"Words of Wisdom" & Other Treats in Total Tattoo's Anniversary Issue
In the latest edition of the UK's Total Tattoo Magazine -- its 10-year anniversary issue -- you'll find what the magazine graciously calls my "words of wisdom," although a truer description would be, "Here's a page of Marisa blathering on about something she doesn't like."
For this column, editor James Sandercock asked me to write further on the Daily Mail's crush on me, as I noted in my World's Worst Tattoo Reporting post. In that post, I talked about "The Fail" using my photo in a ridiculous article about how "middle class" people have tattoos. But it wasn't the first time a pic of me was featured. In my piece for Total Tattoo, I talk about how the tabloid has banked off my bod before.
Here's a taste:
If Andy Warhol was correct that everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes, then I'm pretty pissed off that The Daily Mail is eating up all my allotted time. Over the past year, the tabloid has featured a picture of me in all my heavily tattooed glory, not just once, but twice-and both times they were not kind. I could liken the The Fail to a jilted ex-boyfriend, obsessed and angry that I've dared to do anything to my appearance without permission. But it's really more insidious. What the tabloid does (and they are not alone) is lure people in with tattoo images--many of which are used without permission--then slap a catchy headline over some cheap and easy content, all the while, having McDonald's ads flash in the background. Breaking it down: my bod is being used to sell burgers. Not the acclaim I was hoping for.
The first time I became a Daily Mail darling (to my knowledge) was in September 2013, in which a photo of one of my tattoos was posted under the blaring headline "World's Worst Head Tattoos." "World's Worst" anything is common "clickbait," designed to drag us in, make us angry with asinine writing, and provoke us to comment on the article, defending something that is personal and important to us. It brings more clicks, more time on the site, and more interactivity. Editors and advertisers just love how much we hate it.
This tattoo of mine that has The Daily Mail readers clutching their collective pearls in horror is indeed on the back of my head; however, it's deserving of praise rather than any pejorative. As the kids say, my head tattoo is "pretty fucking rad." Sometime around 2005, I wanted a fun, illustrative, semi-secret tattoo that was quite different from the blackwork ornamental bodysuit that I've been working on. So, I made an appointment with renowned tattooer Tim Kern, who is pretty fucking rad himself, and we came up with the idea to do a devilish looking little girl with red pigtails popping out of the back of my skull with a chain in her hand; essentially, a portrait of my childhood with added weaponry. I had taken some time off from the law firm I was working for at that time, so it was a perfect moment to shave off some ginger curls and get a badass tattoo that would eventually be covered when my hair grew out and I had to be proper lawyer again.
I was so happy with my new tattoo that I posted it to my photo album on Flickr.com (this was pre-Instagram days). I wanted to share the artwork. I did not want it used by others for their ridiculous "listicles," which lure people with short attention spans and a propensity to make comments that they would never dare to say to someone's face.[...]
It's also important to note here that Flickr has a better photo-sharing policy that other sites like Facebook, Twitter/Twitpic and Instagram. When you upload an image to Flickr, the default setting is "All rights reserved," putting others on notice that you're holding on to the rights granted to you in copyright law and not giving them up for sites like Break.com to use. Flickr's policy specifies that they may use, distribute, display, reproduce, modify, and adapt your content on the Yahoo! Services but "solely for the purpose for which such content was submitted or made available." For Facebook and Instagram, when you post your photos and videos, you are granting these sites "a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license..." That means that they can use your content and offer it to others without your approval, and even make some money off of it without anything paid to you.
There are also great reads in the issue, such as the artist interviews with legend Horiyoshi III as well as Marco Galdo and Max Pniewski. And giveaways, including my Black & Grey Tattoo box set!! Grab the mag for more info.