Many people have seen the letters "YOLO" and wondered what exactly they mean. "YOLO" stands for the phrase "You Only Live Once," which is a mantra adopted by several celebrities and other young people.
Zac Efron recently debuted his new tattoo with the letters "YOLO" on his hand at the Tokyo premiere of "New Year's Eve." Rappers Lil Wayne and Drake made the phrase famous with their songs about living once and living for the moment, though it was the Strokes in 2006 that first used the phrase as a title for their hit "You Only Live Once."
This is not Efron's first tattoo, and some have commented that his tattoos deface his body.
"I have never seen or read anything that I want to look at the rest of my life. Why oh why do you need to put anything for life on your body?" asked Notats on Eonline.
Betty Miller has written an article about tattoos for the website Bible.com. In it, she cites Leviticus 19:28, which states "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord" (New International Version).
Miller argues that to permanently ink one's self is in direct contrast to the teachings of God.
"I know some will have a hard time receiving this teaching because tattooing has now become an accepted practice in our society. However, just because society approves of something does not make it right in God's eyes," Miller writes.
"There are many dedicated and sincere Christian people that have tattoos. This article is not to say they do not love the Lord. God cannot only use them, but does use them. We should always examine things by the 'roots and fruits' of the thing in question" she added.
Tattooing has become a part of mainstream culture; there are several reality-TV shows dedicated exclusively to tattooing, and in 2011, Mattel designed a Barbie doll with a tattoo. That sparked debate about the message it was sending to young girls who play with the doll.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with the Catholic Church, teaches that believers should not destroy their bodies, which are temples of God. Many Christian, Islamic, and Judaic traditions teach that to get a tattoo is to destroy the bodily temple of God, yet so many people still do get tattoos.
While "You Only Live Once" makes for a good life motto, it is debatable whether it should be a permanent part of the body.