to be judgy pants about people that have tattoos and keep getting more, especially women??

(533 Posts)
dontsqueezetheteabag Mon 28-Jan-13 09:08:39

I hate tattoos. Whilst I appreciate everyone has a right to their own taste and choices I still cannot get over the fact that people have them in places where they are visible.

A colleague of mine has just returned to work after M leave with a horrific tattoo from her wrist to her elbow. How can she go out and meet clients looking like that?? It can be seen through tops and obviously below short sleeved tops.

What I really don't like is seeing lovely brides on their wedding days, strapless dresses and tattoos on their upper arms and backs..... urgh!!!!!!

Anyone else with me??

Emma Explains it well.

I've got 4 tattoos.

1 is religious/spiritual
1 has a deeper meaning
1 of them was got to signify a new beginning
1 is just pretty/amuses me

And my next one will be combination of commemoration, celebration, cover up, deeper meaning, and looking pretty.

EmmaBemma Fri 01-Feb-13 22:59:03

"It's not the same as looking different because you have an unusual hair style or piercings and understandably getting fed up of intrusive behaviour from other people"

Why not?

No doubt some people do want to communicate something with their tattoos, but it's a mistake to assume that the same motivations apply to all tattooed people; there's such a huge range of reasons why people do it and what they want out of it. There's your uncle, there's the 17 year old in Aya Napa getting his mate's name tattooed on his arse for a dare, there's memorial tattoos, friendship tattoos, pet tattoos, people who have full colour sleeves based on a favourite video game, or who travel the world getting full Japanese bodysuits, and then there's people who have the one dainty butterfly on their shoulderblade. You can't characterise them all in the same way. They mean different things to people and sometimes they don't mean anything at all.

Speaking for myself only: I'm not trying to communicate anything, I just love tattoo art.

Most common reasons for getting tattoos (based on tattooed friends of mine);
- liking the look of them
- there being a deeper meaning behind them
- accentuating features
- hiding things you don't want seen (in my case, self harm scars)
- to commemorate an event/person

Most unlikely reasons to get them (same as above);
- to look "different"
- to be "trendy"
- to look "hard"

Problems faced by tattooed friends
- how to decide on ink
- people being over familiar (I had a stranger stroke one of my tattoos!)
- how to afford it
- finding a good tattooist
- people making snap judgements based on one aspect of a person rather than paying attention to the myriad of different aspects to each person

Problems not face by tattooed friends
- worrying how to hide them
- worrying about how they'll look when older (we're hardly going to be thinking how much more fresh and youthful we'd look/feel without my tattoos)
- being affected by other people's skin (tattooed or not)

aoife this is a great tattoo over a mastectomy. I did link to it at the start of this thread but it's a massive thread and it's a great tattoo so worth another link.

chocoluvva Fri 01-Feb-13 22:28:55

MrsDeVere, I don't know why I assumed your tattoo would be clearly visible. blush

Sunshine's post about (visible) tattoos being a means of expression do make me assume they're there to communicate something. She spoke about using your body as a platform. If you were wearing a badge would you be annoyed by someone asking about it? It's not the same as looking different because you have an unusual hair style or piercings and understandably getting fed up of intrusive behaviour from other people - asking for your photo shock.

(I'd be one of gloucestergirl's "very polite, wouldn't-get-a-tattoo-but-agree-with-your-right-to-get-one-crowd").

The only person with a visible tattoo who I know is my uncle.

gloucestergirl Fri 01-Feb-13 21:19:03

I agree with the OP. I really don't like visible tattoos. Husband has loads and has a group of mates all with tattoos. Do you know who judges people with tattoos most? People with tattoos. They do not hesitate to say what looks crap (or much much stronger words to that effect). The people who don't judge are the very polite, wouldn't-get-a-tattoo-but-agree-with-your-right-to-get-one crowd. They peer and try to come up with adjectives that describe how interesting, original or imaginative a very dodgy tattoo is.

So judge away OP, judge away, you're in the tattooed persons mindset!

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Feb-13 21:08:31

Chocca I am planning to have my tattoo in a place on my back that will not be seen. I am not one for sunbathing or boob tubes so it is unlikely anyone will ask me about it.
I think that is part of it. This is for ME and DD. Us two. Something intimate because we were so intimate in those last two years.

