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My TOK presentation is tomorrow. My partner and I want to focus on the different perceptions of body art, such as tattoos, body piercings and hair being dyed. This is a controversial issue among different religions and cultures. Today, some people are rejected from getting a job once they show up in a job interview with arm tattoos. Others are simply asked to conceal them during work hours, but is this a suppression of self-expression?


Our Knowledge Question would be: How does perception help shape our values of art?


HOWEVER, according to our TOK teacher, this idea does not go under the AOK Art, since “art is permanent, tattoos are not….”

So if this is not considered to go under Art, which AOK would this go under?

We also want to focus on Ethics, and Perception and Reasom as a WOK.

Heres a brief outline of what Im trying to explain:


Cultural Perspectives on Tattoos

  • Japan: tattoos associated with yakuza (japanese mafia), people with tattoos not allowed in public bath houses or asked to conceal them

  • Hawaii: Originated in polynesia, hula dancers have alot of tattoos, socially accepted


Religious Perspectives on Tattoos

  • Christianity: First of all, making marks on the skin is mentioned in several verses.

    • Lev. 19:28, "‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord."

  • Hinduism: The marking of the forehead is encouraged as it enhances spiritual well-being and is one of the chakras on the body. Many Hindu women tattoo their faces with dots especially around the chin and eyes to ward off evil and enhance their beauty. The local regional tribes use tattoos to distinguish between certain clans and ethnic groups.

Generation Perspectives on Tattoos

  • Older generation: bad, criminal associated, underground society

  • Younger generation: accepted, fashionable, self expression, human right

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I honestly do not see how that does not go under art. Pretty damn sure tattoos are permanent: even if they are removed, they might still be remembered by the one who had it, as well as that persons friends and family. So tbh, I don't really see your teachers argument.

In terms of other AOKs, I would maybe try and put it under ethics - can we ethically allow someone to tell someone else that what they are doing with their own body is wrong?

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