Monday, March 1, 2010

Branding and Tattoos

Some time ago a frat brother asked me why I am not branded. In fact through the years as I meet people who find out I am an Omega ask me where is my brand or tattoo. While I respect people to choose to modify their body as a form of self expression I choose not to express myself in that fashion.

Why - for some it is no big deal however for me there is something that hearkens back to the days of slavery. Slave owners would mark their property to make it clear this belonged to me. The very thought of marking myself in any form makes me think of that and would be a constant reminder that there were people (some of whom were related by blood) who had this done to them involuntarily - they had no say or choice so how can I respect their memory and the sacrifices they made that allow me to be here and do to myself voluntarily what they would have wished not be done to them?

I understand in different cultures various forms of body modification are part of a ritual that involved the rite of passage from childhood to adult and even in some you are considered unattractive without - however this is my personal choice and is my way of paying respect to the people who are responsible for my being here today. Sure, I could mark my skin or modify myself to show my commitment - yet for me a better testament is how I choose to live my life and the people whose lives I have touched along the way - something that I hope will leave a more meaningful mark and it of benefit to others that lives long past my time on this earth!

What are your thoughts - why do you choose to or not to modify your body?

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