My twitter friends like to joke about how often I change my twitter avatar.
Hell, even I think so! Just today, the avatars I’ve cycled through are:
- Takane wearing a frog head
- Kotori freaking out over money
- Kotori at a loss over Iori’s TV spot
- Kotori sad about being all alone in the office
- A random sketch I found on twitter
- The venerable red-frilled-lizard from Nichijou
- Fanart of Saber Lily
(You may notice a lot of Kotori Otonashi among this list. I do not apologize for proselytizing the church of Kotori to the world, for as I do, I bring the world closer to salvation. Repent, ye sinner, turn away from those false idols and embrace the church of Kotori)
(Otherwise she’s gonna cry)
As much as I laugh about this though, I do really ponder why I change my avatar so often. Clearly, part of it is to screw with people (unsurprising.) But there’s another, more fundamental reason why I change my avatar so often. Let’s talk about tattoos for a second.
People may not know this, but I love the idea of tattoos. This may seem surprising – I’m a super-straight laced South Asian engineering student who dresses like he’s a 40-year-old manager at an office party (I’m lounging around on my bed, writing this post, while wearing a dark red round-neck sweater, a striped silky cotton shirt, dark jeans, daddy glasses, and slippers that look like oversized boat shoes. I kind of wish I were joking.) I have gotten drunk fewer times than Ron Paul has been President. A wild night for me means retweeting articles about what a shitcanoe Donald Trump is and feeling proud of myself for my quote-unquote political activism. By all normal Western stereotypes, I should be about as amenable to getting a tattoo as shoving a needle up my ass.
And yet, I find tattoos this beautiful, lovely concept. A very visible mark of things you believe, things you value, of art you find beautiful. Art upon a human frame. Says something about you.
This comes down to a fundamental belief of mine. I believe that how we appear is as much a part of us as who we are on the inside, that the interior and exterior are inextricable. On a day to day level, that means I try to be conscious about how I dress, and I do believe that how one dresses says a lot about them. It also means that I love the idea of make-up, and I value being able to show off something about myself, visually. I reject the notion that that’s shallow – how we appear is itself a reflection of things about us (although I definitely agree that it may not reflect things about us that we intend.)
But despite me believing in the beauty of tattoos, I also never plan to get a traditional tattoo. And not just because any potential employer would probably never hire me if I did that, but also because they’re permanent. What I love about tattoos is that I get to express myself visually, but I hate that it only allows me to express one thing. And I don’t think I’m the same person on an even hour-to-hour basis, let alone on the basis of a lifetime. I like the idea of being to represent how feel and what I think in a momentary basis (or at least on a daily basis), so I love changing clothes. And to extend that to Twitter, I also love changing my avatar. My avatar lets me display “I value this!” or “I like this!”, and I can change that at any given time. And because I can, I do. You don’t get that with tattoos.
In Bangladesh, we have a kind of paste called henna, made from the henna plant. When applied to the skin and allowed to harden and then removed, the past leaves behind a temporary dye that is used to make temporary tattoos called mehndi. During special occasions like weddings, or even just for shits and giggles (my sister used to do these as a side job at art exhibitions when she was showing off her work), mehndi would be applied in incredibly intricate patterns for both men and women. They smell distinctly herbal, and leave a dark orange/brown mark upon the skin once complete.
Although I dont really go to the kind of events where you do henna tattoos, I still love the idea of them. I wish that one day you can get tattoos that last only for short periods of time. Days, weeks, months? Something like that. If we did, I really would get a tattoo. But, for now, I’ll stick to just changing my avatar every day.
Anyway, yeah. If people ever wondered WHY I change my avatar so often, this is why I do. Now get off my blog and do something productive with your time, ya hosers.