“Treat Your Body Like A Temple”

Fake henna tattoo of a dragon.

Photo from: Izzy Colby

Fake henna tattoo of a dragon.

Tattoos and body painting have been around for years, yet are continuously questioned and frowned upon. People have been denied job opportunities that they were qualified for, because they had tattoos that were visible, or they wore body paint. What some employers do not realize is that these tattoos or paintings may represent something important to the person who has them.

Some people, not only employers, believe that the tattoos and body paintings defile the body and that you should “treat your body like a temple.” What these people refuse to see, or do not realize, is that most temples are highly decorated with things, from tribal symbols to scenery paintings. By this logic, getting tattoos or wearing body paint can be a form of treating your body like a temple.

One type of cultural body painting is henna tattoos. Henna tattoos are temporary tattoos used primarily for cultural and tribal reasons, but in recent years have become a somewhat popular trend.

The tattooing henna paste is made from the henna plant, specifically the leaf. Once made into a paste, there is usually some sort of dye added into the mixture to make different colors. (WARNING: Do not use black henna. It may cause chemical burns. Real black henna is made with indigo, so it is not black, but it is very close and will not be toxic.)

If you can not afford real henna, there are a few different methods of making fake henna, although they do not last as long. One way is by mixing Kool Aid packets and water, possibly with food coloring if necessary. To make the mixture thicker and a bit easier to work with, add in a very small amount of corn starch.

Some tattoos can have a certain meaning to somebody or to a group of people, such as swans symbolizing success and beauty.