New York Times Magazine recently praised the current craze for “artistic” self-mutilation, declaring that “the danger, the fear, the foolishness and the pain of getting a tattoo contribute to the thrill.” A new Harris survey suggests that more than one-in-four Americans have now pursued that “thrill,” with 47% of adults under 35 marking themselves permanently with so-called “body art.”
This popular practice actually violates key elements of conservative values: placing fleeting urges ahead of long-term consequences.
On personal as well as political issues, a more conservative, responsible, faith-based approach would ask whether giving in to a momentary inclination would be more likely to lead to long-term benefit, or damage. In the case of tattoos, it’s hard to imagine long-term advantages in terms of health, relationships, career or self-esteem, while the chances for regret are high. Surveys show a full fourth of tattoo decorated Americans, including the trendiest young people, already regret their decision to ink their bodies.