Interesting. Read more here.
Yet there’s more going on here than questionable aesthetic tastes. With tattoos, the emphasis is all on the self, and the centrality of the self, rather than anything outside of the body. You may not be in a position to make a mark on the outside world, or even on your local community, but at least you can leave a mark on your own body. In a deeply narcissistic age, self-aggrandising tattoos have become the body badge of choice for thousands. But by enlarging ourselves with tattoos, we’re belittling ourselves in the process. It’s a sign of our low expectations that having control over flesh decorations is considered to be the limit of our capacities as an individual. So while shaping the outside world seems near impossible, you can at least shape barbed-wire patterns on your arm.