Baltimore Orioles superstar third basemen Manny Machado recently got a new tattoo.
So what, you say.
A huge tattoo.
Typically, when a professional athlete gets new ink, it isn’t a storyline. After all, many sports stars today are covered in them, in many cases like icing covers a cake.
But Machado took a striking portrait of his wife and had it permanently placed on his forearm.
Then he told the world about it, tossing out a proverbial scream to the heavens.
“No words can describe what this beautiful woman means to me”, Machado mentioned on his Instagram account, included with the photo below.
Note: It appears the image no longer exists on Instagram, which drives the point further. Perhaps it was removed because of all the negativity delivered?
That’s what makes it a relevant headline, but why should that be?
Machado didn’t commit a crime.
In fact, the only theft Machado is likely to commit will be robbing Major League hitters of singles and doubles throughout the 2016 baseball season.
This act – a simple click of a button on a popular app – escalates into a flurry of headlines surrounding the opinions of others (specifically wives), marriage, love, tattoos and social media.
THE WIFE: Written in Ink
The tattoo is clearly no one’s business other than Machado’s, but once the image landed on social media, it immediately became as such.
Yet, a lot of negativity circulated throughout social media staples like Twitter and Instagram (where the photo originated), as well as through numerous media outlets.
“Tacky” and “this will look ugly when you are 80” are just a few critiques mentioned.
THE WIFE (that HATES sports) had a similar reaction, stating it was “unflattering and a complete mistake”. In fact, upon seeing it, she made a face that a person would make after taking a bite out of a two-week old bologna sandwich.
For what it’s worth, she’s not keen on tattoos or facial hair. That likely plays into the criticism from her (and many of the other folks, too).
But there is a psychological spin at work here, too.
Marriage is Forever… Psych!
People criticizing Manny Machado’s tattoo – at least, not the simple-minded ones – are likely letting the standard knowledge of marriage in today’s world stand in the way.
“If you are worried about the future of your marriage or relationship, you have plenty of company. There’s no denying that this is a frightening time for couples. More than half of all first marriages end in divorce; 60 percent of second marriages fail. What makes the numbers even more disturbing is that no one seems to understand why our marriages have become so fragile.”
That number is likely higher for celebrities and athletes, who deal with the regular stresses of being thrust into the spotlight. Heck, even “Bennifer” (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner) couldn’t even manage to stay together.
Does that play into our opinion of Machado’s tattoo, or do people just simply hate it?
What is Love?
“There is no remedy for love, but to love more.” – Henry David Thoreau
Maybe that’s all Machado is doing, simply seeking unique ways to showcase his love. Maybe it’s a sign of trust, a willingness to bring her in front of the world, while he travels across the country playing a game.
On the other side of the fence, perhaps critics see this as a new way in which people are using social media as a form of PDA – and it sickens people or makes them somewhat jealous.
Then again, maybe we just live in a world of opinionated pricks.
Tattoos and Social Media
As stated on the Tattoo Wikipedia page, a 2008 online survey by Harris Interactive revealed that approximately “14% of all adults in the United States have a tattoo, slightly down from 2003, when 16% had a tattoo”.
Pepper in social media today, where people showcase photos of everything in their lives, from kids, to food, beverages, trips, events and yes… tattoos.
With an unprotected account or a celebrity status (as Machado has), the good and bad press is sure to follow.
And with tattooed folks being in the minority, the bad is likely to outweigh the good.
As stated along with the tattoo above, Machado clearly has a softer side and expressed a very sweet sentiment to his other half, but most appeared to ignore it.
Image is Everything
How can one little tattoo bring up a much broader debate in some people?
Why should we care?
That’s just it – we shouldn’t care, but image is everything.
Everybody’s mind works differently and that’s why some of you will read this and think deeper into tattoos, why people get them and why others embrace such a trivial non-story and drag it into their everyday lives.
Some will think harder into the debate surrounding the showcasing of love and the fragility of marriage in the world today.
Others will think this is the most pointless discussion on Earth.
Tattoo aficionados will stare at Machado’s ink and be impressed by the quality and detail. Others will see an unflattering portrait of a woman that will only deteriorate with age.
But whichever side of the fence you live on, it doesn’t mean you have to get a tattoo of a fence and share it with the rest of the world.
Think about it… or don’t.