Body-language and nonverbal communication

Tag "tattoo"








The skin is the message – 9  – to be a stranger in oneself

Some weeks ago I wrote about tattoos and the understanding of this skin-message. Today I want to pick up a special kind of tattoo and the effect of irritating marketing. More and more people switch their bodies to unpaid marketing-tools. Especially in summer you’ll be aware of a “Coca-Cola-Shoulder” or a “Lacoste-neck”.

One could think that it’s no longer sufficient to wear some special clothing and to demonstrate your new logo-identity. Doing this you could slip into a Coca-Cola-Identity during the evening or a Lacoste-Indentity on Saturday afternoon while going out for shopping. This is possible by wearing somew clothing Lacoste or another label.

You could change your identities in the way you need it, in the way your mood was like. Or you could change your identity related to the people you want it to communicate with.

Having the Logo-Identity engraved on your body by a tattoo you incorporate this identity.

You are Coca-Cola. Or you are Lacoste. Or you are….

And I ask myself about the meaning of this shift in sheltering under such a Logo-Identity and I ask myself why people choose tattooing in order to live this Logo-Identity. To be this identity.

And sometimes this question becomes even more difficult to answer when you have different Logos being tattooed on your skin. So a part of you is Coca-Cola, a part of you is Lacoste and part of you is…

But who are you then at the end?


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Here is a link to some little subgroup in Germany where they discuss Chinese tattooing. They are interested in the meaning of various tattoos, argue about the corect writing of the graphics andsoon. It`s of course not an important subgroup or action in which they are engaged.

I pick up this link and communicate it, not in order to invite you to get your own tattoo. ( You must know I come from the times where only sailors or criminals had their tattoos ;-)) No I want to underline that there can be some activity group in the one culture w ich is totally engaged in some cultural practice of a totally different culture.

Maybe you know about those littel cultural islands. I once heard for example that there is an Austrian or Bavarian village totally rebuild in China somewhere. Or that they celebrate the German carneval in some Chinese Metrople. Or that there is Chinese Carneval Club in Bonn / Germany.

I wonder how those little islands will develop and build up some kind of grass root integration. 😉

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The skín is the message 5 – The wish to be seen as resistance to the feeling of shame

Maybe you remember my experience in the underground of Berlin some dweeks ago. I had seen a couple having tattoos. When trying to look at the tattoos, because I got interested in the symbols which I could see even from the distance, the man addressed me in quite an aggressive way. He did not want to be seen, though having his tattoos uncovered so that everybody in the underground could see them.

So that everybody had to see them.

This experience again made me be aware of a paradox in our media society: There is a broad interest in to be seen, a deep longing for to be seen and a lot of activities to be seen. BUT on the one hand often the moment when someone is seen on TV or is so short that it is soon forgotten again. And on the other hand people react quite strange when they are seen, when someone really is interested in what they see.

This reminds me also of the feedback when people ……………..

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Tattoo and shame

It happened about two weeks ago when I travelled by underground in Berlin. It was a hot summer day. People wore light clothing so that I could see very clearly that someone sitting opposite to me had a tattoo on his shoulder. The man sitting together obviously with his girlfriend, arm in arm, had many very colourful and artificial painted tattoos on his shoulder and his neck. I began to look more intensely to those tattoos and tried to find out what they symbolised, and what the symbols were saying to me.

When it happened just on a sudden that this man addressed me obviously quite aggressive with the words: “Why are you staring at me? What are you looking for?” Meanwhile his girl-friend tried to cover her own tattoo. You can imagine how astonished I was about this reaction. I felt very friendly looking, I felt in a good mood admiring those paintings on the body. And I felt very interested in trying to decrypt the shown symbols.

Of course I right away realized the slightly aggressive tone in the man’s voice. Of course I felt rejected ………….

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