Tattoo acceptance is different depending on the culture, government and mass media of a given country. For example, in the United States it's pretty accepting these days and Canada even has a Prime Minister with tattoos. However, for Communist China, this couldn't be further from the case. China's government is very restrictive of varying forms of self-expression and often censors things like jewelry, cleavage or certain jokes. Tattoos are a strict no-no for broadcast television, with soccer players, pop stars and actors required to cover their ink with long sleeves, makeup or prosthetics.
David Beckham's BBC documentary "Into the Unknown" was recently broadcast on a Chinese television station and they took censorship to a new extreme when it came to Beckham's tattoos. Beckham is one of the most heavily tattooed A-list celebrities on the planet, with tattoos on his arms, chest, neck and hands. In several scenes of the documentary, Beckham is shirtless, so the broadcast blurs out his entire torso—which to us Westerners is a pretty strange sight to see.
It just goes to show how differently cultures can view tattoos, even when they're on someone as beloved as the Becks! Of course, tattoos are probably the least of our worries when it comes to censorship in Communist China and we couldn't even imagine being in that position as residents of a country founded on freedom of speech.
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