By Miss Pollyanna, 20th March 2017

Tattoo Tired

Quit Seeking my Approval for your Latest Inking!

Quit Seeking my Approval for your Latest Inking!

I’m tattoo tired. So Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (or whatever she is calling herself nowadays) got a bouquet of roses inked onto her derriere? Yawn. So David Beckham has another sign/symbol/quote/picture of his son, daughter, wife tattooed on his arm, leg, stomach, back, neck? I’m not sure I really want to explore any further.


Hang on a minute. Cheryl being listed in a blog before Becks? What’s going on?

I’ll blame the indifference.

I’m Team Tatt Tired.
Because really, who cares? We have made tattoos as conventional as putting on a pair of jeans or painting our lips with the latest shade of pink. So why all the constant fuss about them? Why all the look-at-my-latest-inking-and-give-me-some-attention-but-don’t-even-dare-to-criticise-it-or-I’ll-bite-your-head-off?

me and the syssop
me and the syssop

Isn’t that just proof enough that tattoos are an attention seeking affliction? A metaphor for the unhappy childhood/controlling parents/bullied school years/unfulfilled desire to be a boxer?

And don’t start on about the tribal thing either. I knew that was coming. I can read you lot like a book.

Okay, maybe I was slightly over-exaggerating there, and goodness knows people bare flesh for needle for quite the sweetest and most emotive of reasons, particularly after the death of a loved one. I cannot dispute that. And look, I totally understand we are all very different. And I am sure there are gazillions of you getting really enraged at my disdain right now, screaming at your screens because your tatts have other significant meanings for everything important you have overcome from A-Z. I even get that.

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But I just find them the biggest turn off in history. Bright or ‘beautiful’, great or small.

And where will it ever stop? When will the first photos of our tattooed babies and pets start doing the rounds on Facebook? We’re already giving our children those icky fake tattoo transfers.

Blast 707 Photography
Blast 707 Photography

Well, not in my house. And don’t you even think about buying them for my children’s birthday present!

But you know what? I suspect many people out there actually do agree with me, but, because we all fear having our heads bitten off by Team Tatt, instead we feign delight when our friend, family member or a complete stranger unveils their latest design.

Tattooed Friend: ‘What do you think of my snake slithering up my rose bush with the sword pierced through its tail?’

Miss Pollyanna: ‘Um.  Honestly? Not really my cuppa…’

Tattooed Friend: ‘How very dare you! It’s a symbol for strength and unity. The roses symbolise new life and the snake is the ability to overcome all challenges!’

Miss Pollyanna: ‘Why didn’t you just do a bungee jump? Get all of this needing to prove yourself out of your system? Or hypnotherapy? A Self-Help book maybe?’

Tattooed Friend: ‘You what!? Oh my God! I sooooooo can’t belieeeeeve that you had the audacity to talk to me like that! That’s it. This friendship’s through.’

And if we don’t fake our approval, the above conversation – or a stronger permutation thereof – is exactly the kind of result we can expect.

Whereas, let’s re-play said scenario out with a new top:

Friend with new top: ‘So, what do you think of my new top? I got it yesterday in the sale.’

Miss Pollyanna: ‘It’s not that I don’t like it. I just think – since you’re asking me to be honest – the peplum frill isn’t quite working with your curves and it’s a little too pale for you. If you wore it in red, and a more fitted version, well, then we’d be talking!

Friend with new top: ‘Humph. Yeah. I guess you have a point, but well, I’m wearing it now so let’s see how I feel in it today. I can always take it to the charity shop, or pass it on to Joanna. She carries pastels well.’

And there we have it. That’s what I’m talking about.

Why is it we get our heads bitten off for giving our honest opinion about the tattoo, but the same doesn’t apply to the top? Could it be something to do with the fact you can only take the top to the charity shop, and the tatt, well, you’re kind of stuck with it?

We profess that both are fashion statements, the freedom to express ourselves by wearing our art, not hanging it, after all. By we, I mean you, of course…

And as for me, I think that Team Tatt has to stop taking things so personally. Team Tatt has to stop looking for the reassurance. Do the un-tattooed among us feel the need to parade our replica of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and that gorgeous little oil painting of the beach in St.Ives where we holidayed in 2007 around with us like some kind of full time gig?

We’re secure in our skin. We should all be secure in our skin. It’s beautiful. Just the way it is. Like when we were babies.

Porsche Brosseau
Porsche Brosseau

How could that ever be improved upon with a squiggle of calligraphy, or a full on portrait of the ex? If we thought we needed improvement in the first place, then it’s my hunch that we joined Team Tatt to mask that lack of self-esteem. But you know what? No amount of tattoos is going to resolve that. It comes from within.

Hell, I’m never going to dream I could change the views of the world with a blog on my non-penchant for the dreaded tatt. But not all the world is as enamoured as the tattoo artist’s fashion victim. So next time you ask someone you presume to be a Team Tatt sheep, think again, be prepared for the disagreement. Don’t assume we see your latest quote from a movie added to your back as art. There was a reason the pencil and paper were invented. 

I don’t have many controversial topics up my sleeve, so grant me this one vice. This is my biggie.

And I don’t have any decent way to sum up this ramble of my musings other than I sometimes wonder if the world has gone completely crazy. Has Team Tatt considered the amount of chemicals they’ve allowed to be pumped into their collective organ of skin? Did Team Tatt ever wonder if they’d one day stop supporting Man United, fall out of love with Gary/Tarquin/Gina and Tegan? Did Team Tatt ever contemplate the gorgeousness that will one day be the combo of tatts and sagging skin?

As one lady so neatly put it in response to a pro-tattoo meme on Facebook the other day: Invest in some face paints you nutters; they wash off!


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