By Vedran and Mirjana
Tattoos Temporary Vs Permanent
Punk hair-styles, body-piercing, use of drug and of, course, tattoos. The statement the youth (also quite a few grownups) are making through these accessories has to be seen to be believed. Everyone wants to stand apart from the crowd, everyone wants to be noticed and there are ways to do it. Tattooing is just one of them. Some - we would say most - get it done for shock value. Tattoos proclaiming rebellion through weird sketches or simply love for a sweetheart with a heart and arrow, you are now able to wear your heart on your sleeve, literally. Tattoos allow you to get in touch with the playful, creative side of your personality; they even given you a platform to vent your angst. Do they have relevance in contemporary society? You bet. Just think about it. If you have ancestry dating back to the aboriginals in Australia you actually get to flaunt your legacy. How cool is that?
As you might be aware, tattooing has come to be regarded as an art form. What used to be common back-alley practice viewed with wariness and riddled with scorn is now held in high esteem. Tattooing is believed to have spread from Egypt during the dawn of civilization although Japanese clay figurines dating as far back as 3000 B.C. bear evidence of the tattooing craft. Ancient Polynesians etched tattoos on their bodies to mark their spiritual beliefs while ancient Samoans actually ritualized the art. The word 'tattoo' itself is ascribed to the Samoan language- 'tatau' which means the same thing. The first electric tattoo machine, an offshoot of Thomas Edison's printing pen, is believed to be the invention of an Irish American and was patented (in the United States) in 1891.
Tattooing helps to camouflage bad skin and baldness, it is also known to hike self-esteem (especially in women) and bolster confidence. In addition, it helps foster a spirit of sorority or belongingness. Yet, tattooing is not without its hazards. Tattooing has been held as the number one culprit for spreading the deadly hepatitis C virus, just to quote one instance.
Most tattooists aren't aware of the toxic levels of the dyes and chemicals in use during the tattooing process. Sure, your tattooist may be routinely sterilizing his needles and putting on disposable gloves but he may not be necessarily addressing the toxicity of the dyes in use. Please be warned that 'untreated' dyes and colors can cause HIV infection, leprosy and melanoma, not to mention ulcers and a host of skin problems.
When you walk into that popular tattoo parlor in your neighborhood you will need to ensure before-hand that its owners follow the health and hygiene regulations to the letter. Or, even better, you can go in for temporary tattoos.
Just think about it: do you really need those heavy bandages restricting your movement even as you long to scratch those forbidden, itchy spots? Do you really need the anxiety of not knowing what disease you may have contracted because of the foreign element that has just entered your body?
Consider another fact: the permanent tattoo of your ex girlfriend may hardly be a pleasant sight to your current love interest. Worse, you could be rejected for a coveted job just because your interviewer does not approve of the flashy markings on your arm. More alarming- certain insignia may be misinterpreted in other cultures and before you know it you could become the needless victim of a hate crime. What do you do in such cases? Go in for an expensive and extremely painful laser removal solution? Or the even steeper intense pulsed light therapy?
The good news is that there are cheaper and painless alternatives available. These go by the name of temporary tattoos. As the name suggests, temporary tattoos do not have a lasting effect on the skin. Because the dyes used are deployed over the epidermal surface, tattooing becomes a painless exercise. Temporary tattooing is also considered safer compared to the real thing although reservations have been expressed in certain quarters. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found, for instance, certain dyes that cause allergic reactions. But, by and large, putting paint over the skin is infinitely safer than injecting chemically suspect dyes under it.
Probably the earliest known temporary tattoo is henna which was used extensively in the ancient cultures of India and Egypt. Henna leaves dried in the sun, ground to a fine powder and later mixed with water produce a semi-permanent dye. Far from harmful, this 'dye' is beneficial in terms of being astringent, anti-microbial, and an anti-irritant which promotes hair growth and heals abrasions on the skin. Evidence exists that henna was used for decorating the hands in ancient times. Shrines dating as far back as 7000 B.C. in Catal Huyuk in Turkey bear proof of that fact. In north India, henna is still used for ornamentation purposes (mainly over the hands and feet) during weddings. The famous Indian 'bindi', popularized by Madonna and Britney Spears, is another expression of temporary tattooing.
Temporary tattooing, as we know it in contemporary times, was first popularized by bubble gums and used the same technique. These days, it employs a mix of vegetable dyes and glue similar to what you might come across in adhesive bandages.
Consistently rising in popularity is the airbrush mode of temporary tattooing. The basic principle in operation here is a stencil over which the paint fills out the pattern.
What are the advantages of temporary tattooing? Quite a few, you bet. Firstly, it is absolutely painless even though the airbrush instrument points towards you rather menacingly like a real tattoo gun.
Temporary tattooing is also comparatively safe as the colors are painted on the skin and not under it. This means that you won't get pus or blood oozing out from various spots in your skin. You do need to be careful, though, when visiting your airbrush tattooist. Make sure you approach someone who enjoys a good reputation in the business; one who uses Food and Drug Administration approved dyes and colors, such as No Regret Temporary Tattoos & Body Art from Kitchener, Ontario, By Ena Hasanagic
Lastly, you can remove the temporary tattoos at will with the aid of oil and cream. Most temporary tattoos will stay on for three weeks and fade away anyway.
So, think about it: do you now want to go through excruciating pain just to get that permanent splash of color (that you might to remove later) on your person and remain bandaged for days with the possibility of infection?
Vedran and Mirjana