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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pretty in INK: The Tattoo Debate

I got a request this week from a friend from high school to tackle the subject of tattoos.  I'm taking him up on it!  I am amazed at the path tattoos have taken in our culture today.  Getting inked is no longer for the freaks, Hell's Angel members, psycho stalkers, punk rockers or people that go to Tijuana for a little action & wake up with this. It has become a form of self-expression for people of all ages & cultures.  It also has gotten way out of control.

When I was younger people with tattoos scared me a little.  They were always found on the backs & arms of big, burly guys who smoked Marlboro's & wore leather apparel.  It was a stereotype then.  Tattoos = Badass!  Now you see butterflies, Chinese symbols & the ever-so-trendy tribal markings on teenage girls & moms alike.  It's kind of lost it's mystique.  It's bad-ass-ness, if you will.

My husband has tattoos.  I remember the first time he came to pick me up for a date.  (The look on my Sicilian father's face said it all.  Uh-oh!) Then I decided to get a one as well.  I can be bad-ass right?We took the drive to Hampton, N.H. because at the time you could not get one in Massachusetts.  The guy who did mine was bald & had a cricket plastered on the side of his head.  Now that's what I'm talking about.  I chose a sun with a yin/yang sign in the middle, only because I knew I was not the butterfly or flowery type.  Now, I got it on the base of my spine, or what is known now as the "tramp-stamp."

 Or as Vince Vaughn would put it.... 
(Link) View more Vince Vaughn Sound Clips and Wedding Crashers Sound Clips
(In my own defense, this was 20 years ago, so that term was not in heavy circulation yet.)  I love it.  My little piece of rebellion.

As a makeup artist that primarily works on brides, I am often asked to cover these little works of art.  I guess daddy would not be too keen on seeing his little girl in a strapless, white gown with a black scorpion on her shoulder blade.  These are things you do not think of when your are in your early 20's, carefree & trying to become bad-ass.  I love a bride that is comfortable enough to say "hey, this is me..& my scorpion."  But that is usually not the case.  Most of us are not Angelina Jolie.

You also do not thing about the effect aging will have on your tattoos.  When you get that little heart on your chest or the kitty cat hiding under the confines of your g-string, do you really think about the unforgiving nature of gravity?  I think not.  All you are thinking is "I'm hot & crazy!"

Tattoos have gained notoriety via TLC & Discovery as well.  L.A & Miami Ink have changed the perception of tattoo parlors. Who would think they can make a show about getting tattoos & people would watch it?  Some of the stories are actually very touching.  The women who beat cancer, the father who wants to remember his son that died, all good stuff.  I think that is what getting tat is all about.  It should mean something.  It will be on your skin forever, shouldn't it mean something?

Then the "Ink Regret" comes into play.  Prime example is having the name of your lover, wife, husband, boyfriend tattooed anywhere on your body.  Do you really think this is a good idea?  I suppose it is a very endearing thing at first, but statistics show you will most likely be getting that sucker lasered off or turned into a dolphin at some point.  (See Eva Longoria & Angie again.)  Let's hope Nick Cannon & Mariah don't break up!  (and I thought SHE was the crazy one..)

So, what do you think?  Have tattoo's gotten out of hand? (don't even get me going on the piercing situation) The choice to get permanently defaced is up to you.  There is no turning back so just make sure you are ready to live with your decision...

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