For many years, tattoos used to be associated with artists, prisoners, gangsters, and rebels in the community. However, the situation has changed significantly since they have become an integral part or feature of every society. Those who chose them find it easier to express their personal views and beliefs or become acceptable in their respective groups. However, the decision to permit underage persons to get their favorite tattoos remains a divisive, contentious, and debatable issue.
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The most important thing is for parents, guardians, and community members to be aware of the realities, advantages, and disadvantages associated with them. Young people below the age of eighteen are usually unprepared to make superior decisions and should not be allowed to have tattoos since they are associated with social rebellion and expose to illicit drugs and new infections. The purpose of this argumentative paper is to present both sides of this issue and offer strong reasons to support the outlined thesis statement.
Young People below Eighteen Years and Tattoos
Since many countries do not recognize people below the age of eighteen as adults, they should not be allowed to get tattoos due to their inabilities to make informed health and social decisions. Those who embrace this form of art understand that its amounts to self-expression. Tattoos have become affordable in modern societies, thereby making it possible for many people to express themselves and become acceptable in their respective groups.
According to Conti et al., they are ideal for individuals who want to commemorate specific events or outcomes in their lives (149). Such markings will become part of their bodies until when they die or be forced to go through expensive removal procedures. This is a clear indication that any person who is permitted to get a tattoo should be mature and capable of making adequate decisions. Any child below the age of eighteen should, therefore, not be allowed to have it since he or she might regret it in the future. The process of getting rid of any unwanted tattoo after attaining the age of maturity might be costly or affect the skin (Beeler 43).
However, some people indicate that such a move is discriminatory in nature and makes it impossible for many teenagers to pursue their aims. Others argue that there is a need for parents and guardians to be involved in order to guide children under the age of eighteen instead of opposing this form of art. These measures will empower and make it easier for them to become self-motivated.
Tattoos are capable of presenting different challenges to individuals below the age of eighteen, such as HIV infection and allergic reactions, increased cases of discrimination, and access to illegal drugs (Beeler 71). When teenagers are allowed to have tattoos, they might be exposed to specific artists who sell illicit substances. This means that such individuals will be at risk of becoming addicts or engaging in inappropriate behaviors. Some might be exposed to violence or peer groups that promote unacceptable practices, such as binge drinking and underage sex (Beeler 76).
Many people in different parts of the world believe that individuals with tattoos tend to have increased chances of joining criminal groups or facing discrimination. Conti et al. argue that some tattoo inks are known to trigger allergic reactions (150).
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Artists who do not promote evidence-based practices might expose young individuals to HIV/AIDS infection. These issues explain why there is a need for parents to guide and discourage their children from getting tattoos. However, there are some groups that see teenagers as mature people who can make timely and informed decisions before selecting the right artist. Some people use this understanding to explain why community leaders should guide their children to identify service providers who put safety first. This kind of practice will tackle the major gaps or challenges associated with tattoos in individuals below the age of eighteen.
The above argumentative paper has presented different views regarding the divisive issue of tattoos in persons aged below eighteen. The outstanding observation is that every person in need of such a service should be aware of the possible repercussions, challenges, and health risks. Young people are usually at a higher risk than adults since they are unable to make timely or informed choices. They might be forced to join new peer groups, use illegal drugs, or acquire new infections. Those who support this practice believe that parents and guardians should be involved throughout the decision-making process to ensure that teenagers’ rights and liberties are supported.
Nonetheless, such arguments or views do not address the real issues and problems that many underage people with tattoos might encounter. Children below the age of eighteen cannot make appropriate or ethical decisions and should not be allowed to have tattoos since they are associated with social rebellion and expose to both illicit drugs and new infections. This knowledge should become a powerful guideline for formulating new policies and empowering members of every community.
Beeler, Karin. Tattoos, Desire and Violence: Marks of Resistance in Literature, Film and Television. North Carolina, NC: McFarland & Company Publishers.
Conti, Adelaide, et al. “Piercing and Tattoos in Adolescents: Legal and Medico-Legal Implications.” Open Medicine, vol. 13, no. 1, 2018, pp. 148-152.