When you first hear a tattooed man’s name, you can almost feel the excitement as he gets to talk.
But don’t expect a tattoo on your cheek or your arm if you’ve never heard of him.
“You are going to have to see what they have done to your body,” said Mark H. Wilson, a tattoo expert with the University of Virginia.
“The tattoo is actually a reflection of who you are.”
A tattoo is the final, permanent expression of an individual’s personality.
“If you can’t remember who you’re tattooing, you don’t know who you have tattooed,” Wilson said.
Houses, cars, jewelry, and even the clothes on your body can be covered with a tattoo.
Tattoos also are a way to recognize someone’s family.
“We can show our respect for them and our family members, and they can then go back to their families and ask for a tattoo,” said Wilson.
Wilson said tattoos are not meant to make you look better.
“They’re a way of making you feel better about yourself,” he said.
“They’re an expression of who a person is,” said Alex Wilson, another tattoo expert.
“And that person can change through a lifetime.”
The tattooing process is similar to how a car is cleaned and repaired.
“When you’re driving your car, you are not really looking at the vehicle,” Wilson explained.
“You’re looking at a person, and if you want to look at a particular person, you take that person to the shop, and you have a car that is not a car you own.”
The person’s identity is always hidden.
“In a tattoo it is a statement of identity,” Wilson added.
“That person can be the president of your church, or a person who is a friend of your family, or someone who is just someone that you don