Monday, June 11, 2007

So the hubs and I were discussing tattoos last night.

It's actually something we've discussed quite a few times. I have two tats already, but got the last one about twelve years ago. The urge to get more just didn't really least not until a couple of years ago, at which point I couldn't afford one. (In large part I moved away from them because I got mine a year or so before everyone started getting them, which made it unappealing.)

Not to mention, after the one on my ankle which I no longer like, I want to be very, very certain before I get another.

Hubs doesn't have any tattoos. He's been talking pretty much since we got together about getting one, but like me he doesn't know what. My suggestion of having my name tattooed on his ass don't seem to be going anywhere (they're tongue-in-cheek anyway. Ba dump bum.)

Right now he's thinking of getting a hula girl of some kind (he's a little obsessed with the whole tiki thing). We found one on this site last night that he likes, but may all be a moot point.

Me, I always wanted a white tattoo, but nobody would do it. They said the white might bleed or fade. Which pissed me off, because I always thought, it's my body and if the white ends up looking kind of crappy it's down to me, isn't it? I didn't want a mural or anything. Besides, take a look at (Not Safe For Work!! Naked boobies!! Tasteful naked boobies, but boobies nonetheless) this and tell me that's not gorgeous. It's so subtle and elegant.

You can get similar results through (pic shows lady in bra) scarification (a more fully healed, and really cool-looking, one is (bare male torso) here--I think it's absolutely stunning.)

That process, and the subtlety of the results, interests me, but I think I'm probably way too much of a coward. Apparently some people do it by using an inkless tattoo needle, which is probably the only way I'd have the guts.

I wonder, though, what drives us to get tattoos? Is it self-expression or is it some sort of deep need to "personalize" our bodies in a world where we so often feel lumped in with everyone else, where it seems the opportunities to lead an individualistic life are fewer and fewer?

The hubs and I are fans of an old BBC comedy called The Good Life, about a married couple who decide to "drop out" of the ratrace, convert their backyard into a small farm, and live in a completely self-sufficient manner. It's a lovely and very funny show...and it would be impossible today, even if it was possible then. Homeowner's associations now tell you everything from how often you have to cut your lawn to what colors you're allowed to paint your house--the house you own.

The Black Dahlia killer removed Elizabeth Short's tattoos--why? She was identifiable without them. What did they symbolize to him, why did he need, as he destroyed her body, to remove her individualism as well?

What do you think? Are tattoos still a form of rebellion? Do you ever write characters with tattoos? What do you think a tat or even a brand or scars might say about a character? And what would you think if you read such a character?

Do you have any tattoos yourself?


Scary Monster said...

Me thinks that there be as many reasons for getting a tattoo as there be tattoos themselves.

Me got six of them all fer different reasons but, me be thinking that maybe they be a way of chronicling me adventures and experiences. Two of me tats have white accents on them and me believes that white work is a cool thing. it also looks good when you get a tan, you don't have to worry about using sun block to keep the ink from getting damaged.

These days, everyone and their second cousin has some ink, so if there is going to be a character with a tattoo, me would like for it to add some mystique to the person. Not be flashed or displayed like a neon sign.

P.S. iffin ya want to see the ink me be sportin just send me an e-mail. Me be workin on a post about ink and not be ready to post them on me blog quite yet.

kis said...

Lots of my characters have tattoos--it's a status thing. Kind of like, instead of a certificate at the end of their training, they get a tat instead. Only a few have them for purposes of body decoration or whatever.

I love that white lace tattoo, it's something I might have got before the last kid stretched my skin out and left me with a saggy roadmap for a belly. If I got something now, it would be a replica of a USB port in the back of my neck, or something, just to be funny. You can get into trouble when you're overly serious about it, cause if the art isn't wonderful it can come out looking cheesy.

But at this point, I think any tattoo or piercing on me would be seen as some pathetic attempt to reclaim my youth. The most individualistic thing I could do now would probably be to wear cardigans and comfortable shoes--nothing sadder than someone in their thirties who shops in the teen section. Think I'll stick with my cowboy boots and a good pair of dungarees torn and scuffed by honest work. Leave the body art for the young'uns.

Robyn said...

I have enough body art now. They're called stretch marks.

littlebirdblue said...

I have friends with glow-in-the-dark tatoos, but to me, they just looked white (like your photos).

Anonymous said...

Those white tattoos are stunning, but I think the design is the larger part of the appeal. I'm not sure a white flaming eyeball would have the same effect.

I have three. The first I got at 18 when I lost a ring. I had it tattooed to my finger so I can never lose it again. The second and third I got at the same time. Both are symbols of me. There was an appeal in the taboo of the tattoo at the time, now I just like the decoration. I don't have to wear jewelery. I want more, but don't know any artists who will do them at home super cheap anymore, and The Man is not fond of them.

