Mark Cropp: From Infamy to Redemption
In an era where tattoos are increasingly becoming an acceptable form of self-expression, Mark Cropp’s tattoo garnered international attention for all the wrong reasons. Hailing from New Zealand, the 19-year-old’s facial ink, spelling out “DEVAST8” across his jaw, was not just a statement piece but a testament to a tumultuous past.
A Tattoo’s Tale
The story behind Cropp’s tattoo traces back to his time in jail, where, in an attempt to cultivate a “tough” image, he and his brother decided on the ink. What started as a small tattoo idea rapidly expanded in scale, thanks to an alcohol-induced decision made from homemade brew. The result was a bold, attention-grabbing tattoo that would shape Cropp’s identity in more ways than one.
A Plea for Employment
Cropp’s journey took a turn when he posted a plea on Facebook seeking employment, an act that catapulted him into the spotlight. With his tattoo as the focal point of discussion, job offers began to pour in. While Cropp remains discerning about the right opportunity, his primary goal is clear: to support his family and build a stable future.
The Man Behind the Ink
Old photographs reveal a younger, “baby-faced” Cropp, a stark contrast to his present image. A dive into his past uncovers a turbulent history of aggravated robbery, assault, and custody evasion. These were desperate acts committed by a teenager striving to support his then-pregnant girlfriend and himself after being disowned by their families.
Facing the Future
Though Cropp harbors an emotional connection to his tattoo, he contemplates its removal for the sake of his future aspirations and to shed the weight of past judgments. He advocates against snap judgments based on facial tattoos but acknowledges the societal bias he battles.
In his own words, Cropp underscores a vital message: everyone makes mistakes, but it’s one’s actions that define redemption.