Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

After watching the above video that Nadine ran recently, a reader scoffs at Millennials: “Tattoos prove you’re just one of the sheep.” The tattoo has indeed lost its taboo: “Nearly four-in-ten [Millennials] have a tattoo (and for most who do, one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18% have six or more).”

Another reader, Kyle Mosurinjohn, says the video “really resonated with me”:

When I was 18, I got a half-sleeve tattooed on my right arm and hid it for a while, until it became too hot outside to wear long sleeve shirts. When I showed my conservative Christian parents, my mother cried.

The ironic thing about it, though, is that my tattoo is a sinking ship with the word “grace” in a banner beneath it, symbolizing the grace of god as a vast ocean, and humanity being a ship, desperately wanting to stay afloat but inevitably being changed and overcome by grace. Despite the meaning, my mother still hated tattoos, affiliating them with drugs and evil.

Now, the more tattoos I’ve gotten, the more she has gotten used to them. They are reminders of grace, and reminders of my past, and why I’m here. Therefore, I applaud the young woman in the video for taking that step to show her parents who she truly is. It takes courage, and hopefully her relationship with her parents has been amplified.

Lastly, a lot of Christians (especially conservatives) get Leviticus 19:28 wrong, in order to demonize tattoos, and compare it to other sins. But in fact, Jesus fulfilled that law when resurrecting from the dead.

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