If people ask I will tell them.

I don't have any other tattoos but I did spend many years with dreads, coloured hair, pierced nose (when it was something unusual) etc. People would ask me about my appearance all the time. I would get stared at and have my photo take constantly. This was the 80s and its weird to think how different things were back then grin
Most of the time it didn't bother me. I accepted that I looked very different and people would comment.

It pissed me off when people were rude and when people said 'you do it for the attention'.

I guess that is how heavily tattoo'd people feel? Its ok but don't be a tosser about it.

MrsKoala Fri 01-Feb-13 20:50:28

Well I think all art is of its time whether it intends to be timeless or not. We cannot help unconsciously reflecting the world around us. Also techniques and pigment must progress just like in other forms of art. Most forms feel they are incredibly modern and transcending time when in the moment, but on reflection become very dateable. Think Impressionism and deco for example. There is nothing wrong with being of your time either, I love. How fashion changes - I just wouldn't personally like it on my body or think I was the only person to discover the ability to not reflect my particular zeitgeist. We are all products of our environment and nothing is designed in a vacuum.

WoTmania Fri 01-Feb-13 20:41:32

'Everyone I know with a tatto will maintain they think theirs is unique, unusual etc. but they aren't they are all very specific to a period where a trend was fashionable. Therefore, they have a 'unique' Maori, Native American, Celtic, Chinese, stars on random places, etc design, whichever was the fashion at the time'

Quite a few of my friends have, with their tattoo artist, designed absolutely unique, one of a kind tattoos incorporating symbols and images that are maningful to them and stages of their lives. I very much doubt you coudl date any of them from those tattoos.
I have no tattoos (I have flesh tunnels and facial piercing though smile ) but when I do I will likewise plan and design something that means something to me. When I am 80 I suspect I'll have other things to worry about than wrinkly tattoos.

aoife24 Fri 01-Feb-13 20:19:22

I saw an article in the DM about tatoos this week. It mentioned that some women have a kind of bra tatoo over their mastectomy scars and there was a photo of this. I thought it was a fabulous idea and for the first time ever have considered a tatoo. I even googled tattoo artists in the city where I live.

EmmaBemma Fri 01-Feb-13 20:16:42

"They are more frequent now I know very few people without one, yet everyone with one feels they are unusual. It's a bit like apple products, they are so common yet still for some reason make people who own them feel they are some kind of counter culture rebel."

I don't feel like a rebel, and nor do I feel particularly unusual. You make some rather confidently sweeping statements there! I think the length of this thread and the strong opinions expressed in it demonstrates that there is still a lot of prejudice against people with tattoos, so there is no doubt a counter-culture element to being tattooed, for some people. But for me I did it in spite of what my friends and family would think, not because of it! I would have infinitely preferred it to be no big deal to anyone else and I still would - but that sadly isn't the case.

That said, I can't disagree with your other aesthetic criticisms of some tattoos. They're not all equal, just as art on any other canvas is not all of equal value to everyone, and some wouldn't even consider it art -we all make our own judgements based on what speaks to us.

GrumpyOldWoman 'I've got children older than you, and I grew in the era when tattoos were associated with sailors, bikers, and convicts. How times change.'

Winston Churchill's mother had a tattoo as did quite a few members of the aristocracy in the 1900s. You can't be older than that surely?

MrsKoala Fri 01-Feb-13 19:17:45

I'm not keen on tattoos, mainly for the reason that they date you terribly. Everyone I know with a tatto will maintain they think theirs is unique, unusual etc. but they aren't they are all very specific to a period where a trend was fashionable. Therefore, they have a 'unique' Maori, Native American, Celtic, Chinese, stars on random places, etc design, whichever was the fashion at the time. They are also completely uninteresting, but used as some kind of a replacement for individuality or as a conversation piece.

They are more frequent now I know very few people without one, yet everyone with one feels they are unusual. It's a bit like apple products, they are so common yet still for some reason make people who own them feel they are some kind of counter culture rebel. Same with belly piercings - you are not an individual snowflake!

The current trend round here are tats of your babies names and dob in scrolly writing across your neck.

