Tattoo News Review
Interesting news stories this week include jail time for certain tattoos in Myanmar, the impact of US Army tattoo rules, tattoo-related infections in Japan, a Brooklyn tattoo studio profile, and a beautiful new tattoo for quarterback Colin Kaeprnick.If you find a cool tattoo news item, let me know via Facebook, Twitter, or hit me up at marisa at needlesandsins.com.
First up, tattoo historian Anna Felicity Friedman pointed out, in the Needles & Sins Facebook group, this article: "Below-the-Belt Burma Map Could Earn Jail Time for the Tattooed." It's an fascinating quick piece about how a provision of Myanmar's State Seal law, which prohibits anyone from "disgracefully using or destroying anything that represents the country's symbol (including the map outline of the country)," can be used to impose a 3-year prison term on anyone who gets a tattoo of the map of Burma on the lower part of their body. The article quotes one lawmaker citing a chief justice who declared:
"It is acceptable if they tattoo the map on the upper part of body to show their love for the country. But if it is in the lower part of the body, it's inappropriate." [...] Thein Lwin [a district representative] said he had noticed the growing popularity of tattoos among young people to express themselves, and felt the map should be protected from inappropriate use."Also interesting is the impact of the new revisions to the US Army's grooming & appearance standards, as noted in AZ Central's "300 prospective Phoenix Army recruits rejected over tattoos." [Note: The news video automatically loads when you click the link, including sound.] According to the article, "Nearly 30 prospective enlistees on average are being turned away each week from Army recruiting stations in Phoenix" because of the new regulations. It's also noted, "The Army is allowing soldiers to keep older tattoos as long as their content isn't forbidden and they were documented before the new rules took effect." Naturally, that means that a lot of enlisted men and women had hit the tattoo studios to finish up or get new work before the rules went into effect. For more on the regs, check our "Military Tattoo Battles" post.
Tattoo-linked infections sent a handful of American troops to the US Naval Hospital in Okinawa Japan, as noted in this Stars & Stripes piece last month. The follow-up to that story this week is the Military.com article, "Military Won't Name Tattoo Shops in Infection Case." It's reported that Naval Hospital officials stated that they would not identify the three possible studios where the servicemembers contracted infections (which were "easily treatable") for the following reason: "If we posted a list of tattoo parlors that were linked to infections, it would imply that establishments not on the list were safe and tacitly endorsed by the hospital." The article also notes that Japanese health officials weighed in:
"There is no license or permission for tattoo businesses in Japan," said Hiroaki Arakaki, spokesman for the Health Care Policy Division of the Medial Department of the Okinawa Prefectural Government. "If we can confirm that the subject shops engage in tattooing, the government will instruct the shops to stop the illegal conduct," he said.In more artful news, we can rejoice that the movement of sports stars getting really great tattoos (instead of the impulse-driven scratches we often see) continues! Here's quarterback Colin Kaeprnick's new work (shown above) tattooed by the excellent Carlos Torres. The tattoo design is reportedly based on the "money is the root of all evil" biblical reference. According to TMZ, Colin first reached out to Carlos through Instagram to ask about getting an appointment. Carlos told TMZ"
"[Colin] sent me a drawing of his idea ... There was a lot going on so I simplified it. Not every piece of art makes a great tattoo, so I refined it so it'd be a great tattoo. But Colin came up with the concept." He added, "We did three sittings. They were each eight, nine hours long. The side of the ribs are a painful area, but Colin laid there like a rock."Finally, I highly recommend checking this Complex Magazine profile on East River Tattoo in Brooklyn. Our friend Nick Schonberger, Complex Deputy Editor, offers his thoughts on what makes the studio a stand-out in a sea of stellar shops in Brooklyn, and there are also cool photos of East River that capture its vibe by Liz Barclay, such as this one below.