Results tagged “tattoo removal”

Nov201315
08:35 AM
history tattoo removal.jpg
From TheAppendix.net:  "Europeans and indigenous Americans being judged at the court of Nature for modifying their bodies, from the frontispiece to John Bulwer's Anthropometamorphosis (London, 1656). Wikimedia Commons."

A perfect follow-up to yesterday's post of a 1902 newspaper feature on tattoos is another wonderful history article, published yesterday in The Appendix, entitled: Indelible Ink: The Deep History of Tattoo Removal. Mairin Odle, a PhD candidate in Atlantic History at NYU, cites texts, from as old as a sixth-century encyclopedia of medicine, that discuss ancient tattoo removal procedures; she also offers stories of frustration over the difficulty in removing permanent markings -- the same frustration people talk of today.

Here's a bit from Odle's text:

By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, documentation of tattoo removal was often found in accounts of Europeans in contact with cultures overseas--particularly, although not exclusively, societies in the New World. The failed effort to remove the English pirate's facial tattoo was not the only attempt at such a procedure in the early modern Atlantic world. A number of French, Spanish, English, and Native American sources suggest that people of the period could regret their permanent body modifications just as much as modern people do.
 
Tattoo removal in the past, however, reflected something more powerful than transient personal taste. Attempts to undo seemingly permanent body modification remind us how much the cultural aspects of physical appearance mattered, particularly in determining personal and collective identities. Inks and dyes, fixed under the skin, told stories about one's past: who one knew, where one had been, even who one had been. One might wish, or others might insist, that such stories be ignored, forgotten, erased. This is the underexplored side to the history of body modification: regret, resentment, and painful policing of aesthetic and social boundaries.
As much as I am a cheerleader for the tattoo community, I think Odle is absolutely correct that the "regret" issue has not really been explored fully when discussing tattoo culture -- beyond the silly tabloid articles. I think this history of tattoo removal article is a great start.

Read more of the article here.

[Thank you, Lindy Hazel LaDue, for the link!]
May201328
01:40 PM
erasing_hate.jpg
We spend a lot of time here at the Needles and Sins Compound discussing the application of tattoos but, every now and again, the issue of removal comes up. More often than not, any discussions of removal are about making way for a larger piece or eliminating a youthful "mistake," but I recently watched the documentary "Erasing Hate" and another facet was revealed: what happens when your tattoos no longer represent your personal ideology, much less your ability to function in society?

The documentary profiles Bryon Widner who joined the racist skinhead movement in the American mid-west as a teenager and it wasn't long before he had adorned his face with the violent markings of a violent ethos and lifestyle. But as he grew older... he grew up - recanting both his bigotry and beliefs. The one problem? Well, it's kind of hard to re-enter a culture of equal rights when your face is covered in images of racism.

In an interesting turn, he reached out to the Southern Poverty Law Center for help - an organization known for battling and monitoring hate-groups. They not only located a plastic surgeon who agreed to do the removal, but they also provided $35,000 for the grueling two-year procedure through an anonymous donor. The documentary follows Bryon and his family over the course of his journey and it's definitely worth a watch (especially if, like me, you hate neo-Nazis).

"Erasing Hate" is available on Netflix streaming, or for $1.99 on Amazon instant video.
Feb201008
01:46 PM
black and gray tattoo horses.jpgTattoo by Gene Coffey stolen from TattooNow.com's Tattoo of the Day.

Beautiful walking works of tattoo art, like ya fine selves, are becoming a tattoo majority, and yet, those who pollute the tattoo gene pool make the big headlines. Sheesh. It wasn't a pretty week for tattoo folk in the news thanks to rabid sports fans, Nazis, and of course, Stephen Baldwin.    

Let's begin our review with the burning post-Super Bowl question: What's the ColtsSkinDeep dude feeling like this morning, and will all those autograph tattoos be covered by better memories of yesterday like Betty White/Abe Vigoda portraits or the tattooed stitched-up Sock Monkey

Even the Tongan ancestral tattoos of Colts' Fili Moala could not bring the mojo for the team.

While there were plenty of stories on Super Bowl tattoos (even videos), one rebel reporter wrote a feauture on those who prefer the pain of a new tattoo over the Cheetos and beer halftime heartburn. Score!


Indeed, sports tattoos are generally not credited in the evolution of fine art tattooing, but at least they don't further stigmatize the tattooed as criminals like these jackasses:
 
 

A Nazi firebombed a tattoo studio in Monterey because they refused his tattoo request: a swastika and an image of President Obama overlaid with crosshairs. He faces seven years in prison for this and another torching.

An upstate NY tattooist was arrested after being found via his social network posts; cops further punked him by leaving this note on his Facebook wall: "Just a quick thank you for giving us your current employer's name and address. Without the help from you and your friends, your arrest would not have been possible. Special thanks for the excellent photos you provided for the U.S. Marshals. Without the help of criminals such as yourself, our job would be much more difficult."

Yet another criminal, this one with a tattoo that reads "Why Try" across his head, is astounded that he was identified (and arrested) for choking a 72-year-old man in a carjacking.


Beyond the criminals, tattoo stereotypes will remain as long as people with bad taste continue to get them. You'd think a bastardized Ed Hardy design tee would be enough, but some need to take their gift of gauche to the next level.


That level being a pornographic Mario Bros tattoo.


