feline maybe, someone who is territorial maybe... who knows. All in all, it's life and we're all in it for the experience. I was otherwise reminded by how life and people are fascinating, complex and entertaining.

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