The skin you’re in.

Tattoos are, by and large, as a rule, and generally speaking a complete waste of time and money. At least that’s what I think. We seem to be in the thick of a golden age of tattoos. A crappy tattoo renaissance if you will. If I had invested in a chain of tattoo parlours 20 years ago I’d be a millionaire by now and probably wouldn’t be writing this. Which I imagine would be considered a bonus for some.

There are some very important rules to remember when it comes to getting a tattoo. First is to avoid them altogether if you have very pale skin or ginger hair. The colours of the ink only serve as a juxtaposing agent to your natural features. So basically you look like a twat and it’s the reason I chose to resist any fleeting temptation to tattoo-ify myself many years ago.  That said my lack of tattoos has not necessarily made me look any less of a twat,  so let’s call that one a draw.

The second rule is to be very very careful what you choose. As in choose to have permanently slapped across your body. We’ve all heard about tattoo disasters: some dopey bell-end getting a tattoo in ancient Sanskrit thinking it says ‘I am at one with the universe’ when it actually says ‘I like sucking cocks’ or ‘Piers Morgan Rules, OK!’. Or perhaps a tattoo of a favoured footballer that ends up looking like Ian Brady. Anyway, that kind of thing.

Third rule is just keep it simple. I have no problem with the odd little tattoo subtly revealing itself here and there. It adds personality to some people and if they are artfully done then that’s all fine. Equally there’s no problem with the big statement tattoo such as the massive one George Clooney has snaking up his arm in ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’. Mind you that kind of tattoo looks a fuck sight better on George Clooney than it would on, say, a PE teacher from Rotherham. Also beware if the big statement is a huge tattoo of your own face right across your chest. Or your arse. Cheryl Thingybob’s arse covered in roses is also a poor look. And I can’t imagine even her sacred arse smells like it looks ALL the time.

Fourth rule is be wary where you put them. I can’t see any point in having a tattoo on the sole of a foot or under your scrotum (indeed in any of the body’s ‘dark areas’) because not many people will ever actually see it and this eliminates the point in the first place. An interesting but ultimately disastrous choice of tattoo location is the small of a woman’s back. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Tramp Stamps’ and I suppose part of their purpose is to arouse a partner, specifically one approaching from behind in a canine scenario. Some are mildly attractive but, and this is true, I once saw a lady hairdresser bend over (in a hairdressers, take note ‘the wife’) and her ‘Tramp Stamp’ simply said ‘DAD’. Now that would surely wilt the most granite of erections. And is also deeply weird. The haircut turned out fine though.

The final rule is make sure you stop at some point. The worst thing about modern tattooing is that some people just go on adding and adding and adding until they look like some fucked up breed of clown. My gym is getting stuffed with pricks sporting tattoo ‘sleeves’ or thinking they’ve just landed a role in some movie about ancient Polynesia. Tattoos round the neck look appalling on all human beings as do flag tattoos and tattoos of other people. Why for instance would you want a tattoo of Michael Jackson on your leg? Unless you’re an arsehole, in which case I completely understand. In fact I’m now considering getting a tattoo of Robbie Williams on my arsehole.

I know I’m old fashioned but I don’t know why you’d have to tattoo your children’s names and birth dates all over your body. In case you forget? Or the date you married your third wife. Why would a sequence of Chinese symbols inked across your back be of any use unless you were Chinese. Do you think any self respecting Chinese citizen would want ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ tattooed across their forehead? Besides I would bet that most Brits with Chinese symbol tattoos probably can’t speak a word of Chinese. Sorry, I meant Mandarin and no, neither can I and I bet you can’t either.

Finally there seems to be something deeply insecure about someone who has LOADS of tattoos. Is it some sort of inner pain release or just a good old addiction kicking in? It may surprise you to learn that I’m no budding psychoanalyst, but I’m guessing covering yourself up that much might mean you have something to hide. Or that something is making you very unhappy. Probably that you’ve paid good money to make yourself look stupid. I also suppose I’d then be even more insecure if everyone that walked past me thought I looked like a prick. Oh hold on……..

G B Hewitt. 3.08.2017

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