Tattoos: the whys and wherefores
Wednesday 3 August 2011, 3.48am HKT
SCOTT BERKUN’s post piqued my interest:
Would you ever get a tattoo? If you had one, what made you decide to get your first? If you don’t have one, why or why not would you ever consider getting one?
According to one survey, 36% of American’s aged 18-29 have tattoos, the highest number in history.
No, I probably wouldn’t, thank you very much.
And to think that in 40 years’ time, there’ll be loads of little old ladies and gents with angry but wrinkled tattoos shuffling about with their canes and four-legged walkers.
Having said that, I am a biker (of the motorcycle variety), so you would expect it entirely in keeping for a biker to have a partiality for tattoos. True enough, but tattoos for some reason don’t work for me.
FACT: Tattoos tend to look dreadful and ghastly on skinny, scrawny small fries, such is my physique. Small fries with tattoos look like dead fish that’s been badly grilled (charbroiled) on a gas stovetop. I’m a small fry already, and don’t need the extra aggro.
Mind you, I am very much enthralled with women who have tattoos, most especially with the following additional specifications:
- UK size 6-8 (Euro 36-38 or American 2-4)
- 5 feet 8 inches (173cm) or waaaay taller
- speaks Cockney English
It is a known fact that chicks meeting those specifications are generally able to rob me blind. So there you have it. A tattooed, blonde Cockney girl from East London who’s a bit on the thin side and way too tall can really ‘do me in.’ Cor blimey, mate, you’re a cupid stunt, arentcha!
Luckily, broads (not necessarily restricted to East Enders or even the English) whom I know and possess those exact specifications have NOT robbed me blind. Not even a little bit. Ever. Which was really nice of them.
But what to do, when you’re a biker, skinny, hairless as a dolphin (such that I am) and tattooless?
There are a couple of workarounds for wusses like me:
1. Tattoo by permanent marker
An excellent cheapskate workaround, but it smudges like mad. Not a good choice, especially if you’re planning on doing any kind of strenuous, sweaty physical activity… like biking.
2. Try a temporary tattoo decal (transfer)
The problem with decals is they’re a bit fiddly to apply. You get the picture. Soak the decal — wet yourself, ahem, I mean make yourself wet — apply the decal — let dry for a moment — peel back — hey, presto! — and some bits get broken off and don’t adhere. Oh well.
Decals also have a highly embarrassing tendency to peel off at the most inopportune moment … such as doing strenuous, sweaty physical activities.
3. Try a fake tattoo sleeve
Looks seriously tough, but only if you have the muscles to go with it … otherwise you look like a 60-year-old with wrinkled tattoos who’s travelled back in time.
With a choice of designs to suit your mood…
Plus point is sleeves don’t smudge. Big minus is they’re pretty hellish to wear in 30°C (86°F) heat.
In winter, it’s pretty pointless since you’re already wrapped up, ergo, no exposure.
4. Try a fake tattoo T-shirt
Yeah, it’s dynamite, but unless you’ve got abs or muscles to go with it, it just looks 100% certifiably mentally disturbed. Or brain-damaged. Derp.
5. Try a tee that fakes a tattoo
The consolation is that people might just ask where you got your groovy-looking tee. You won’t look tough or cool, mind, just hip enough to look stupidly moneyed.
6. Just wear something others don’t have
Yes, folks, this is almost the one I have (same series, different model). They ain’t expensive, boys — only £89.99 (US$147 or HK$1,143). Of course, the workmanship on mine is a great deal better.
I also have a matching white one, womens, UK size 6, so that any lass who fits into it will have first dibs at my bike. Of course.
Here’s yours truly in it:
(And, yes, that is an Italian paisley foulard silk scarf.)
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.
Images: Marker tattoo girl via Mindy Jesus Tattoos ♦ Fake tattoo sleeves (all) via Yahoo! Hong Kong auctions ♦ Fake tattoo T-shirt via Body Arts Gallery ♦ Japanese tattoo T-shirt via Yuko Ogura ♦ Fringed Diamond leather motorcycle jacket via TPC2 ♦ All other images by the author.