Monday, May 16, 2011

To tattoo or not to tattoo. Have you?

Extreme full-head tattoo, nicely (perhaps ironically?)
accessorised with a conservative tie.
Image source:
There is a certain something I lack. Something that not everyone, but many others, do have. I would see these folk out and about with theirs and think "Am I a little odd, backward even, to not possess such an item". The item in question being a tattoo.
Then I moved to Coolgardie/Kalgoorlie and my nakedness really stuck out like the proverbial, ahem, canine appendages.
Here it appears so uncommon to be uninked it puts me on the verge of freak territory. I'd guess there are more tattoos here than there are people.
I did a quick yet highly scientific survey while in the main street one recent afternoon and spied six separate tattoos over a total of eight men, three over a total of six women and one dog with its ruff area shaved and 'Freo Rulz' inked there. (Yes I made that last bit up, but people do love their tats around here. As well as football and mangled English, so it's entirely possible such a dog exists).
And that was just the ones visible on a mild May day.
I don't have an aversion to tattoos - or needles - but have never felt the urge to get one. In my mother's words, "they just don't appeal to me".
Excepting tattoos that form part of the owner's ethnic culture, for instance Maori tattoos, I've always viewed them as an expression of a kind of hardcore, rocker culture. So, and maybe it's the purist streak in me, but I think a tattoo should either stick to those origins or represent some other deeply important part of the owner's identity they wish to express. I can't help thinking that anything else is just a tacky tattoo gained for the sake of getting a tattoo.
My sister-in-law, for example, has several of what I'd describe as the above-mentioned rock-chick genre. Not everyone could pull them off but they look great on her because they suit her rock music-loving, live-life-loud-and-full personality.
Whenever I had that 'I don't think I'd like to get a tattoo because what the hell would I get' conversation people said 'oh, you could get a nice flower, or a sun or dolphin or something'. Which, despite their good intentions, makes me want to gag.
I do like flowers. But not enough to stamp one on me. The fake ones I stick in vases around my house is enough flower-tackiness for one person.
The sun is lovely, I'll give you that. But I'm not exactly sunny myself.
As for dolphins, they're very nice swimming about in the sea but I don't feel a resounding connection to them.
So, I believe I'll remain ink-free for the foreseeable future.
Now, there is something about tattoos that sparks my curiosity. And that is the craze for ones declaring the name, and sometimes birthdate, of one's progeny. Given countless generations of parents experienced the wonders of parenthood without accompanying tattoos, what is so compelling about them now? Can anyone fill me in?

So, what about you? Do you have any tattoos, and if so, what is their significance to you? Do you plan to get one, or add to your collection? Or are you someone who's changed their mind and had ink removed?


  1. ponder things I myself feel braffled by. Firstly I would like to share that I don't have any tattoo's....or any desire to obtain any. My view on others with tattoo's vary....I must admitt there is something about a tattoo on a defined masculine body of the opposite sex that I find my eye's unwillingly appreciating.(I'm referring to 1 or 2, not whole limbs covered!) This is strange as I prefer my partner to possesed virgin skin as I do.

    Women and tattoo's....As you said there are some that really suit them....tho I often view them as abit trashy. When I see a gorgeous girl with stickers plastered over her body I'm left feeling unimpressed...

    Body art is often referred to reflectling one's self, so when I see someone displaying a horrifying story of torment,devil possession and death consuming his arm,I can't help but feel disturbed and wonder if only evil resides in him, these types of tattoo's I find offensive. They do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder..?

    These are just my thoughts. Each to their own...

  2. i would like to know who you think you are?!
    for the last week i have watched you post blogs that ALL seem to be aimed at ME!!

    for starters, about us not making your birthday party, we had all intentions of coming to your birthday on the "FRIDAY" until you changed it until saturday at the last minute, and we already had plans for the saturday and that is why we didnt make it, so i dont appreciate the "and not even the inlaws could bother making it"

    secondly, it seems you are pointing the whole mothers that dont work blog at me! who are you to speak on this subject, you have no kids, you are not a MOTHER! and what are you trying to say that as soon as you have a baby that you will put the child straight into childcare and return to work..... what sort of mother is that?!? i myself would love to work full time, but as you know there is no childcare in coolgardie, so what do you expect me to do? if youve got any suggestions to help me back to work then im all ears!! i have worked since having my children, it may not have been full time but i made an effort. and after having tyler and right up to the day i went into labour i worked full time managing my mums IGA by myself most days right up until a very heavy 42weeks pregnant, then weeks after tyler being born i returned straight back to work. do i need say anymore????

    now onto the tattoo's, wait im sick of explaining myself to you, all my tattoos mean something to me. SO PLAIN AND SIMPLE STOP BLOGGING ABOUT ME, MY LIFE AND MY FAMILY BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SWEET FUCK ALL ABOUT ME

  3. I'm sorry you feel my posts have been targeted at you, and critical, because neither is the case.
    I mentioned you here because I like your tattoos. As I said in the post, they are a great example of ones that look good because they do have significance to you and suit your personality.

    The reference in the birthday one wasn't a dig at you guys - it was a humorous dig at myself for being a friendless loser on my birthday. I'm aware it's a manically busy time for you guys. I wouldn't expect you to change your plans. I hate being called on to do that myself.