Such mistakes can be left behind when we pass -- an upside of death! -- but not for some who wish to enshrine their decorated skin, or at least try to like this dude:

A New Zealand man requested his tattoos be preserved upon his death but because the guy who handles this stuff was on vacation, the body was cremated instead, tattooed skin and all. The family is considering suit over the lost tattoo collection, which includes a Playboy bunny, Aries and Taurus signs, and a DB Export beer logo -- tattoos fiercely mocked by someone other than myself.


And then there are ... sigh ...

Stephen. Baldwin.

Mike. Tyson.

Peter. Andre.


 ...  Tattoo. Removal.


I promise to remove such ugly thoughts by focusing on top tattoo work this week like the image above by Gene Coffey stolen from TattooNow.com's Tattoo of the Day.  
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Nov200924
03:36 PM
With the exception of the occasional Andy Samberg song, I do everything humanly possible to avoid Saturday Night Live - even going so far as to throw out my television (contrary to media reports that if was sold for blow and an outstanding debt to a bookmaker).  But thanks to my primary news source, Metal Sucks, this little piece of "advertising" came across my radar...




Yeah, the bit's almost six years old, but who has even watched SNL (on purpose) in the last decade?  Yeah, we usually discuss tattoo removal in a very serious fashion around here and, yeah, I probably even made a promise never to use the "T-S Word" so as not to alienate any of our readers, but it gave me a good laugh in my post-dental-work novacaine-haze.

Oh, and...
 
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Aug200910
05:48 PM
seattle tattoo expo .jpgPhoto by Alan Berner/Seattle Times

I'm gonna geek out on you a bit for today's tattoo news review. As a heavily tattooed lawyer, any time I see a news item that deals with issues like First Amendment or tattoo bans, I get giddy, as if Bradgelina came to my very own McDonald's drive thru. Well, this past week, there was plenty to squeal about.

Check the tattoo law headlines ...

Last week, a new policy went into effect for St Louis cops that bans visible tattoos. Those who did not comply were sent home. The St. Louis Police Officers' Association says it's unfair and will be meeting this week to discuss the new dress code. In general, it's a tough battle to fight.

In 2006, the Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Inturri v. City of Hartford, upheld a similar ban for Hartford, CT cops, setting precedent that such dress codes do not violate the First Amendment. It said, "A police department has a reasonable interest in not offending or appearing unprofessional before the public it serves." Further, in a federal case in Texas, Riggs v. City of Fort Worth, the District Court said that "A police officer's uniform is not a forum for fostering public discourse or expressing one's personal beliefs." 

The bottom line is that tattoo stereotypes still exist and if the public cannot trust the police, the bans fulfill a "legitimate purpose" as long as they are not applied in a discriminatory way. The best way to combat the bans is to fight the stereotypes.

Alas, after the weekend I had, I fulfilled every negative tattooed chick stereotype in the book. Do as I say, not as I do, my friends.

This guy also doesn't help our cause:  Tattoo gives away nine-time drunken-driving suspect who tried to fool a cop with a bogus license but the officer remembered the tattoo from a previous arrest.

Tattoo bans in public schools like this latest one in western Kentucky, however, can be fought.

As I wrote in my 2005 Legal Link column entitled "Fighting Oppressive School Dress Codes," the 1969 landmark Supreme Court case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District gave students the right to freedom of speech. Read my article for points on how parents and students can exercise this right and fight against school body art bans.

In convention coverage ...

seattle expo.jpgThe Seattle Times reported on the Seattle Tattoo Expo, which took place this past weekend. The article features great photos by Alan Berner like the one above of Becky Long undergoing a 6-hour session at the show under the needles of Paul Zenk of Portland's Infinity Tattoo. Paul was one of the 285 tattoo artists working the Expo where an estimated 10,000 tattoo lovers attended.

The Times article also has a great quote from Body Graphics's Bill Funk on tattoo culture:

"What we see now is a complete reflection of society in general. There is no tattoo subculture. The lines have been blurred. If you have a love of the art, you're going to get a tattoo."

Seattle Pi also has an extensive slideshow of the Expo with photos like this one right by Daniel Berman. Check it. [Thanks, Bill!]


In tattoo business ventures ...

Call your stock broker! Tattoo removal company, Dr Tattoff is expanding and wants to go public next year. John Keefe, Dr. Tattoff's chief executive, estimates that tattoo removal could be a $10-billion-a-year industry. He wouldn't give figures for his own profits but did say that Tattoff is a multimillion-dollar business.

KansasCity.com explores how tattoo art has made its way onto gift registries but in the form of tableware, home decor, and bedding. At the end of the article, they list tattoo-inspired goods along with websites and prices (like the $65,000 price tag on Kiki Smith's "Tattoo Vase" for Steuben Glass).


In celebrity tattoo snooze ...


Posh's latest Hebrew tattoo gets pimped in Israeli press.

Lady Gaga waxes poetic over her new Rilke tattoo.

Ryan Gosling has a tattoo inspired by Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree." [Thanks, Scott!]

But I liked this bit:  Mickey Rourke and Sylvester Stallone show off their very real tattoos in their upcoming film The Expendables. Mickey plays a tough tattoo artist, drawing inspiration I'm sure from his own artist Mark Mahoney of Shamrock Social Club. Also read more about Stallone's tattoo work here.


More Quick & Dirty Links ...



flag tattoo man.jpg
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