Tattoos may be something of a coming-of-age ritual for millenial youth, but those aspiring to military careers had better watch out: tough new restrictions on service members' tattoos are now only a signature away.
Under the new rules, new recruits will be barred from service if they have any tattoos above the neckline or below the knees and elbows, according to the Stars and Stripes.
Racist, extremist and sexist tattoos will also be barred, and currently serving soldiers whose body art violates any of these rules will have to pay to get them removed — an often lengthy, painful process.
Although the new changes to Army Regulation 670-1 have yet to be implemented, the Secretary of the Army has approved the measure, and only a final signature is needed before they will go into effect.
New combat uniforms are also in the works for eight or nine months from now, adds NBC News. These changes will only apply to the Army, and not to other branches of the military.
The possible new Army restrictions swim decidedly against the current cultural tide, as celebrities and average Joes alike flock to tattoo parlors to get themselves inked in the Western world. But perhaps age and experience will do the job of ending the tattoo craze, reflected anthropologist Nina Jablonski to the National Post.
“I think that interest in tattoos — especially the big landscape tattoos — will wane as people get older and see that their 20- or 35-year old tattoos don’t look nearly as beautiful as they did when they were freshly done,” said Jablonski. “Also, tattoos tend to look better on young, taut skin than on older, wrinkled skin.”