Frantz Fanon and the Psychology of Tattooing

Of the reasons I have never gotten a tattoo, it is not just a matter of personal taste. One of the reasons, one of the major ones, is that it allows for a more universal accessibility. If I am to enter any subculture or group, I need to be able to present myself in a way that is not alienating. If I have a particular tattoo it may or may mot alienate people but while cultures all have different views on body art, not having a tattoo is not offensive to any culture. If I happen to end up naked, I have no symbols I can’t remove. I can always put a temporary tattoo on, if need be.

Not only that, but it represents accessibility and universiality. Since tattoos signify individual or tribal identity, not having one and having what all humans are born with, instead, represents a type of philosophical and psychological monism. The aim is, ultimately, a form of psychological monism. It is Fanon’s decolonized mind but is instead a detribalized mind and even de-individualized to a degree. It is like my position on alcohol, while it is not, per se, a sin, it leads to sin so much that I don’t drink. Tattoos lend themselves enough to group exsclusivity and the psychology of it, I won’t get a tattoo. In short, tattoos psychologically help form the ingroup bonds from nationalism to gangs to anything else that removing that is akin to how Fanon argued physical acts could have a psychological effect for social purposes.

In short, not being inked is a means of keeping myself universal. Universiality is not a virtue typically listed among the traditional virtues. Yet, I regard comsopolitianism to be a virtue according to my religion and tasting the various subcultures and cultures of the world and, generally, maximizing the heterogeniety of my contacts, increases my emptahy and my kinship with the human family. Ultimately, to do that one must be detached from strong bonds to groups smaller than the human family which means to psychologically detribalize and deindividualize oneself. To be universal, universally accessible, and thus able to be more cosmopolitian and therefore empathetic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: