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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Tattoos On The Big Screen Are In Need of A Makeover

With Oscar fever beginning to sweep in, accompanied by the justified criticism over their complete lack of diversity, I feel its only right that we turn our gaze to the big screen and its portrayal of tattoos.

Though both online and on the small screen tattoos are the focus for many shows, Hollywood’s glamour does not seem so keen to embrace the topic.

What started with Miami Ink, “the gold standard” of tattoo shows as AV Club labels it, has now grown, for better or worse, into a multi-million pound industry of tattoo-related output for television audiences.

Ami James, Chris Nunez and co pioneered the standard format for tattoo television and paved the way for a host of other artists to make their mark on their clients, and the public, with AV Club stating that Miami Ink “spawned the whole subgenre”.

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Vanity Un-Fair

It is important to remember that not everything we see was designed purely for our own gaze. Though many things may appear aesthetically pleasing, this may not be their sole purpose.

Cars can look nice, but even if they don’t – I am looking at you Fiat Multipla – they can still function and adequately carry out their intended purpose; to get a person from A to B. The same can be said of umbrellas, some are designer, some are styled really nicely, and some are ludicrous cat-like monstrosities with fake ears, but first and foremost, no matter how they look, they must perform their function of keeping someone dry. If it achieves that, the looks are secondary.

Too often we take the aesthetics and the image as the primary driver, the main role, or the most important function. Shoes have to look good rather than be comfortable, musicians have to be attractive rather than talented, and our food has to be served artistically on slate boards with decorative leaves and gratings, who cares if it only hits a five on the taste Richter scale.

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Nuclear Ink

Tattoos, or rather tattoo studios, are like nuclear weapons. And before you think I have gone completely bat-shit crazy and joined the likes of Katie Hopkins in vilifying ink, allow me to explain.

Tattoo studios being like nuclear weapons is of course an analogy, just to make that clear to any conservative grandparents in case they were preparing to come rushing in to say: “I told you so”. It is not because tattoos are expensive, unnecessary, and once used their effects ruin your life, though this may be completely true for nuclear weapons, it is not for tattoos.

Neither is the comparison because of the concern parents would show if their kid were to come home with one. Though some mums and dads are shocked by Callum’s first piece of permanent artwork, this would be nothing compared to the heart attack they would suffer if Callum were to walk through the door cradling a ballistic missile with a two-ton nuclear warhead.

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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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