Sign your name across my skin

I’ve never really got the fascination with tattoos. It seems to me a very extreme (and permanent) way of expressing how you’re feeling at that exact moment, but doesn’t really take into account how you might feel in years to come. After all, over the course of a lifetime names come and go, ideas and trends change and something that might be considered cute and girly at 18 will probably look downright stupid at 50. tattooconventionberlin2007

And surely the effects of gravity on skin is not a tattoos friend? That bright and delicate flower you might have on your shoulder when you’re young enough to think it’s a good idea, will surely just become a faded pile of squiggles around your mid drift when you’re old enough to know better.

I’m not sure if my aversion to being drawn on is my reluctance to have someone shoot ink into my skin with a needle, or because I have absolutely no desire to have something covering my body that in a few years I would no doubt regret. More than likely it’s probably because even at 34, my mother would still kill me.

Whatever the reason, I have managed to reach this point in my life with a completely ink free body. Not a Tweetie Pie, Celtic cross or a initialed heart is to be found on any inch, nook or crevice of my being.

It was the girl in front of me in the spinning class yesterday morning, that got me thinking about tattoos in the first place. She had children’s names (well I presume they were anyway) written in huge letters across the bottom of her back. It’s not that it looked terrible, it just seemed an odd thing to do. And a very popular thing to do, judging by the number of people walking around these days with the contents of a baby naming book etched on their skin. In fact an hour later I was in a Pilates class (yes, I was feeling particularly keen that day), and I noticed that two of the woman contorting like pretzels on the mats in front of me were also listing their offspring – this time around their ankles.

I started to wonder if I was the only one who believed having their names on a birth certificates was no longer enough.

Now of course I can completely understand the idea of celebrating your kids. But wouldn’t a t-shirt, or a photo frame do? Do you really need to wear their names on your skin for the rest of your life to show how much they mean to you? Who knows, perhaps I’m an uncaring parent, but I can categorically say I have no wish to have so much as their initials on me, let alone their annual school photos tattooed all the way down my back.

I guess that’s something they’ll just have to live with. And perhaps discuss in therapy later. That said, I do however have a set of silver dog tags with their fingerprints on. These I can wear whenever I want – and take off whenever I want. Makes perfect sense to me.

Who knows, maybe there’s something about getting a tattoo that I just don’t get. Along with multiple earings, nose rings, tongue studs and bellybutton piercings. I’ll admit it does indeed sound like I have an issue with pain, but I’ve had two kids so it can’t be that. I think it just comes down to taste, and preferring my art hung up on the wall, rather than looking back at me in the mirror.


9 thoughts on “Sign your name across my skin

  1. Everybody alters their body and style in some way to express themselves–it’s a human thing; but not everybody wants to do it with body art, and that’s fine.

    With regard to your comments about sagging skin and not-so-cute at 50 tattoos, most tattooed people really don’t think that way. As a whole, I find that tattooed people are the most accepting of the entire range of body types, scars, and what have you, and just appreciate people for what they are.

    In terms of names, your children are the most permanent legacy you can have, and thus there’s no chance the names will ever be obsolete, unlike Winona Forever.

    1. Thanks for your comment, it’s great to hear another side of the subject!
      It’s lucky that people are so different, otherwise the world would be a very boring place indeed!

  2. Oh come on! When you do have to do things to “modify your body”, at least try something that makes you look better!

    Why do you need to do stuff that will make your kids scream in the middle of the night when they see you? Why try to look as ugly and dispicable as possible? This is stupid, it’s not normal, it’s not cute, it’s not just different – it’s dumb and it’s offensive to people with brains and morals.

    People like this expect everybody else to “accept them the way they are”! How ridiculous is that? They couldn’t even accept themselves as they were, for goodness sake?

  3. Again, a different viewpoint, but I wouldn’t be so blatant about your bigotry and fear if I were you. I have brains and morals, thank you. I am a professional women and a grandmother, very normal in appearance. I absolutely support the right of people to enhance their own bodies the way they see fit. I’m sorry if someone’s children’s name makes you scream in the middle of the night–maybe a cup of warm milk before bed.

    Are you telling me you don’t accept people who die their hair? Have rhinoplasty? Boob jobs? Braces? People, everywhere, enhance their appearance in some way. Just because you don’t like piercings or tattoos–, well, we don’t really care. Look the other way.

    1. Maybe people with your level of education don’t read so easy – I said “…at least try something that makes you look better!”

      If you modify your body to make it look better to everyone else, by all means go for it. If you tattoo ‘n swastika on your forehead don’t expect me to be nice.

  4. Leaving aside the fact that you have no way of knowing my level of education, everyone is entitled to make their own choices. In fact, because I am extensively scarred from a childhood injury, I feel my body art erases some of the stigma and poor body image I feel. Permanent art to counteract permanent scars.

  5. It is very interesting for me to read the post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Truly yours

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