Tattoos: An Expensive Hobby or a Lifetime Investment?

If we were speaking of any other topic, the issues of cost, permanence, and visibility would be seen as positive, but when we speak of tattoos, all of these, for some reason, become lines of attack.

When we discuss cars, jewellery, or technology, the price is often seen as a sign of quality, but this attitude is ignored when we talk of tattoos. The ink that we choose to put on – or should that be put under – our skin is dismissed or even criticised as a waste of money. People I speak to are shocked when I tell them how much money I have spent on this body modification – around the £4,000 mark currently – but in the same conversation they are more than happy to announce how much they spent on Friday night in a club, or on Saturday afternoon at the shops.

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Japan’s Black Market for Tattooed Human Skin

In The Land of the Rising Sun, not everything is as it seems. A place known for its rich ancient history, its cultural delicacies, and more recently for its superb standard of life, Japan also has a darker claim to fame. A secret that I was told is “very, very underground.”

With the writing of my (non-tattoo related) first book out of the way, I have found time to return to the topic of ink on skin, and an issue which I have been wanting to write about since the moment I heard about it almost exactly 12 months ago.

Whilst walking around The Great British Tattoo Show last year, my cider in one hand, and my notepad in the other, I came across a stall and an artist who we shall call Barratt (he wanted to keep his true identity a secret for reasons that will become clear later). He was working out of Scandinavia at the time, but he had been an apprentice in Japan for a number of years, and it was he who told me about the shady world of Japan’s human canvas industry.

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Fight The Power: Tattoo Discrimination in the Workplace

I was a hundred or so words from finishing this article a few moments ago. It just needed some rounding off and some polishing, and then it was good to send over to the Ed. We had been speaking throughout the day and I had told him that he would have the first draft in his inbox by that evening. Reading back over it though, something wasn’t quite right.

My article was arguing that tattoo discrimination in the workplace should not be illegal. I had done hours of research, I had spoken to numerous friends about it, and I had set out my argument in a clear format, highlighting, what I believed to be the most important aspects of the issue.

Despite reading over what I had written, I was not convinced by my own words. I saw holes in my argument, I saw contradictory logic, and I did not like the message that I was advocating. I must not be alone in reaching the 90 per cent mark of an article before realising I did not agree with what was being said.

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Tried and Tested Tattoo Aftercare

A few months ago I wrote this piece on why I needed to have a new tattoo.

At the time of writing it had been 14 months since my last one, but now, finally, that drought has ended.

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The Attraction Of Ink

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, or so they say, but what if there are definitive ways to make yourself more attractive. What if one of these methods was to get a tattoo. Effectively, what I am asking is, are people with tattoos more attractive than people without tattoos? This question may seem controversial but it is not entirely ridiculous.

The Harris Poll in January 2012 found that 30% of people with tattoos said that the ink made them “feel more sexy” and 21% said that it makes them feel “attractive or strong”. The results of this show us that half the people who get tattoos believe that by simply having a tattoo they have increased their attractiveness. This belief though, does not appear to be reflected by the thoughts of those without tattoos. 45% of those who have not been inked see tattoos as a turn-off rather than a turn-on, people with “tattoos are [considered] less attractive”.

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