|Tattoo you......and you, and you too, hell, just tattoo everybody!|
Never mind a possible double-dip recession, the tattoo business in Laredo and across the country is experiencing an unprecedented boom. What might have started as a way for people to express their individualism is now a unmistakable sign of conformity. In the past, very few people were as "tattooed" in comparison to today. It's hard to tell what's more numerous: people hooked on smart phones or people who are among the newly tattooed.
It used to be that in many cases tattoos were about as far from mainstream as you could get. The dark, mysterious character on Moby Dick had tattoos all over. The Hell's angels were also really into tattoos. Barrio chucos usually had varying degrees of tattoo art on themselves. Nowadays, almost everybody has to have a tattoo: middle aged ladies, aging baby boomers, young slackers, and assorted other types of conformists.
The good news is that these tattooed masses are possibly infusing a great deal of money in our local economy. It's estimated that Laredo's population is about 250,000. It's further estimated that about half of our population is under the age of 25. Of these 125,000 "youngsters", perhaps about a half are of tattoo age. That means that there may more than 60,000 Laredoans who have decided to get some sort of tattoos in the last 5 years or so. If the price of the average tattoo is about 50 bucks, then that means that just in the recent past, it's possible Laredoans may have spent approximately 3 million dollars in their rush to conform.
It has come to this point: the way to standout from the masses nowadays is to simply not do anything. Don't get a tattoo, don't get any piercings and don't shave your head. Now there's an original idea.