THE HISTORY OF TATTOO IS HARD TO RECOUNT EVENTHOUGH IT’S AN ANCESTRAL PRACTICE WE CAN’T PLACE IT’S ORIGIN.
Mark, identity and marginality.
The necessary choices in the corporal aesthetism are a kind of marking. Even the revrsible modifications (like lipstick) can be considerd as non-permanant marking. The symbolic action of those nonpermanant marks is a long term action.
The body is the bearer meaningfull symbolic charge whic is important in the social communication. Despite the partial occultation of the body and it’s functions, the action of the body is decisive as well as in the tacit communication as in the indentitary expression.
The identitary construction depends on the recognition by the others. It is the interiorised perception that the others got on ourselves. One of the most accesible mean to consolidate, modify, or to have an indentity is to act on the elements that make the exterior appearance. Wether this intervention is discret or not ; wether it let permanant marks or not it is always toward the others. The body “lived” is made by the body “perceived” juged socially. This is the condition of it’s integration: that it becomes a manifest and a saign of it’s conformity to the codes.
Each group marks it’s social identity by the use of implicit codes of beahviors and habitus, term that defines a whole way of living of a society. The legitimity of memebership of an individual to a group goes through the strict correspondance of it’s behavior to the habitus of the group, and the adoption of the sign by wich the group is defined.
Some points of reference (thos that diferenciate religious groups) are pretty exclusive. But it doesn’t seems that the kippa or hijab will be largely adopted in a near future by people that wouldn’t belong to those religious groups. On the contrary other point of reference are realy mobile; in particular those who determine social ranks or sexual orientation. For exemple earring for men doesn’t define at all sexual orientation or it’s maritime’s one.
The multiplication of the normes and possible choices ask for an individual positioning. However if it gives the illusion of a bigger independance from the normes, but they prevail. What appears as a reject of the normes is often the creation in the beginning and then the adoption of a conter-norme, amiror flip-flop of the norm that quicly becomes normative too. It would be the same process explained by Bastide to discribe tre relationship between sacred savage and domestic savage. The unique creative experience becomes a domestic experience as soon as it is perpetuate and transmited. If this relationship stay true for the case of tattoo it would means that this mark is considered (by those who practice it) as gesture of independance toward the body normes; and so would be on it’s way for being “established”: the norme of some groups.
The confusion of the points of reference leads each actors to a personal production of it’s identity through out a cultural “collage” where social influencies are fashionable.
And the fashion is fascinated by marginality. Conformity is not well seen one have to have a fake rebel side to be a little crazy but enough to be well integrated socialy.
In this context tattoo is a way to selfproclaim one’s difference. Clothes don’t tell us about the social position of someone. One way to marginalize in avisible way without renouncing to the advantage of one’s true social rank must be by an other way, that’s the use of tattoo.
But the marginalisation is not reached so easily. As we can witness once or twice after a first tattoo. Some would even compare tattoo to a sorte drug, with a need hard to fullfill.
This aspect that can seems “savage” this excess appartently without limits.
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