Look Boss! I’m plain, I’m plain!
I remember when tattoos were found only on sailors or Fantasy Island. Most of you are probably too young to get the reference, and most of you will probably have ink somewhere on your gym-honed bodies. I don’t. It just wouldn’t suit me. I couldn’t carry it off. But I kinda like the people who can carry it off. Good on them, I reckon.
Problem is: not everyone can. And not everyone’s a good judge of whether or not they can. And yet everyone seems to be getting inked these days. Everyone. Even those of us who shouldn’t.
If you know who you are, know what you stand for and want to express that by pricking your body with ink – go for it. I’m all for. You’ll find some cool, Tim Burton kind of way of way of making your calves or clavicle look ridiculously hot, and I will envy you from afar. Or wish I got to touch it. If you’re a bloke, then that sleeve (as long as it doesn’t look like an Archie comic, or include a portrait of your mum) or thing across your back (sans religious symbolism) will impress me. But I won’t be so hot on touching it. Admire from afar will do just fine, thank you.
But If you’re a messed up wreck, stumbling around in the dark night of your own life, desperate to find something about yourself to cling to: think again. Tattoos are not a good way to find yourself. The Pink Panther peering over the top of your undies could clash wildly with the tribal tramp stamp guiding your parter to your nether regions from behind. The quote from Dawson’s Creek? Sadly, I have come across each of these things on the flesh of an otherwise seemingly normal human being in the course of my relatively short lifetime.
Fit people carry it off better than most. Not surprisingly, tight skin can wear a tatt better than blubbery, pasty skin. Taut and tatted? Terrific. Inflated and inked? Icky. And likely to get worse over time – as you swell, your skin stretches and… ugh… suddenly your Pink Panther starts looking like the mangy feral cat that stalks rats in the city sewer.
As for the hotties? Well, I like something with meaning. A good quote (no Dawson’s Creek) or a symbol of some significance. If you a fourth generation Caucasian Australian who’s never set foot outside of Sydney – forget Aboriginal markings. Never been to the South Pacific? Then that swirly thing’s not for you. Chinese calligraphy? Sure – if you’re Chinese. Or at least you know what it says. What it really says. Just don’t get it done in Bali. Just… don’t.
Tonight was an unusually tatt free night at the gym. The young hotties must have all been out on the town (it’s Saturday), and it was left to the dowdies like me to hold the fort. We who missed the tatt boat, and who navigated our late teens and twenties predominantly with pubic hair…
But then that’s another whole blog post right there…
Tatt’s all folks.