Tattoo apology

The childish and savage taste of men and women for new patterns [on their clothes] keep how many shaking and squinting through kaleidoscopes that they may discover the particular figure which this generation requires to-day. The manufacturers have learned that this taste is merely whimsical. Of two patterns which differ only by a few threads more or less of a particular colour, the one will be sold readily, the other lie on the shelf, though it frequently happens that, after the lapse of a season, the latter becomes the most fashionable. Comparatively, tattooing is not the hideous custom which it is called. It is not barbarous merely because the printing is skin-deep and unalterable.

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

It’s a loss to literature and modern thought he did not elaborate on that 😀 If one thinks it over, though, it’s deeper than it seems. I think.

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