11.30.12 firstname.lastname@example.org - The 49ers’ new starting QB Colin Kaepernick is getting a lot of attention because of his amazing performance on the field, but also because of the visible tattoos that cover his arms.
Sportswriter David Whitley of Sporting News writes, “NFL quarterback is the ultimate position of influence and responsibility. He is the CEO of a high-profile organization, and you don’t want your CEO to look like he just got paroled.”
Is that criticism fair? Every generation defines its era. In the 60s, a young generation defined its time with wild hair, hip-huggers, bell-bottoms, provocative mini-skirts and fashion that generally rebelled against the Establishment. The extent to which a young generation today differentiates itself with tattoos and piercings makes it impossible for many in the Establishment now to see a comparison. But relative to the times, the Rock Baby Boomer Generation of the 60s was seen by the Establishment as just a subculture.
Today, that rebellious generation that defended its unique fashion is now the Establishment and seems to be having some memory loss when it comes to understanding that it is the responsibility (or maybe prerogative) of every young generation to make fashion statements.
As a hostile witness to the Baby Boomer Generation, I often find myself in the position of reminding “Boomers” that their generation did things the Establishment clearly disapproved of. “Boomers” will argue that a tattoo is permanent, while their wild hair could be tamed. But that’s not the point. The point is…every young generation has the opportunity to define itself and the young generations with body art and piercings will define each era they occupy. Having visible tattoos and even piercings will ultimately be part of the next Establishment.
There was a time when the NFL was made up of clean-cut players who sported crew-cuts, but like everything else, the NFL has changed. There should be no criticism of an NFL QB with tattoos covering his arms. Weren’t we the generation that was built on the foundation of not judging young people based on physical appearance?
Come on “Boomers” – have you forgotten how rebellious you were in the context of the times?