The whole Jesse James-Tattooed Head Chick fiasco was an opportunity for America to sound off about how they really feel about tattoos: they're trashy and for losers.
We fooled ourselves into believing that because a few people were getting highly artistic, well thought out work done that tattoo acceptance was right around the corner. Sleeves weren't just for bikers, junkies and hookers anymore. We all heard about (but never actually met) the brilliant and successful doctors, lawyers and NASA engineers who were somewhere in the process of a full body suit. The abilities of tattoo artists were at an all time high and quality work was accessible for anyone who could afford it. Tattoos had their brief moment in the sun.
Then something happened: Douchebags woke up one day and decided to get insta-sleeves by the end of that day with little or no thought put into it. Like most awful things in recent years it was overrepresented with Mixed Martial Arts fighters and fans of the sport. Then it was everywhere that sucks from clubs in LA to South Beach to the Jersey Shore. Every kind of jackass from Jocks to Guidos (and the women that love them) to VH1 reality show attention whores, were heavily tattooed.
Tattoos were no longer a symbol of belonging to a subculture or being outside of the mainstream; they were the mainstream. But this mainstreaming of heavily tattooed people didn't bring acceptance. These weren't the hypothetical professionals and upstanding members of society that the public was led to believe; they were the type of clowns that deck themselves out in head to toe Ed Hardy gear that Joe and Jane Blow snicker at.
I love all of my tattoos: the ones from amazing artists to the awful free ones and even worse coverups. I just don't expect that people won't pre judge me as a douchebag for having them. It's like wearing a bedazzled shirt, Affliction dragon-on-the-ass jeans and a Von Dutch hat as the cherry on top of a played out sundae.