The thing which I can't stomach to look at - actually make me feel queasy - are the flesh tunnel earlobes. I don't know why, I just have a physical response to them.

I also have reservations about the cherry picking of 'exotic' cultures. In an 'ooh aren't I spiritual and mysterious with my inca tattoo' without any real understanding or care for the culture. Tattoo tourism.

Some tattoos are very beautiful tho and I do appreciate them from an aesthetic perspective.

StuntGirl Fri 01-Feb-13 19:02:16

Gosh yes Emma. I think I'll have far more pressing issues when I'm 80, if I make it that far, than some wrinkly tattoo!

My tattoos can grow old with me. I'm ok with that.

EmmaBemma Fri 01-Feb-13 18:55:50

I love the way people regularly trot out that "what will you look like when you're 80" line as if they're the only person ever to have thought of it.

I imagine we'll look the same as other 80 year olds, except with tattoos? Just a wild guess. Actually I like tattoos on old people, but then I like tattoos.

what tattoos look like when you're 80

GrumpyOldWomanToo Fri 01-Feb-13 18:43:43

AgathaF:I'm 45, so not one of the "younger MNers"

I've got children older than you, and I grew in the era when tattoos were associated with sailors, bikers, and convicts. How times change.

I personally don't like to see tattoos, but no one cares what I like.

freddiefrog Fri 01-Feb-13 18:39:37

I wonder what all these heavily tattooed people will look like in their 80s and their tattoos have gone all wrinkly.

I hope I'll have far more interesting things to do than worry about what my tattoos look like

Bunbaker Fri 01-Feb-13 18:37:18

I'm 54 and when I was a teenager only very rough people had tattoos and it was practically unheard of for women to have them. It took MN and a couple of friends to make me realise that just about anyone can have a tattoo.

I still don't like the overdone look, but a discreet tattoo that can be hidden if required can be rather attractive. But I still don't like the bride with a strapless dress and tattoos look, sorry.

I wonder what all these heavily tattooed people will look like in their 80s and their tattoos have gone all wrinkly.

chocoluvva Fri 01-Feb-13 16:53:36

Oh. smile What a fantastic insight into 'people with tattoos'. OP - where have you gone?

I would just assume that a visible tattoo was there to be noticed, but I can completely see that questions/comments could be annoying if you're not in the mood.

AgathaF Fri 01-Feb-13 16:48:59

Who'd have thought so many olds on MN?

EmmaBemma Fri 01-Feb-13 16:36:52

choco, it's OK if you don't know what to say - you don't have to discuss someone's tattoos with them! Some people don't mind talking about their tattoos but others say it can get a bit annoying - it's probably the only thing that makes me reticent about getting more visible ink: dealing with people's curiosity, even if it's politely expressed.

VestaCurry Fri 01-Feb-13 16:34:26

I would never get a tattoo. Mainly because they will look grim on my old wrinkly body if I'm fortunate enough to live beyond 60.

Each to their own though.

"Thinking about this thread I've come to the conclusion that the apprehension I have on meeting heavily tattooed people is because I think they're going to be very, very outgoing/forthright/uninhibited or something like that, which makes me uncomfortable as I'm shy"

I have 4 tattoos, planning a half sleeve and I am painfully shy! grin

chocoluvva Fri 01-Feb-13 16:19:03

Wayhay - we need a quiche for posters who're 45! I'm 45 too.

I often think I have old-fashioned tastes - nothing necessarily wrong with being old-fashioned (defensive!) I'm quite liberal though.

Thinking about this thread I've come to the conclusion that the apprehension I have on meeting heavily tattooed people is because I think they're going to be very, very outgoing/forthright/uninhibited or something like that, which makes me uncomfortable as I'm shy - it's a that person's not like me thing - tribal theory again. I suppose I don't want people to know much about me until I'm ready.

MrsDeVere, when you get your tattoo will you welcome people asking you about it? I'd be very happy to hear the story of your tattoo. It's going to be a very special tattoo, but things like rock bands, peace/love, snakes, flowers etc.... well, I don't know what to say that would be appropriate.

AgathaF Fri 01-Feb-13 15:33:58

MrsDV grin

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