Re: Back to a frequent confrontation: Mine's Real

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Posted by Littlefox on August 11, 2002 at 20:13:53:

In reply to: Back to a frequent confrontation: Mine's Real posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 10, 2002 at 22:24:09:

I actually had a nice conversation with one fellow at a convention
not too long ago where I was doing Mehndi. It was rather odd, he
came up with the preconceived notion that what I was doing was a
substitute for tattooing which he also found offensive. To be honest
I was taken aback a bit by his vehemence on the entire subject and
took the chance to take a break from the table and just talk with
him. In talking with him, maybe I helped both of us with some

He had lost most of his accent over the years and was there with his
grand daughter (great grand daughter I think but he wasn't too clear)
at the convention. Apparently when he was a boy, tattoos were
numbers....that meant you weren't the one on the way to the furnace.
For him the entire pain of tattooing was psychological scarring not a
badge of honor. We talked for some time on his views on so many
children out in the world who scar their bodies willingly, being
proud of enduring pain that they have no concept of really.

It was a very interesting time talking with him, but I think it was
time well spent. I learned a great deal about how painful those
memories can truly be, and he learned that the younger generation was
not completely clueless in it's immulation of other cultures. He for
a bit thought that I was trying to 'push' my product and even said
so, I actually laughed and explained to him that I'm a member of a
society that promotes 'living history'. It wasn't the body art that
hooked me but the cultural meaning of the entire art. I brought out
books with pictures of other cultures, of women smiling as they
prepared a young girl for her wedding, and of CCJ's designs taken
from several parts of the world where they carry such a wealth of
meaning. It was like suddenly the light came on in his eyes and
Mehndi suddenly was no longer a substitute for tattooing, but he
realized that it was nothing at all like it but an art unto
itself.... apples and oranges ;P. It was a great feeling watching
him devour the books as he was very intrested in body art that is a
momentary blessing passed between friends, sometimes asking for
divine guidance, not the brutal maring of the skin to force pride
under the skin.

Of all the reactions I've seen to the 'tattooing for wusses', I think
this one was the most refreshing. Just thought I'd share, maybe to
offer a ray of sunshine in the pit of 'Mine's Real!'



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