Some people think that tattoos are something that are stupid and have no place on people. Others think that tattoos are great ways to send messages to people, and others think they are body art. Whatever you stand on tattoos there is no denying that there is a symbolic message that people try to send when they put a tattoo on their body. It is a permanent expression of a moment in your life that you put on your body.
Some people put tattoos on because they want to feel rebellious. They know that it is considered somewhat wrong to have a tattoo and that their parents would never want to have a tattoo on their children. While not always that much of a bad thing, I do know some parents who wouldn't even want a tattoo like a rose or bugs bunny on their ankle.
Tattoos are something that can be used to create an impression of yourself upon that tattoo being seen. Sometimes it makes people think that the person with a tattoo is a rough guy because he has a snake on his arm or a sword on his back. If you have a whole bunch of tattoos it might be seen as you are someone not to be messed with or someone to be respected.
Other tattoos might symbolize something else entirely. If a girl has a tattoo on her lower back, it might be something she uses to get guys to notice her. It gives off a certain image if a woman has a tattoo there and is usually visible in the correct setting that it is supposed to be seen in.
It could be cultural reasons for having a tattoo. Sometimes it might symbolize a mythical figure from that persons culture. It might be a name of a child, or a girlfriend or wife and you want to symbolize that you are going to be with that person for the long haul. That can be a little awkward if the relationship ends with that person.
Tattoos are something that many people have for many different reasons. Some are to create impressions, and some are to cultivate cultural responses. Since a tattoo is permanent it can be seen as a symbolic statement that shows that someone is in a relationship for the long haul too. Whatever the reason a tattoo can be art or just stupid depending on what your view on the subject matter is.