But on the other hand, the more people who have them - especially visible - the less taboo they become. Tattoos, and perhaps to a greater extent, piercings? - are signs that someone has undergone a kind of painful ritual, willingly. So most conservative people wince at what they represent. Essentially, I am hard-pressed to find any essential reason they ought to be a metric to judge someone by, apart from the glaring fact that people get them to signify what kind of social tribe they might belong to; those with tattoos, or those without them, and all of the connotations that might define how each individual is perceived. Really, what difference ought it make if someone decided to have pigmented ink applied to their skin in a permanent fashion? None at all, if you ask me, and further it has the potential to be a beautiful metric of character, when applied in tasteful (subjective, naturally!) fashion.
Also, really awful tattoos are an excellent metric to immediately dismiss someone, you know? I try to hold as few prejudices as possible, but I refuse to relinquish that particular one. You got an arm-sized portrait of Porky Pig on your thigh? That's fantastic, now I don't have to expend an iota of energy considering a single thing you might have to say.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.