Tattoos and Judgement

10 Tattoo Cliches to Avoid at Any Cost. 

I saw this Matador Article and it bugged me. Unfortunately comments were closed, but hey, here I have my own personal venue for any comment I want. Yay!

I grew up with parents who absolutely hate tattoos. They still do. My mom constantly will say stuff along the lines of, “Oh, that outfit would look so great but it’s ruined by that tattoo.” For me personally? I’m absolutely terrified of needles so sticking a bunch into me is a no go. I’ve seen some I don’t really get, and some I think are beyond beautiful. My upbringing was shaken when I started travelling for more reasons than tattoos, but I remember one incident… not incident… happening? in especially great detail.

I was working in Italy and one of my new co workers had a ton of tattoos- I think he’s actually a tattoo artist now. I had my parent’s definition of ‘sketch’ people, and so I kind of kept my distance a bit until we ended up drinking on the beach in a group and I mean, man. This guy was the nicest person ever, and a brilliant musician. He was sweet, inclusive, and had such a strong sense of self. I remember the next day he was wearing a shirt for some tattoo shop that had tattooed pigs and said, “take pride in your hide.”

I still don’t know why, but that stuck with me.

Your skin is your story. Whether it comes from tattoos, piercings, scars, or even the unique genetic map that gives you your colouring.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Matador. Hell, I’ve written for them. Twice! But I’m baffled that they printed this piece. Judging and shaming people really doesn’t seem like something you want your brand associated with. Especially since travellers tend to be pretty open-minded…

It also really made me think of the portrait of Te Pehi Kupe. Two pictures, housed in a book in Canberra

Te Pehi Kupe was a Maori chief during the British takeover of New Zealand. In Maori Culture tattoos are important. They symbolize your status and your family history… and probably a lot more that I don’t know about.

On the left we have John Henry Sylvester’s portrait. It de-emphasizes the tattoos and instead shows his hair, english clothes… On the right is Te Pehi Kupe’s self portrait. He did this without a mirror. What was important to him was all about his tattoos that our Matador author has labeled “cliche”.  Makes you think about it differently, no?

What do you think? Was this article as out of line as I took it to be?

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Tattoos and Judgement

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