Tuesday, 8 February 2011


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I have been noticing an abundance of tattoos of late. From sports stars to celebrities to the Mum's from Mother's Group, people are inking themselves left, right and centre.

I like tattoos. I don't have any myself. I have never wanted one. I don't think I trust myself to pick something that I would like forever. I can't get past the 'have it for life' or at least until you are willing to embrace the painful removal operation. But people do it all the time. More and more people it seems.

Tattoos are pop-cultural time markers. They can be chronologically dated. Like fashion and people's names. I mean, as easy as it is to place a Tracy, Kelly or Kylie as born in 1970s Australia, likewise with ink, its style can be a dead giveaway. Black rose, 1980s. Tribal design or Asian character, 1990s. Words/names & colour, the naughties.

And the where is as important as the what. Where on earth do you put a tattoo? All of the discrete body parts mean revealing your 'privates' to some dude in a tattoo parlour. All exposed parts mean it is on display all.the.time.

So do you go with the 'fadish locations' - the tramp stamp, the arm band, near your hip, on your wrist, on your ankle or foot - or the more hardcore - bicep, back, shoulder, calf, full or half sleeves? How do you pick where you want your tattoo to go?

I do like "OP"s. Other People's, that is. I admire a lovely arm displaying a Islander-inspired creation. I love a delicate and symbolic image on the shoulder blade. I am partial to a his 'n' hers combination when done tastefully. I even like watching a bit of Miami Ink on a slow night.

I embrace this form of body art that is migrating from the fringes of society to the mainstream. I like the individuality it gives people.
But I guess I just don't want one.
Do you have some ink? Where is it? What is it? And what was your inspiration?


Zoey @ Good Goog said...

I have a tattoo (just the one) that I've had for over 10 years and I don't regret it (yet) but I did think about it for a year before I had it done. Mine is on my arm (high enough up that it's easy to cover even in short sleeves just in case I ever needed to go conservative - you never know it could happen!).

My husband got his first tattoo after our daughter was born on his forearm. It's big. I don't think he thought it through though. We'd like a big family and that means he has a whole lot more very large tattoos in his future.

x0xJ said...

I think you can keep it discreet without showing your privates. I just think do suitable tasteful clothes cover it? If so, then i will get it there.
I have #4 as of late last year (i worte about it on my blog in October), my first, a tramp stamp, my second very low on my tummy/hip, my third on the bottom of my neck and the final one on my foot.
I am not into tribal designs or astrological signs or anything like that, but thats for me, i've seen it look really nice on others. I do have both of my childrens names, and i refuse to get my other half's name (kiss of death or what? lol).
I'm not a huge tattoo fan though, i don't like sleeves or anything like that, i don't like big works of art, i feel it's too much personally. But i am saying this, if you get a tattoo you will probably get more, they're ADDICTIVE!

The Shrinking Vegetarian said...

I have a small dolphin on my right shoulder blade and in about 6 weeks I am getting a small dragonfly on my left ankle. :)

The dolphin came from my love of the beautiful creature. The dragonfly is more personal. To me the dragonfly is quite spiritual, and it also refers to the emergence of a new level of self-awareness. I actually blogged about it this morning. :)

Photographer Mum said...

I always wanted one when I was younger, but now, no way. My brother recently came back from a trip to Thailand and came back sporting a tattoo on his forearm, a fairly big one. He likes it, which is fine, but I don't. I am not a fan of colours in tattoo's, I prefer discreet, black ink tattoos - on other people. One of the most intriguing ones I saw was on a girl I went to college with. It was a keloid scar tattoo around her bellybutton, wavy lines or something, and because she was half egyptian, she had olive skin and the keloid scarring was a milky white colour. It really was quite beautiful, but to get that effect, they had to cut very deep. Not my cup of tea... but it was beautiful nonetheless.

Photographer Mum said...

ok sorry about that coming up 3 times - stupid computer... feel free to delete the extra 2 if you want

Maxabella said...

Photographer Mum is keen!

I have always wanted one and I still want one but I doubt I will ever get one! x

Posie Patchwork said...

Well i was raised with a tattoo'd daddy - yes, on the North Shore of Sydney taking us to father-daughter breakfasts at private school, my daddy was in the Navy, so tattoos were normal. He has the whole fleet up his arms!! None of we 4 children have them, to us it's like "eeww, something our father did" it's NOT cool.
My husband is a soldier yet has to remain clean, so no tattoo on him, the thought of listing our children, ha, too many, ouch!! As a fellow mummy of 4 with twins, um, can't imagine a tattoo on my belly anywhere, that wouldn't have been disfigured during pregnancy. Love Posie

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I used to think I wanted one - but I'm extremely glad I was too much of a wuss to follow through. There was always the 'what would I have?' conundrum, and I didn't want a Japanese symbol for 'whatever' like everyone else got at the time. I think half-sleeves etc are big regrets waiting to happen.

