Over the years, I began to feel there was something wrong with a white person sporting an Indigenous symbol as a tattoo and developed a quiet, passive shame. Suddenly the question, “What do your tattoos mean?” didn’t bring about the same enthusiasm as before. Instead, I’d sullenly reply, “You know, I mostly just like how they look. Why do they need meaning?”
I just let my ignorance fester. More.
Reality check: What acres of tats and serious piercings usually mean is that a job seeker is an unattractive hire. After all, one can alter one’s wardrobe for work far more easily than a sleeve of tats and a ton of tin recyclables.
But then the job market for millennials is bad anyway, and likely to get worse. Maybe indulgence in tat angst is a way to avoid facing that fact. Maybe pretending to be a cat will work that way too.
See also: Meow!! Born in the wrong species?