Opinion
By James Pavel 

 Tattoos remain all the rage of the current decade, but despite their current ubiquity and acceptance, their appeal will never trump that of elegant fashion choices and statements. 

 The streets are filled with thought-provoking body art, some of it truly accentuating the look and personality of many. But just like parachute pants, holy cross earrings, and blonde streaks for men, tattoos are unmistakably a trend. 

 The main and notable difference is of course the annoying permanence of the ink. Tattoos, unlike almost everything else, are forever, unless one is willing to opt for an expensive removal procedure. 

 What many individuals are erroneously concluding upon receiving another tattoo is that they have successfully joined the world of the fashionable. But truthfully, they have only subscribed further to one of the most aggressively pursued trends of our time. To be fashionable is to be unique and original, but to also evolve. 

 A tattoo does not give one the opportunity to evolve. That part of the body is now stagnated and can only be altered when covered. While a pair of pants can appear remarkably different when paired with various shirts, belts and shoes, a tattoo remains a tattoo. They are the blonde streaks racing across the skin that can’t be vanquished by the swift movements of a hair stylist. 

 Tattoos are an accessory not an outfit. Just as Ed Hardy was a laughable flash in the pan of fashion, tattoos can and may turn out to be the same; especially for those who have relied on tattoos as their only means of conveying the idea of fashion sense. 

 Many treat tattoos as a method of demonstrating a sense of artistic merit or a sense of being “in.” And yet without these somewhat fashionable tattoos, the remainder of many outfits appear atrocious and laughable. 

 Tattoos should never be viewed as one’s saving grace, but instead as an everlasting accessory that represents a creative outlet for expression and personal meaning. 

 Former soccer star David Beckham is one of the greatest fashion icons of our time. His upper torso is completely covered in tattoos.  He remains the most popular athlete on the planet, thus operating as an advertisement for the social acceptance of full body art. 

 But Beckham would still look great without the tattoos. 

 The tattoos play only a small role in the David Beckham production. Strictly from a physical standpoint, Beckham has the latest hairstyle, fashionable facial hair and designer clothing. 

 Beckham is a sex symbol for a number of reasons, and many are more notable than just his choice to be covered in tattoos.  Whether or not it is on purpose is irrelevant. 

 Beckham does not allow his tattoos to explain who he is in totality. They are merely artistic expressions that provide clues and ideas to what he deems important in his life i.e. the name of his wife scribbled on his arm. 

 Whether or not Beckham will feel foolish or will be considered unappealing in 20 years because of his excessive tattoo collection is not really important. He has not allowed his tattoos to define him, or determine how fashionable he is, while so many others who have sacrificed a knack for trail-blazing clothing have done so. 

 There is a slight societal pressure to become tattooed, simply because they are so insanely popular. But as appealing as some body art is, it will never match the beauty of a summer dress or a freshly-ironed polo paired with a blazing-white cardigan. 

 Fashion can show off the body and seductively conceal the body in a way that tattoos can’t. Tattoos just become part of the body, like a mole or a birth mark. 

 Tattoos can do wonders for those looking to convey a certain look or attitude. However, it is likely that this look is no longer as easily achievable due to the absorption of everything rebellious courtesy of the pop culture machine. 

 What is important is to realize that no body modification will ever trump dressing well. In other words, a suit and tie will always steal the show from tattoos. 

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