Sunday, April 22, 2007


Most of you probably do not care about talk show host Don Imus. Maybe you do not even know or care why he was fired from MSNBC and CBS. Stick with me, I am going to show you why and how this relates to life here in Dumaguete City.

Simply speaking Mr. Imus, while broadcasting, made an outrageously racist and bigoted statement maligning the character of a group of female basketball players. He had never met them nor knew anything about them except their appearance. He based his assessment of their character on their “tattoos”. He stating they were a bunch of “nappy headed whores”.

We do not have a tattoo parlor here, how does all this relate to life in Dumaguete City ? Not only are there tattoo parlors just up the road in Cebu but there is a thriving tattoo business in private homes all around the city. The fact that these homegrown tattoos parlors are operating under unsanitary conditions compounds the danger of serious consequences. That cute little dragon tattoo on your butt could literally cost you your life.

Here are three reasons NOT to get a tattoo:

1. STIGMA: Many countries around the world consider tattoos as a sign of criminality or low character. In Japan , some hot springs recreational facilities ban patrons with tattoos. This prohibition is probably due to the fact that the “Yakuza” or Japanese Mafia is traditionally heavily tattooed. The Chinese gangster triads have dragon tattoos. Historically paroled Chinese criminals were tattooed as a warning to honest citizens. American servicemen are discouraged from getting tattoos and Marines are now actually prohibited from having them. American convicts proudly sport tattoos. Teardrop tattoos on a convict’s face usually indicate he has killed someone. The current rage is for a girl to get a tattoo in the small of her back. In the trade this tattoo is called a “Tramp Stamp” or “Ass Antler”. It would seem even tattoo artists have a low opinion of women getting these decorations. If you want to have a professional career, I strongly advise you not to get a tattoo. Especially if that tattoo is in a visible area. Most people prefer their doctors, lawyers and company executives not look like a criminal.

2. RELIGION: If you are a Christian, Jew or Moslem your religion constrains getting a tattoo. Tattooing is considered a pagan rite and not fit for God’s people.

3. HEALTH: Because it requires breaking the skin barrier, tattooing may carry serious health risks, including infection, allergic reactions, and even Hepatitis or HIV. In the United States a person getting a tattoo is prohibited from donating blood for one year. The list of medical problems is almost endless. You can get a skin infection that can turn the tattoo into an ugly scar. That is why tattoo artists are often called “scab merchants” or “scar vendors”. Staph infection or anaphylactic shock can kill you. Or you can get the dubious blessings of an incurable disease like herpes. Beyond the possibility of destroying your kidneys or death, a new threat has emerged. It seems that some tattoo ink, especially those with a metallic base; react badly to an MRI scan. The wrong ink and you could prevent yourself from getting the benefits of modern medicine.

Be an Everyday Hero tell your friends about the real dangers they face under the tattoo artists needle.

You could save their life.

No comments: