I don’t have a tattoo and I will never have one. I’m simply not capable of making a decision with that much impact … a decision that will, literally, go with me to my grave. But I understand that, for the tattoo aficionados among us, they are a wonderfully permanent expression of individuality and personality. Friends and loved ones tell me that they get a great amount of satisfaction from their body art. It also appears that tattoos are a lot like potato chips … it’s difficult to enjoy just one.
Some of the tattoos that I see are very tasteful and, clearly, have deep personal meaning. When done professionally by a talented artist, after much thought and careful consideration, body art can be quite beautiful. Others, appear to be somewhat random or of the “Eh … I just like frogs” variety. Some tattoos, admittedly, are really very sexy. Unfortunately, there are some that really just look stupid. And some that are extraordinarily crude and vulgar.
Spurred by complaints at a public swimming pool about what was thought to be an “inappropriate” tattoo on display, the Bettendorf, Iowa Park Board is considering a policy that would address the body art and attire that a guest is allowed to display at their city facilities. While not an outright “tattoo ban”, the Board wants to address issues of “decency”.
“We certainly want to respect people’s right to expression and at the same time, we want to respect a family's right to have a family environment. We have to find a balance.” Steven Grimes, Bettendorf Parks and Recreation Director.
Needless to say, the proposed policy is garnering quite a bit of attention. Many feel that individuals have a First Amendment right to express themselves with body art while others think they should be able to bring their children to a public facility without being met with vulgarity. And, let’s face it … some tattoos can be pretty gross.
I support appropriate dress codes, but I'm not certain where I stand on “un-dress codes”. What are your thoughts?
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