Theodore Dalrymple: Exposing Shallowness
The article, ‘Exposing Shallowness’ by Theodore Dalrymple helps in highlighting the views of the author regarding tattoos and the effects that tattoos have to the society. The author acknowledges the spread of tattoos among the population and wonders why people are easily becoming attached to tattoos in the community (Dalrymple 74). Theodore highlights the close relation between tattoos and criminal activities and submits that tattoos encourage criminal activities. Therefore, there is the need of the society to discourage the piercing of tattoos in their bodies. The author puts much interest on the myths that people have on tattoos and the misunderstanding that results from the same. It is, therefore a matter of great importance for the society to acknowledge the damaging effects of tattoos among the population and discourage the use of the same (Dalrymple 74). The author highlights that the spread of tattoos among the American middle class serves as an example of an increase in social ills, a matter that needs keen attention for the population to tackle.
Because even the females become attached to the issue of piercing tattoos, there is a need for the population to combat the effects of proletarian society and take part in upholding social virtues. Theodore submits that despite the fact that the middle-class Americans use formulaic tattoos, the intent of the tattoos remain the same and this calls for the society to discourage the practice (Dalrymple 75). Additionally, the author also addresses the fact that tattoos help in showing individuality and denounces this perception as misleading and submits that the doing of tattoos to prove individuality affirms that individuals adorn savage fashion and there is a need to discourage the same. Finally, Theodore disowns the fact that the use of tattoos is a sign of personal growth and that it empowers those that tattoo themselves. It is in this light that the author shows that tattoos serve as a sign of shallowness in the personality of individuals and that those the piece do tattoos have weak mental and social support (Dalrymple 77).
Psychological effects of tattoos
The doing of tattoos is therefore associated with weak emotional support and those that do tattoos have been exposed to societal evils such as drug addiction, poor educational attainment, broken homes and low intelligence (Dalrymple 75). It is in this regard that the increase in the cases of tattoos among the population encourage criminal activities as they support social ills and are therefore responsible for the advocating for the same by identifying with the criminals. The widespread doing of tattoos in the society starting from the women to the youth and the celebrities shows the increase in the breaking of the social fabric that holds the society together, and this negatively affects morality in the modern society (Dalrymple 76). It is a matter of great importance to appreciate the need to have a change of mind and advocate against tattoos to help in preserving the identity of the society.
Besides, the author posits that despite the increasing expertise in doing the tattoos, the practice still does not conform to the virtues in the society and the fact that the tattoos that are by the middle-class Americans, which is formulaic, differ from those done by the poor, which is proletarian, proves that the tattoos help in promoting social discrimination (Dalrymple 77). Finally, the author submits that tattoos produced by prisoners show their cruelty, violent nature and are garish and pagan despite the degree of fineness used in the process of making them. Tattoos are therefore forms of modern superstition and are the types for people that have strong emotions but weak minds and limited cultural and historical frame of reference (Dalrymple 76).
Although Dalrymple appeals to the society to disown tattooing there is it worth to acknowledge the fact that tattooing has been part of the society and that it is not only used for the wrong purposes or to spread the wrong messages among the population. The perception of Dalrymple is therefore misled because there are people that use their tattoos to spread good messages as there are people that tattoo verses of the bible or of the Quran in their bodies and draw picture of Jesus or other prophets. Tattoos should not be denounced in the society totally but there should be found ways to use the bodily art for the benefit of the society and ensure that they bring good to the population in general. In this regard, people need to be educated on how to use tattoos in a good way to promote the good in the society.
Dalrymple, Theodore. "Exposing shallowness." The New Criterion 18.10 (2000): 74-78.
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