Sunday, October 11, 2015

Some of us we have tattoos

The other day I was standing outside my local tattoo shop, having a smoke with Chris, my artist. We were half way through a 7 hour sitting on my new piece. I had my shirt sleeve rolled back and my arm cling-wrapped to protect the unfinished tattoo. We were minding our own business, just shooting the shit when a woman came up to me, pointing angrily at my arm. She then proceeded to launch into a sermon of bigotry and berate me for ‘defacing my body’. Telling me how awful she thought tattoos were in general and mine were in particular.

My finished piece.
 Red, swollen and awesome
I let her finish and then I politely told her not to worry about it as I didn’t get my tattoos for her, I got them for myself. She stormed off muttering something I didn’t catch. Chris just smiled and shook his head. I guess he has seen it all before, but I was kind of taken a-back. I am not what I would describe as heavily tattooed and this was the first time I had personally experienced open hostility towards my own ink. I have however from time to time seen the disapproving glances and even overheard the odd judgemental comment aimed at my niece and her beautiful tattoos. 

I find this kind of behaviour incredibly rude and obnoxious. So here’s a quick heads up for anyone still living in another century. You really do need to get over your outdated prejudices. People with tattoos are not all convicts or drug dealers or thugs. It is now estimated that one in five people here in the UK have a tattoo. That number rises to one in three for those under the age of 24, so perhaps you had better get used to the idea of seeing them around, or maybe you should just keep your dirty looks to yourself and try to understand that other people's art has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with you. Either way, accosting strangers in the street and voicing unsolicited opinions on their personal life choices is not acceptable. In fact, judging people by the colour of their skin has never been acceptable. Most of the world stopped doing that shit a very long time ago.