This past week, Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week gathered designers, artists, and celebrities alike to showcase the upcoming season’s designs. German designer and provocateur Patrick Mohr, fabled for defiant runway shows and transgressive designs, featured bearded and bald models sporting relatively wearable clothes. A color palette of bold reds and oranges juxtaposed with canvas tones, the collection was a series of naturally unisex clothing, with some noticeable pieces resembling boxer shorts, all of which comprised the collection. Mohr has cultivated a reputation that straddles street wear and high art, having rejected conventional expectations of runway glamor.
Mark Johnson is an English teacher in Ogden, Utah, and he’s up against losing his job if he doesn’t adhere to a district guideline: cover up the tattoos.
In recent interviews, Johnson states that his tattoos aren’t offending anyone; they’re his kids’ names and wife’s initials and claims that while he obviously doesn’t want to lose his job, he doesn’t think that it’s right for the district to discriminate against him for a little body art.
The district isn’t just biased against tattoos — piercings, skirts of various lengths and many other wearable items are banned. However, a representative for the school district
Johnson has worked for the Ogden area school district for the past fifteen years and has had his arm tattoos even longer. Up until this year, the teacher claims that there has been no stir about the tattoos. However, a spokesperson for the school district states:
“So we decided that teaching is a career, teaching is a profession, and we want to set a professional standard so that our students will look at their teachers and say, ‘Yes, they are a professional and yes, I could be a teacher, and I would love to have education as my career for 30 years.’”
While I understand that businesses and school districts have policies and procedures in place specifically regarding issues of this sort, I think that this district in particular is backtracking — the man has been employed by the district for almost two decades and has had the tattoos even longer than he’s been employed at the school as a teacher. The man’s tattoos are on his arm and aren’t obscene, violent or distracting in any way, shape or form.
However, I guess policy is policy and if this man wants to continue working for a school district that’s enforcing their newest dress code, he’ll cover them up, right? Personally, I think it’s crap — we should be evolving from the aghast reactions of pierced noses and tattooed eyebrows; they’re freaking everywhere. I don’t think that a tattooed professional is any less professional than the professional that people in certain circles might consider a “prude” of sorts, am I right?
Tattoos don’t express a mentality of immaturity or even destruction — they’re a way of saying ‘Look at me, I’m expressing myself.’ Anything beyond understanding that very basic fact is something that people really need to get over.
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A new study presented in the Chicago Tribune states that anyone who has a combined amount of, say, 4 or more tattoos and piercings has got to be t-r-o-u-b-l-e.
The study emerged out of the University of Texas and surveyed approximately 1750 students from a combination of four colleges who all had something in common: they were scary, toothless deviants who wrought to bring the world to its knees by expressing themselves in a manner that involved permanent colors and metal bars through weird places.
I’m kidding about the toothless part.
Findings stated that the more tattooed and pierced the student was, the more likely they were to be involved in “deviant” behavior such as visiting a bar and mayyybe getting into some college-related trouble. It was noted that individuals who sported more … expression, shall we call it — were found to be more likely to participate in binge drinking, drug use, promiscuity, arrests and cheating on academic boards.
The results are being based upon a mere, mere number: 4%. 4% of students who had four tattoos and/or piercings or more were apt to engage in such behavior. You may as well just come out and say that a small amount of college students are trouble-makers. That’s really what it’s boiling down to, no?
I think it’s ridiculous to completely stereotype a person (because that’s precisely what this is) because of the color(s) on their skin or the placement of external hardware. At my most “freaky” point, I had three tattoos, multiple ear piercings including the “awful” industrial, an eyebrow piercing, a nose piercing and a bellybutton piercing. Frightening!
And although they’re all gone at this point — with the exception of the tattoos — I was never what you’d consider a “deviant.” Did I drive an uber-fast red sports car while fronting a band? Yes. Did I subsequently rack up a few major speeding tickets while doing so? Alright, yes. Did I up and travel whenever I wanted just to end up in some questionable (and sometimes quite distant) places at times? Indeed, I did. But you know what? It was all in the name of innocent fun. No one ever got hurt, there was no malice behind any of my adventures and I never associated with people who had “danger” branded on their foreheads — figuratively or literally.
Assuming that a person with various body art is a deviant is just as narrow-minded as saying that all people of the Asian decent are math wizards.
Narrow-minded and slanderous.