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Jewish World Review
April 6, 2007
/ 18 Nissan 5767
Shave-headed children and other delightful things
There's nothing like taking a relaxing walk on a beautiful, crisp spring day and reacquainting oneself with the world again. Ahhhh. Smell the sweetness in the air. See the blossoms in the trees. Oh, look. Up ahead. Here comes a happy young family walking toward me out for their own little constitutional. Gosh, isn't it nice to see a family out together enjoying the day? Gee, it's just like the good old days when people were normal and took delight in life's simple little pleasures and …. Uh, oh. Whoops.
Children are a reflection of their parents so I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. The young boy - I would say no more than six or seven at the most, has a completely shaved head. He is with his mother and father and sister and I'm fairly certain that his lack of hair has nothing to do with medication from a life-threatening illness. I say this based on the appearance of the rest of the family and the boy's dress, demeanor and energy.
Dad has a shaved head, earrings and is well tattooed; mom has her share of tats and metal in her face as well. Sorry to report I really didn't get a good look at sister so I don't know what accoutrements she displays besides just looking rather unkempt. Her hair has that really dirty, stringy, street urchin look. Little brother, in addition to the total lack of hair or even stubble, was wearing a black T-shirt with some sort of Goth message written on it that I couldn't make out. Just your average American family out for a little morning stroll.
I guess it would be silly of me to expect that the children of weirdoes would look anything other than weird. Of course they're going to look like the mother and father. Only it's just a wee bit disturbing - and somehow perverted - to see that bizzaro skinhead look on an otherwise healthy, normal six year old little boy. Imagine - they actually shaved the kid's head to match daddy's skinned scalp. Cute. I wonder when they've got him scheduled for his first piercing.
It isn't a stretch to think that the tattooing and piercing craze will eventually mainstream into the youngest of children. Matter of fact, I'd be surprised if it doesn't. Just as my father and mother didn't think it was wrong to take me to the barber shop for my first haircut, today's parents (who have themselves been shaven, pieced and tattooed) would think it is perfectly normal to have their children branded and skinned just as they themselves are. As for the kids, well, sure they'll want to look like mom and dad. Of course. Little ones want to emulate their parents. When I was seven I wanted to look just like my dad (and now finally, I do, but that's another story).
Once the trend catches on, children's tattoo and piercing parlors will sprout up all over the place I'm sure. "TATS FOR TOTS," and "TATS 'R' US" will be chain stores from coast to coast. Family Fun Centers will be created that will focus on tattoos and piercing for the whole family - complete with special "family rates" and discount coupons for children under ten. The best value will be the season passes.
"Ring around the rosy" will take on a whole new meaning. "Newborn to raise hell" will be bumper stickers on baby carriages. Baby diaper pins are not just for the baby's diapers anymore. Tattoos will be designed especially for kids. Licensed cartoon characters will be among the many offerings. Batman, Superman, and Star Wars, all these and more will be available in dozens of variations and designs. Winnie the Pooh? Now it's Winnie the tattoo. Sponge Bob SquarePants would be so sweet on little Jason's forearm, don't you think? Can you imagine The Wiggles wiggling around little Emma's ankle? And wouldn't Thomas the Tank Engine look adorable emblazoned across your baby's chest?
And then there are the piercings. How about Flintstones studs for kids? Narnia nose rings. And Muppet Metal for your moppet. For the pessimist child Eeyore eyebrow rings could be big. Face painting is so yesterday - and so temporary. And think about this - tattooing is a great way to permanently ID your kid. Just tattoo his or her name and address right on the back of the neck and if your child wanders away then people will know where he or she belongs. How cool is that?
What a wonderful, enlightened, exciting era we will live in. At last, a time when tattoos will not just be for drunken sailors, pirates, tribal savages, concentration camp prisoners and gang members anymore. Tattoos will be for children of all ages. Ah, yes. If we're shaving their heads today, we'll be inking their bodies tomorrow, I promise you. Now that's progress.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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