    The working mother post wasn't based on you either. You don't fit the definition of the mothers I was referring to - the ones who use motherhood as a shield and who's children are at an age where the carer (usually the mother) isn't required to be with them for the bulk of the day. I know what lengths you've gone to in Coolgardie regarding work. So I don't see where my argument was directed at either you or other mums in your situation.

    Again, I'm sorry you've been upset and that any offence has been caused by a misinterpretion of my blogs.

  4. Hi Sharleen
    Sometimes they can look trashy, I agree, but I only ever notice this if the wearer appears unkempt and trashy overall and would probably still look a bit dodgy minus the tats. I've seen this look on men and women.
    As for me, I think I'm just too daggy to get one!

  5. I agree with Sharleen - each to their own. I personally do not like tattoos for myself but it's a personal decision. Not that I would get one for myself but I do like tattoos that have meaning. I have a friend who has a tattoo for her dear father that passed away and her first-born. I think that is really sweet and indicative of her beautiful character.

    As for men, I must admit that I do always check out men who have tattoos. I'm so like Sharleen! Despite the no tattoo policy for myself, I find myself inexplicably drawn to tattoos. However, they need to be tastefully done.

  6. Hey Emma, I got two tattoos, one on my right wrist, the other (a huge one) taking up half of my upper back. I've always been a fan and I'm glad I waited until I was near my 30s to get them cause now they actually have a meaning. I'm getting a third one too. I like them but I don't really know why I like them. When we were in uni my mother's instructions were, don't get pregnant, don't do drugs, don't join fraternities and don't get a tattoo hehehe. I still haven't done one of those ;)

  7. I want to get one to represent the baby I lost, perhaps an angel or something like that. I want it just for me, as a reminder that my angel is always with me.

    (visting from Flog Yo Blog)

  8. I've got 3 tattoos. The first (on my hip) has no meaning I just loved it when I saw it.
    The second and third (on my back) have meaning to me.

    I got my first 10 years ago and still love it. I don't think tattoos have to have a meaning but I do beleive it's not something to rush into

  9. Well, as my name would suggest, I do have tattoos. I have quite a lot of them. But no suns or dolphins here. (I do have flowers - roses actually).
    Most of the tattoos I have I have designed myself and so they have meaning to me. Even if I got it because I'm really proud of the drawing I did. The others I have for reasons as well - I have a big Jessica Rabbit on my calf because that's what my old boss christened me...
    I strongly dislike tribal tattoos unless you have a background in said tribe. It doesn't make sense and I think it's a little bit of an insult to those who have the tattoos for a cultural purpose.
    I also don't like franjipanis etc because it screams "I'm 18, tattoo me!"

    But I guess each to their own.
    Be proud of yourself, not getting one because you "should".
    I tattooed a girl once who wanted to put her tattoo "somewhere it can be covered if I stop liking it later"
    I wish I could have slapped her.

  10. Ewwww - that guys face. OMG.
    I have a tattoo on my foot. I got it when I was 30. I love it. I thought long and hard and decided that my foot was the one spot that wouldn't sag or warp or get too wrinkly. I have a moon and stars (aim for the moon and at the very least you will land in the stars). I don't feel the need for anymore, however, the thought has crossed my mind to get another one when my first book is published. We'll see.
    I knew a woman once who had a tattoo of a star on her arse. Her arse sagged in later life and the star turned into a Christmas tree. That was funny ...
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  11. Visiting from FlogYoBlog, great post!

    I have two tattoos - one on my arm which is a *deep breath* flower. But it is a daisy. And my name is Daisy. I wasn't very creative when I was 19, but it's something I had wanted for about two years! (I never said I wasn't tacky, just that I was young...)
    The other is more important - it's some vine work going up my side - from buttocks to breast, completely hidden from anyone but myself and my husband (and my kids when they crash my hot showers). I got it just before I got engaged, knowing I was going to spend the rest of my life with this man. I wanted something that was for me, was private, that when I looked at in the coming years (knowing and hoping there would be children, husband, house) it would remind me of who I was and where I was - knowing that I would be able to remember "me", at that point in time.
    I still think about the weeks before and after getting that tattoo whenever I see it.

  12. Oh Sarah, that is heartbreaking and beautiful rolled in together. An angel sounds just perfect.

    Thanks everyone for sharing. It's been lovely hearing the stories behind the designs. And having a chuckle at stars-turned-Christmas trees!

  13. I have a tramp stamp which is *drum roll* a Chinese symbol that means "to play music" because I'm a saxophonist. I got it authenticated once and it does mean that, but in another dialect it means "Bullet" so it depends what mood I'm in whether I tell people the first or the second definition.

  14. I don't have a tattoo but I have always wanted to get a pair of Angel Wings. In my "heathen" days it was a joke among my friends that that was the only way I would get to heaven. BUT I do not have a high tolerance for pain, so I have never tried to get it (I talked to someone and they siad it could take nearly eight hours... =\).

  15. I agree with you entirely about this; I'm not against the idea of getting a tattoo, I just haven't ever found something significant enough to stamp myself with permanently. I see lots of people I know getting tattoos just for the sake of it; but hey, each to their own.

  16. well in just under 4 weeks i will be the huge 40 yep thats right! I have wanted a tatt for 15 yrs but have been so bloody gutless to get 1 but i am hoping i will get a butterfly with my kids names & hubs on the wings just something small (oh also i hate needles) lol... does that count as well i better pop some pills so i stay calm & relaxed hey :-) x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...