the more 'ornamented' a person is today, that necessarily detracts from their energy (however insignificantly) to either improve themselves or contribute something new. Not as a rule, but in general the people who have tattoos did not get them to demarcate a significant emotional or symbolic event, but because they need to bolster an otherwise weak sense of identity. It's not just physical markings, either; it could be tattoos, humblebrag facebook statuses, endless numbers heavily filtered selfies on instagram, short-but-intense passion for some political cause, armchair activism, etc. Truly remarkable people tend not to care what others think of them, by virtue of the fact they are fulfilled by the fruits of their precious time and energy.
Tattoos used to mean, ‘get away from me.’ Now they mean, ‘Ask me about my tattoo`