As for Robyn's comments about stretch marks, a childless friend of mine likened them to a warrior's battle scars, and insisted I wear mine proudly. Fine in theory, but I'm still glad they are all coverable by my bikini.

Rebecca said...

aahhh - I LOVE The Good Life too!
Watching it always tempted me to become more self -sufficient (for about one second)

Tattoos - ouch! I am such a baby.

Cora Zane said...

December, I thinks male characters with tattoos are sexxxy, and I feel that same way about many men in real life that have tattoos.

As for personal digs, I have two tattoos - one of those I completely hate. I got them right before tattoos started getting popular, and I didn't choose tiny tattoos either. One is a Brian Froud fairy - which I love, and the other is a bundle of roses. I'm not sure what possessed me to get them, I was about 17 at the time, but they are definitely a part of me.

As for the white tribal tattoo... gorgeous! I honestly didn't know you couldn't get a solid a white tattoo. I remember about 15 years ago, a woman came into the local tat shop (I worked as a nanny for the biker family running the place) and she got a daisy chain around her ankle that was predominantly white. I helped her choose the design, and remember it was small and had no black outline... so it was all solid and shading. I don't know what it looks like now, of course, but it looked fantastic the day she got inked.

Anonymous said...

I have no tattoos, but I do plan to get one. Have you been to my web page? I want the crescent moon with the rune between my shoulder blades.

As for "decorated" characters, I realize I haven't use a lot of decorated people. Whether it means the person is a rebel or not, I'm not sure. It's still a statement. I'm sure some my character should be tattooed I just don't believe I've mentioned it. I honestly don't do a lot of character describing.

BernardL said...

I guess the one you don't like on your ankle didn't do much to discourage you from other permanent artistic endeavors, so I only add this caution: picture your daughters questioning you about your artwork when they reach the usual age of intense rebellion. The circle of life can be a hellish thing, D. :)

December/Stacia said...

My goodness, I neglect my comments for a day and look what happens. Oops!

SM, speaking of attoos and sunscreen, did you hear about the woman whose body is covered with tattoos, even her face? She's one of those people who are allergic to sunlight (or whatever the technical term is) and burns to a crisp after a few minutes. But she realized after getting a tattoo that the tatted skin didn't burn. So she tattooed her whole body and face. (I googled for pictures or an article but couldn't find it.)

As for the pics, I'd love to see them, but if you're doing a blog post I can wait. I'll show you mine if you show me yours. ;-)

December/Stacia said...

Oh, kis (and Robyn) I so hear you on the saggy roadmap belly. My stretch marks aren't coverable by a swimsuit of any kind, sadly. It's a good thing I never really liked swimming anyway.

Yeah, I've had that thought, about being too old. That is one thing I think that'd very different about England; women of all ages wear dreads and color their hair and get tattoos. But it is why I want the next one, if I do decide to get one, to really mean something.

I hear you on the teen section, but I've always worn cardigans. I love them.

December/Stacia said...

I thought about those, LBB, but I thought the glowing might freak me out a little bit. :-)

Lol Seeley, no, a white flaming eyeball wouldn't work. I always wanted a little white infinity symbol or sigil of some kind on my upper arm. For years I tried to find an artist who would do it. Grrr.

I love the rings tattooed on. I think I'm too chicken to do it to my wrists or hands but I do think they look cool.

And yeah, your childless friend is full of shit.

Rebecca, Margo is one of my heroes. I adore her. I want to be her when I grow up. :-)
The tat on my shoulder didn't hurt much. The one on my ankle did.

December/Stacia said...

You know, Cora, sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't have to be older before getting inked. I don't know what possessed me to get the ankle one (it's this punk equality symbol) except that I was, well, a punk, and all of that. It's actually not the tat itself I hate so much as the location. It makes my ankle look fatter, and I have pretty ankles.

Nope, I tried for ages to get one and nobody would do it. :-( One day...

Oooh, Michele, very nice! You know, now that I wrote that post I realized I do have two tattooed heros, both of whom have them because they're symbols of something. One's is the symbol of his family, the others is a badge of his Big Warrior Strength. But aside from those, it just never occurred to me.
My hero is Black Dragon is massively scarred though. To the point where I worry if CP wants to give the book a bare-chest cover, because since I think they would pay attention to accuracy it might put readers off...what do you think?

December/Stacia said...

Aah, yes, Bernard, the "one day you'll have kids just like you" gambit. Nyah.

I actually don't think I would mind if my girls decided to get them, as long as they got decent stuff and not, like, on their chests or faces. :-)

Good point though...

December/Stacia said...

Oh, and SM, I forgot--nobody generally sees mine unless I deliberately show them (another reason I hate the ankle one). I agree, it should have some mystique about it.

Vicki said...

