Tattoo News Review
Photo of Teddy Ferrer by Suzanne DeChillo for The New York Times
The week's tattoo news was light and airy like a decent tyropita but the Greek tragedy here was my Hellenic homegirl Arianna Huffington publishing tattoo blog items on Huff Post by people who should really stick to the Hannah Montana airbrush kind.
The latest offender: Irene Rubaum-Keller and her midlife crisis. Irene brazenly asks the Internet "Tattoos on Women, Yes or No?" in deciding how she should be "shaking things up a bit." [I personally recommend the "Delight" with 32 different vibration options.]
Of course, she doesn't take the decision to permanently mark her body lightly at all. Instead of researching tattooists, reading tattoo sites for personal reviews and artist profiles, or some inner soul searching as to her motivations, she does what one would expect from a licensed psychotherapist and author ... she posts a poll on her Facebook page. In doing so, she develops this thesis: "people have very strong feelings about tattoos in general, and tattoos on women in particular."
Indeed. I not only have strong feelings about tattoos but about people who use a widely read forum like Huff Post to opine on whether to get a tiny white tattoo or a "tramp stamp."
Here's my suggestion: if you need a Facebook poll for any life decision other than a book recommendation or which camera to buy, the choice is already made. And that is Don't Do It.
When you care what all the world thinks of you, it leads to tattoos like this one.
When you don't care, you allow yourself freedom to do what you've always wanted like this 83-year-old grandma who just started getting tattooed last year and plans on more.
Some of the comments on the Huff Post blog said that there was no good reason to get tattooed.
How about to honor your heritage, like the strong and beautiful soccer star Natasha Kai, who's in the news this week?
How about to commemorate those you have loved and lost, like this Toronto woman who has dealt with the violence that surrounds her with tattoo tributes?
How about because you just think it's beautiful, in whatever form, like this hippocampal neuron tattoo? [See more geek tattoos here.]
Irene, baby, if you wanna learn how to talk tattoos, check this article by Jennifer Lee for the NY Times on tattooist and graff writer Teddy Ferrer (shown above). Lee interviews the artist about street & skin art and how it has evolved in NYC. There's substance, and there's personal history of the artist, not the personal crisis of the writer. [You can check Teddy's work at Tuff City in the Bronx.]
Ok, the tattoo news does sound like a rant today. Forgive me. Or rather, blame Brian Grosz.
Brian has taken his anger against stupidity and narrowly targets health care reform nuts in this delicious video. I'm not as good on camera -- less like Henry Rollins and more like Kathy Griffin -- so I'll spew my own NY-humidity-induced vitriol against people who bastardize our beloved tattoo culture.
But I don't like being an angry redhead, so tomorrow, I'm heading to my usual yoga retreat, American Yogini, for a few days. The rest of the week, the guys will take over here and I also have pre-written posts scheduled; however, I won't be answering messages until next week.