Although it was written in 1961 and made into a 1973 movie, The Sneetches sing a cord of truth that resonates loud and clear in the 21st century.
More people than ever are participating in body modification. This could be tattoos, piercings, or even wearing high heels. Anything that changes our appearance is body modification. We do it for various reasons.
Some do it to feel like they belong to a particular lifestyle group or religion, while others may have reasons that are not so evident.
Here’s where the sneetches come in. In the story, a salesman with his truck comes around to tell the sneetches they could really use stars. All the hoopla is made about those with stars and those that are star-less, well…they are considered less than. The competition begins where everyone wants stars in order to be included with the “in” crowd. The frenzy heightens and sure enough, everyone ends up buying a star.
Then the salesman persuades those who have stars that in order to be extra special, they need to have their stars removed (of course with the help of his handy-dandy machine). The frenzy ensues again toward star removal and then back to star placement again. The back and forth of stars to no stars continues until a few sneetches realize that no matter if you have a star or not, you are important.
With the growing population of tattooed people, will we be heading for the removal machine when the tattoo population grows so dense that people no longer notice or acknowledge the tattoos?
Just a Theory
We are being fed advertisements everywhere from TV, computers, billboards, cellphones, hard copy, and more. They are all persuading us (like the sneetch salesman) that in order for us to belong, we need something. Better yet, when we all own that special item, manufacturers come up with something else we need that is “better”. It’s just obvious what Dr. Seuss was trying to teach us.
So will tattoos go out of vogue when parlors arise for tattoo removal services or when plastic surgeons vie for more customers? I can’t give you the infinitive answer. But it does stand to reason that eventually, possibly a few generations to come, we’ll be seeing a tattoo-less trend. Heck, we may even see more comfortable shoes worn.
Either way, I hope people will realize (like the sneetches), it is not the tattoo or product that makes them any more special. That comes from within. Because even though Dr. Seuss was conveying his message so many years ago, not too many people have listened.