Tattoos and Bullying; Reconquering A Lost Identity.

Tattoos and Bullying; Reconquering A Lost Identity.
June 25
13:12 2017

The Real World is Not what is Shown in Movies and on TV:

Bullying is and will always be, an absolutely horrible thing to do to anyone. Whether it is in real life or in the fictional world, from movies and TV. This much at least, always holds true. However there is one media stereo type, which actually is quite different in real life. It is who among bullies and victims, who get tattoos.
I am not just speaking from my own experience, but also from my research as a sociologist (references can be presented upon request).

The image depicted in  movies, where it is always the bullies, who has menacing tattoos, in order to make them seem even more tough etc. Is simply not the whole truth. In fact, it is true that some bullies in real life, might get a tattoo at some point in there life. Some of them might even get loads of tattoos. But it is in fact, the victims of bullying, who sport the most ink, in contemporary society. I will go into why this is and what it does for the victims throughout this article. However, as a teaser I can say, it is often used to cope with the traumatic experience of bullying.

My Own Story;

I now want, out of a solidarity with fellow victims of bullying. both among our fans at Mediazink as well as in the general public. Share my own story with bullying and how my tattoos have helped me. I won’t bore people or spend too much time pointing fingers at others, by telling the whole story in details.
Suffice to say, I was bullied a lot, all throughout school until I got into high school. It got so bad, that if my dad had not caught me and stopped me, I might have ended my life at the tender age of 15.

I had always wanted tattoos since I was 14, I still waited till my 3rd year of high school when I was 18 to get my first one. I got my second shortly after graduation when I was 19. However, for me, it quickly became clear what my first two tattoos should be. My first tattoo, a yang. It was in honor of the special bond I share with my twin brother, who got the yin. Because no matter how much we ever fight, he was always there for me throughout everything, as my best friend.

High school was my first time, experience a school life without bullying. I even got the pet name “the lion” or “leo” later on. It was my first positive petname. I was accepted, for who I was, a nerdy, metal head who loves tattoos and social science. My classmates accepted me, instead of trying to push me into a box. So to remind me that you can be yourself, and still find people that will like you for who you are. I got a lion head tattoo on my chest, next to the yang.

My first two tattoos, as I talked about above.

Terror Management and Confidence Boosting:

I am aware that there are just as many different bullying stories out there, as there are victims. I just wanted to tell my story, as a nice introduction to what I will be talking about. My first two tattoos are a great example of how tattoos can be used to cope, with the trauma of bullying. Mine coped by honoring what was important to me. Others do it in other ways; by reminding themselves to be strong with uplifting words and quotes. They can also gain some satisfaction, by having depictions of their bullies being mutilated or worse.
Or by reminding themselves  of a better future, with hopeful images. there are many ways to use tattoos to cope.

However, one thing they have in common. They are all tools, used to manage the terror and the trauma of being bullied. They become a way for victims, to reclaim something, which is important to all of us. It is a way to reclaim an identity, robbed from the victims through the terror and torment. Because though you might stay true to yourself. You still feel that a part of you are stolen away, in the isolation of bullying.

But tattoos are amazing to me in this regard. Because they can, even better than some therapy can (at least some research shows). Help people regain their confidence and sense of self. They help manage the terror, they help reconquer a lost identity, and they can help, to build up ones confidence again.

Final Comments:

I hope people will have enjoyed this very personal article. I know this is based on my own research and experiences. But I hope it will give people food for thought, perhaps even make artists feel proud of themselves. As tattoo artist, are the people that become the enablers for this “healing”.

I at least know my tattoos help me, to be more confident and feel more and more like myself. It feels like, I am becoming the real me, and not something I was forced to be. I hope they do that for everyone, not just the victims of bullying. Not just for people with deep meaning in their tattoos. I hope they make everyone feel more at home, in their own skin.

Keep an eye on Tattoo-Logia for more interesting articles, here on Mediazink.
Check out mediazink on Instagram as well (@Mediaiznk_Official).
As well as on YouTube and Facebook.

Thank you for reading, and stay awesome people !

About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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1 Comment

  1. Helle
    Helle June 25, 17:22

    Fantastic to read This very personal article Thank You ? And very importen and relative stuff ?

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