I've been thinking about tat's for a while now but don't know what I want. I've done the fake ones on my ankle to see if I liked it there and although I did like it I didn't like what I choose after a couple of days.

I have lots of friends with them and do like theirs but for now I'm still looking trying to find "the one" that I want forever. :)

I've linked to you on my blog. I actually found you through Erica's blog and oh yeah, now have another one to read each day. :) Gotta love the blog world.

Bernita said...

No tattoos.
I have a birthmark on my leg - that's enough.

Demon Hunter said...

Cool, December. I used to think about tattoos, but I changed my mind. Too permanent for me. The only body mod I had was my eyebrow ring in college before "everyone" got one. I don't have it anymore.

Karen Erickson said...

I want to get a tattoo, I really do. But I want to find something I love before I have it etched into my skin for all eternity. So now I'm on th search...

Love those white ones! They're beautiful. I'd love to have something done around my wrist or ankle but I dunno. What if I end up hating it?

I did just pierce my nose, which I've wanted for years but never got up the guts to do. I like it. A lot. My husband thinks I'm crazy but I don't care. ;)

December/Stacia said...

Welcome Vicki! Thanks for the comment and link--I plan to do some updates this weekend on my links list. :-)
Yep, as I said above, deciding what you want is the hardest part. Choose wisely, Dr, Jones.

Is te birthmark in an interesting shape, Bernita? :-)

They are indeed permanent, Demon Hunter, which really does suck big time if you decide you no longer like it, or didn't really like it to begin with. Removal is apparently painful and expensive.

I always liked eberow rings, but my favorite was the septum piercing, if the ring worn was little and delicate.

December/Stacia said...

Hi there, Karen! I had my nose pierced for a while--I ended up letting it close when I had a job where I couldn't wear it. It kept getting infected having to take the ring out and put it back in all the time so...I kind of miss it though.

But then, one of my kids probably would have torn it out when they were babies anyway. :-)

Anna J. Evans said...

Hey girl,

I've got a tattoo of the nickname my dad called me "sugar foot" (I'm from the south and apparently emerged from the womb dancing, hence the nickname). I got that in honor of the 3rd anniversary of his death. I still love it.

I got my first tattoo on my right hip. It's a sun and a moon kissing. i picked it out when I was 14, and waited to get it inked until I was 18 because my mom promised to go get a tatoo withe me if i waited until I was of age and still wanted the same one. I did, and I still love it. Getting tattooed with my mom was a great experience too. We had so much fun. I hope to drag her to another parlor when I'm 30 and she's 60. I think it would be a hoot.

I want more tattoos, too. I just started a conversation about this with the hubby two nights ago at dinner. i want something at the back of my neck I think...a desire brought on by rebellion from suburuban mommyness I think, lol!

great topic, love the white tattoos, the scars are just gross, my humble opinons :)

Anna J. Evans

EA Monroe said...

Did you know my maiden name is Short? Yep. I'm Elizabeth Short! The truth! Umm... I always have this adversion to traveling to Los Angeles!

Tattoos were only legalized in Oklahoma last year -- the last state to hold out. Rebellion? I'm wondering if it's more of a form of rebellion these days not to have tattoos!

I don't have any tats, but like Bernita I have a birthmark -- a strawberry triangle on my butt cheek.

ERiCA said...

I hear ya... I have 2 as well. I still lurve the one on my ankle, but the one on my shoulder? Teenage stupidity. It's been a decade since I got the last one and so far the urge has not returned. That white tribal tattoo photo looked pretty killer, though...

P.S. You're a winner!

McKoala said...

I'm tattoo-free. Always worried about choosing something totally crass that would immediately go out of fashion and make me look even older and more haggard than I am. Like Bernita, I have a birthmark - in the middle of my right knee. All summer I have to assure people that I didn't fall over. You've got me wondering if I could have that covered/changed by a tattoo. Painful spot, though, I would think. Bony.

December/Stacia said...

Lol, I totally hear you on the subruban Mommy rebellion, Anna! I wonder if that's where part of it comes from for me too.
I didn't know you had any, so you'll have to show me when we finally meet up. :-)

Hey ea! I can imagine LA might be uncomfortable for you. I've actually always wondered about her tattoos and why her killer removed them. Don't know if she interested you because of the name, or if because of it you stayed far, far away. :-)
Aaaw to the little birthmark!

Hey, Erica! You know I saw that yesterday but forget to go back and comment, thanks! Mine are on my shoulder and ankle too, but I'm the opposite. Hate the ankle still love the shoulder. :-)

December/Stacia said...

I would imagine the knee would be quite painful, McKoala. I know the shoulder was a breeze, even with all the fill-in (it's a lizard) but the ankle hurt like a bitch. It's something to do with how thin the skin is or something too. I went with a friend once while he got one on his chest--a big one--it came really close to his nipple and I know he was REALLY in pain while they were doing that part.