Tattoo and piercing shops are not seen as “the backstreet” of the commercial civilization today, it is somewhat an expected sight in all public places. Josie Appleton in “The Body Piercing Project” and Bonnie Berkowitz in “Tattooing Outgrows Its Renegade Image to Thrive In The Mainstream” successfully informs and argues with the purpose of showing how the view on body modification has changed. Appleton and Berkowitz successfully inform the audience of how body modification has been more socially accepted in the industrialized society due to changes.
“The Body Piercing Project” by Appleton explains how tattoo shops have been opening in other environments than the traditionally perceived suitable spaces. As Appleton writes in her article, “The opening of a tattoo and piercing section in the up-market London store Selfridges shows that body modification has lost its last trace of taboo,” indicates that the tattooing industry has found their place even in the high-end market, a completely different environment than previously proper.
Due to the change and expansion of the business it is seen as a service for the general public- everyone from teenagers, men in suits and middle aged women, to the traditional wearers. In the article “Tattooing Outgrows Its Renegade Image to Thrive In The Mainstream,” Berkowitz agrees that the practice is now socially acceptable because of changes in the industry. Berkowitz is informing how the industry is not only of general interest and acceptance, but also that the business is safer because of the approval by writing that “Now it’s 2011 and you want a tattoo.
In a private room, the gloved artist unwraps sanitized equipment and chooses from dozens of colors of vegan-friendly ink” (Berkowitz par. 2). The two articles by Appleton and Berkowitz agree that the forum for and acceptance of body modification has changed. On the other hand, they part on their focus on why this is a fact. Appleton informs on how people are accepting the concept of body modification by including the industry in new environments. Berkowitz informs how the general public is accepting the industry because of the safer methods used today.
The two articles by Appleton and Berkowitz are successfully arguing how the reason for people wanting body modification has altered. Traditionally, people would get tattoos as a sign of camaraderie, but today, tattooing is something more individual. In “The Body Piercing Project,” Appleton interviews 37-year-old Sarah who wants to get her navel pierced for aesthetic reasons (161). Additionally, Appleton writes how the tattoo artist Greg thinks that several people today are getting tattoos for “self-empowerment”- to create a personal identity (161).
Other reasons for wanting body modification- personal statements, marking a turning point or as a reminder of special moments- Appleton objectively describes through personal stories from people wanting a tattoo or piercing. The author interviews seventeen-year-old Laura who says she wants to get “XXX” tattooed on the base of her spine (Appleton 162). Laura says “it’s not to prove anything to anyone else, it’s a pact with myself completely” (Appleton 162). Even though Appleton objectively informs about Laura’s wants, one can analyze the case by asking why Laura wants a tattoo for herself on her lower back when she will not be able to see it.
As a consequence of this analysis, it is possible to say that Appleton argues that the significance of the modification differs from the individual denotation when the tattoo or piercing is really meant as decoration. Appleton is successfully arguing this case using pathos by telling stories rather than her own direct opinion. Using pathos means that she is appealing to emotions (Ruszkiewicz, Anderson, and Friend 24). Berkowitz, on the other hand, argues using logos to persuade the audience that people are getting tattoos for cosmetic reasons.
She is therefor appealing to factual evidence (Ruszkiewicz, Anderson, and Friend 24), “Painters and sculptors trained in fine arts migrated to tattooing, looking at skin as a living canvas” (Berkowitz par. 7). Berkowitz is using historical facts to underline the significance of a permanent artwork on skin. The author argues that the change from a patriotic mark (as a sign of belonging to a group) to the superficial meaning started in the late 1970s and early ‘80s when tattoo artists were encouraged to share ideas through magazines and conventions.
In addition, athletes and television implicated that tattoos were cool in this time period. As to compare Appleton and Berkowitz’ articles, it is simplest to say that Appleton argues the change in why people want body modification by implying that the so-called “personal significance” means little compared to the cosmetic reason. By Appleton implying the cosmetic reason, the two articles successfully argue the same reason. Berkowitz directly says that the reason for people getting tattooed today is aesthetic but Appleton makes the audience analyze the indirect argument.
In “The Body Piercing Project” by Appleton and “Tattooing Outgrows Its Renegade Image to Thrive In The Mainstream” by Berkowitz, the authors are successfully informing and analyzing different health-related issues connected to body modification. Appleton writes about several psychological means on why people get tattoos and piercings. “Some also claim that body modification helps them to feel ‘comfortable in their own skin’ or proud of parts of their body they were previously ashamed” (Appleton 163). Amongst other issues, the problem of being comfortable with their body is made manageable to handle when having a tattoo or piercing.
Even though a person is coping with his or her issues, the original problems are just concealed not solved. Appleton says some people use body modification to resolve a sense of self-estrangement, to deal with problems because when you hurt, you are still alive, or master traumatic events (163). Again, the modification will let the individuals cope with their issues but not entirely fix them. One can even look at getting body modification as an addiction since some individuals need them to handle their problems. Berkowitz informs about the physical means of getting a tattoo.
In 2011, the tattoo artists use sanitized equipment and vegan-friendly ink in addition to advertising their autoclaves and hygiene standards according to Berkowitz’ article. Berkowitz again uses historical fact to underline the importance of her statements by saying that “? …? tattooists have largely cleaned up their own industry, beginning in the 1950s in response to awareness of blood-borne illnesses” (Berkowitz par. 3). Both Appleton and Berkowitz are informing about health-related issues but they are focusing on different aspects.
Appleton uses the psychological means to inform about the “cover up” stories while Berkowitz informs using factual based information. Appleton and Berkowitz use their articles “The Body Piercing Project” and “Tattooing Outgrows Its Renegade Image to Thrive In The Mainstream” to successfully persuade the audience by using logos to view body modification as a cosmetic measure. Appleton uses the technique of indirectly implying her opinion on the explanations of why individuals want tattoos or piercings.
The use of the method makes people reasonably figure out their own opinion of the cases before the author reveals her view making the self-imposed opinion stronger when confirmed. Appleton says, “Body modification should be put back in the fashion box,” (Appleton 164) meaning they are meant to improve appearance, not to be loaded with existential significance. “The artistic and financial gulf between brilliant and lousy is vast. Top tattooists command up to $300 dollars an hour for large, custom work that can take 40 hours or more” (Berkowitz par. 14).
Berkowitz uses the financial and artistic aspect when persuading the audience that tattooing is a form of art and therefor a cosmetic measure. If the appearance of the tattoo is not as important as the meaning behind the tattoo why spend that much money on it? Again, Berkowitz’ message is more straightforward while Appleton’s need interpretation to be understood. Appleton wants to persuade the general public to think of body modification in a fashionable way rather than to show self-expression. On the contrary, Berkowitz already view tattoos as expressions of art and therefore a way to improve personal appearance.
Josie Appleton in “The Body Piercing Project” and Bonnie Berkowitz in “Tattooing Outgrows Its Renegade Image to Thrive In The Mainstream” successfully informs and argues with the purpose of showing how the view on body modification has changed. Appleton focuses on how body modification is used to cope with different psychological means without directly giving her opinion throughout the article. She wants people to make up their own minds, and does so by indirectly implying her view on the emotional issues before reassuring these “self-made” opinions in the end.
Appleton wants body modification to be a way of improving personal appearance, and to not load them with existential significance. Berkowitz focuses more on the art of tattooing and the historical evolution. She sees tattoos as cosmetic measures and that one should be willing to pay for an experienced tattoo artist. Both Josie Appleton and Bonnie Berkowitz agree that body modification is available for nearly everyone and accepted by the general public, making this business a good model for equality.