Tattoo News Review
The tattoo news was all over the place this past week, from bans on tattooed women breastfeeding to government tracking of your tattoos. But first, let's start off with something fun ...
... this sweet fix to a bad Pokemon tattoo. Pretty adorable.
On a more serious note, as was brought up in our in our Needles & Sins FB group page, a 20-year-old mother in New South Wales, Australia, was banned by the Federal Circuit Court from breastfeeding because she had recently been tattooed. The ban was based on the fear that she might transmit a blood-borne disease such as hepatitis or HIV to the baby. The woman was tested and no such disease was found, BUT, the judge decided to stop her from breast feeding anyway! [The father of the baby is the one who brought it to the court's attention during a bitter custody battle.] Thankfully, the Family Court unanimously overturned the decision, stating, "Judges must not mistake their own views for being either facts not reasonably open to question or as appropriately qualified expert evidence." If this wasn't overturned, it would've made for some scary precedent, with judges ruling what tattooed women can do with our bodies (and babies) based on prejudice and erroneous info. Phew!
Another heavy news item was this flashy headline: "The government's high-tech plan for identifying you based on your tattoos." The National Institute for Standards and Technology (of the US Commerce Dept.) held "a 'challenge' in which groups faced off to see who could deliver software and algorithms that identified tattoos most accurately." According to the Washington Post, "some of the systems had 'hit rates well above 90 percent' in some of the tests, like basic tattoo detection and identification over time as well as matching up a small piece of a tattoo to an image showing the the whole thing," but it was more difficult to match up sketches and digital graphics with real tattoos to identify shared elements across different tattoo designs. As the article notes, tattoos images are already part of the FBI's Next Generation Identification database; however, it "relies on written descriptions of tattoos to help identify suspects."
In a more obvious headline: "Adult Man with 29 Miley Cyrus Tattoos Suddenly Realizes He Does Not Want 29 Miley Cyrus Tattoos." Try not to gasp in shock.
In Japan, many bathhouses have denied tattooed people entry, largely because of tattoo's association with the criminal underworld; however, with the mass popularity of the art today, the Japan Tourism Agency wants to deal with such policies, which can turn off and turn away tattooed tourists. The Japan Times reports that "the agency started distributing a questionnaire to 3,700 inns and hotels with public baths, asking them why and how they turn away tattoo-bearers and whether they have run into trouble with guests over the policy." What allegedly sparked this whole thing: after learning that a Maori woman was denied entry into a bathhouse in January, a major hotel operator stated that it would distribute stickers for tattooed guests in October to use them to cover their tattoos. Might as well wrap me up in a full body adhesive if that's the case.
And finally, there's this sweet piece about about 94-year-old Gwladys Williams who just became the oldest woman in the UK to get a tattoo. Never too old!