I will harp on at the 'forever' aspect when the time comes with my boys.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a tat, but I do have a nose piercing which I did when I was 16. My boys often ask about it, I just tell them it's like an earring, but in my nose. When they are older, I guess I will have a little bit of explaining to do?
Most of the dads in our swimming classes have tats - so sweet seeing these hairy, tattooed blokes with chubby bubs singing Humpty Dumpty. I love it. My hubby was always the only one without a tat - but he's relatively conservative and in his 40s. Interesting how it's come into fashion since he were a lad ...

Kymmie said...

Oh, such a great post about a very interesting subject! Most people are shocked when they see I have a tattoo. Apparently, I'm not the tattoo type. But I have one. And you'll even be able to pick how long I've had it - it's Japanese on my lower back. It means "Courage". Or "I love sushi". I never checked. It was a last minute dare with a friend. But no regrets. (Unless it really says "I love sushi"). xx

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Cate said...

Nooooo, no ink on Cate :-)
It's not that I have anything against tatts, it's just waaay too permanent. I'm too fickle. I'll change my mind after the first week, and then I'll be stuffed.

I must admit that I counsel (senior) students very strongly against tatts. I encourage them to get a piercing or dye their hair blue if they feel they really must because you can always change your mind that way.

But that's just me :-)

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

I don't have a problem with anyone having them, but they're definitely not for me. And I'll be honest - I hope my boys never get them either.

I think it's just a fad. Remember when heaps of girls used to wear two earrings per ear? Now not nearly as many do that.

I just think I have memories of my uncle's faded ones he got during WWII. They didn't look too good many years on!

Each to their own...

Lucy said...

It's a big no from me. Love them on others, especially men. And a female friend of mine has a stack that she has had done to cover up some scars, which are amazing.

Just not for me, no way never.

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Doodah said...

The popularity of tats amazes me. I go to pick up my daughter from school and it seems like every mother there (and father) has at least one tattoo!

Seriously, sometimes I feel out of place! I am definately getting one - not to feel like 'one of the girls' though, lol.

The reason I want one is here

Kim H said...

Oh no, no way! I'm too much of a wimp. and I'm also like you, I couldn't trust myself that I'd pick something I wanted forever. I know I'd get sick of it after a few years and the anxiety of regret would be way too big:)

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Still no tatts here. And never likely to be with my needle phobia.

Anonymous said...

I do have a couple - and instead of feeling regret, I often forget (that I have them, that is). I got my first when at Uni (fairly innocuous flower that looks like a jonquil) on my hip bone (and surprisingly unaffected by weight gain during pregnancy). The second I got a few years later on my shoulder blade (Egyptian hieroglyphs as I was learning to write them at the time).

I have no judgement about those that do or don't get them - to each their own. But for those that do, I think individuality of design is always much more meaningful.

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

My husband has commented before that he wouldn't mind getting a tattoo, but he really isn't sure what image he could live with for the rest of his life.

the 'forever' nature of a tattoo is what puts me off as well. I know that I am a very different person now (almost 40) than I was when I was 20 and I would certainly choose something different now to what I would have chosen then.

I admire good quality tatts on others, although I'm not really a fan of the sleeve tatts or huge numbers of tatts. I think some of the artistic nature of the images is undermined when people get 'cluttered' with tattoos. A friend has several on his arms, one on his rib cage, two on his back, one on his calf, etc. It's a bit much for me, but to each their own.

Grace said...

No, no ink on me. It's not my thing. I don't even like it on guys.
I used to think I was impartial to it, then I went out with a guy that had a huge one on his arm and I knew straight away it wasn't for me.
I was a bit disappointed with myself thinking I was being a bit shallow...but as it worked out, it was more to do with clashing personalities and the reasons why he got it. (To cut a long story short, I though his reasons were immature and covering a deeper issue of insecurity)
So, no. No ink over here. Ever.
Jumped over here from Weekend Rewind :)

Melissa Jane said...

No ink ... yet. I never wanted anything that I wouldn't be happy with forever. I am now pushing 40 and am considering getting a vine anklet with the kids names attached. Mid-life crisis? My husband has two and quite a few of our friends have them. I never thought I would but now I have a meaningful design ... maybe.

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