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Tattoos dont do anyone any favors
Coey tattoos
A police mugshot of a well tattooed auto theft suspect Richard Coey illicited Facebook ridicule last week. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force on Thursday posted photos on its Facebook page of a couple who were arrested after a high-speed pursuit of a stolen vehicle through Modesto.

The image of auto theft suspect Richard Coey, 29, drew scads of comments. Coey was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm, auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evading, resisting arrest, possession of burglary tools and violation of parole.

His tattoos generated most of the responses. Coey's face bears tattoos of words over each eye, a poorly done Cowboys display above the left temple and a swastika medallion on his throat.

One FB user commented "nice bull's eye" in reference to the swastika on his throat. Another said: "He's got a swastika tattoo but he enjoys the racially mixed Cowboys football team."

A Ceres police sergeant jested "Mom!!! I got a new boyfriend, want to meet him???.....hahahaha"

Another FB user offered: "LOL..saw these two in Waterford last week and asked my husband, right in front of the idiot.."What kind of a job do you suppose you can get with tattoos on your face? Questioned answered!!!"

At least one on FB defended his "homie's brother" and said "everyone on here needs to shut their mouths ... you guys got no f----- respect but to make fun of how someone looks, didn't realize so many ppl are judgemental."

I suppose when one steals cars and jeopardizes public safety by driving recklessly with little regard for others or police officer safety that one is fair game as far as people judging your appearance. Besides the terrible display of tattoos, Coey has a lifeless look in his eyes. His mouth is pursed and dull eyes paint a picture of a man who could care less about conforming to societal standards or the law. I have to ask who did what to poor Richard as he grew up to make him turn out that way? Did anyone care for this boy or show any love toward him?

Days before I saw another young man who had his throat tattooed witha phrase. My first thought was, will he regret getting such a highly visible display - especially when managers skip over him as a job applicant?

Do people judge us by the way we look? You betcha. Sure it's judgmental but it's not entirely without merit. If you're in a dark parking lot and you see someone who looks like a thug, that judgment could help save your life and give you advance warning that trouble could be on the way. If you look scary, people will be afraid of you. If you look like a thug, don't expect to make many friends, unless of course you are hanging out with other thugs. On the other hand, if you dress nice and are well manicured and look as though you care about yourself, you will command respect and garner no suspicions. I mean, after all, we even elect our presidents based on how handsome or executive they appear.

Tattoos did not help Coey in the court of public opinion. But they really don't help others either.

I still don't see why anyone would get a tattoo.

A Harris Poll survey revealed that a third of Americans feel their tattoos make them more sexy. You know, kind of like how graffiti makes your house look more beautiful and enhances the property value of the neighborhood.

I disagree with Michael Biondi who said that "Our bodies were printed as blank pages to be filled with the ink of our hearts."

I hold to the opinion that the ultimate human form cannot be improved upon. I've often wondered why beautiful women want to mark up their bodies, as if a tattoo can somehow improve upon the female design.

The same Harris survey suggested that roughly a fifth regret having gotten tattoos, which ought to be mentioned to all considering getting one. While getting a butterfly above the "crack" may be deemed cute when you're 18, what will the feelings be when you're ready to turn 70 and they look like bird droppings?

Apparently I am in the majority when it comes to tattoos. A 2013 Pew Research poll found that 14 percent of all adults in the U.S. have at least one tattoo. Which, of course, means that 86 percent - like me - don't.

I was raised in an age when tattoos were seen only on bikers, truckers or on World War II veterans who smoked six packs a day and whose appearance was forgiven for the wartime hell they had to endure. I commonly heard my mother preach about how ugly she found tattoos to be. My grandmother would gasp when us kids showed off our water-based tattoos found in boxes of Cracker Jack; but we knew they'd wear off in a few days so we didn't care. So when the proliferation of tattoos took off around 1995, I couldn't understand this silly fad. Soccer moms started getting them. Even sweet old grannies well beyond mid-life decided they'd make them look hip and, perhaps as a last-ditch attempt to appear sexier and younger.

I was never one of those do-it-because-everybody-else-is kind of person - even if 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo.

Five percent of those with tattoos may think they look smarter.

Permit me to state the obvious opposite reaction.
I can think of many reasons why they are dumb, some personal and others logical. I never felt that the human body should be treated in the same way as a back alley wall for graffiti. I've seen some really handsome people who marred their bodies with art. The bigger the field of art on the body, the worse it looks.

Two, I hear that it's a painful process. Enduring pain for a good thing, I can see. But enduring pain for body graffiti leaves me scratching my head.

Which leads me to number 3. It's really hard to alter a tat once you have second thoughts about what "art" you have inflicted on the body. And let's face it, it's a rather short-sighted thing to tattoo the name of your current lover on your body since relationships come and go. Having it removed after you realize it was not such a good idea can be even more painful, you know, like the pleasant feeling of having your skin ripped off in strips.

Number four. Tattoos are costly. Why is it that some of the poorest people - including minimum wage single moms - find money for tattoos. We are talking about the average tattoo costing $45 with larger tattoos costing an average of $150 an hour.

Five. Health problems can arise from the tattooing process, including allergic reactions, skin infections, bloodborn diseases like tetanus, herpes simplex virus, staph, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and even Syphilis. And those with tattoos might not be able to get a life-saving MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test if they need one-some hospitals and testing locations will refuse to do an MRI on people with body tattoos due to the metal particles in the tattoo, which may cause a burning pain during the test.

Six. There's the issue of harming your chances of getting a job because of your tats. I realize that does not apply to anyone who has a ribbon tattooed on their derriere but it does to anything else visible like poor Curtis. Ask yourself this: Are tattoos more or less likely to make an employer hire me? Enough said.

In 2011 I was standing in line to make a purchase at Rite Aid in Ceres. A woman in front of me was wearing a sleeveless top with a hideous tat on her arm. The best way to describe it was a deceased female corpse head with retracting lips and dark holes where the eyeballs and nose used to be. There, in attractive inks that resembled black and blue bruises, it stretched along her outer upper arm for all to see. What mental state does a person have to be in for them to say, yeah, I think I'd like to stare down at an ugly dead woman's face every day. Hey, can I put it on a prominent location like my arm so everybody else can enjoy my depressing little display?

If many are seeking tattoos as a way of just feeling "sexier," I have a suggestion since Americans, as a whole, out of shape, overweight and eat poorly. A lifestyle change that involves weights, exercise and healthy eating does more to boost the appearance of a person than any tribal design on the arm, barbed wire design on the arm or wrist, angel on the back or wizard on the chest.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at