This week I go from being perplexed over technology (remember the fiasco with my new MacBook Air) to being puzzled over tattoos. Nope, I don’t have one but it seems that Paul and I are about the only ones in the UK who don’t.
According to a survey done in 2010, as reported in The Guardian, one fifth of adults in Britain were inked. Three years later, informal research suggests that the number must be higher. It has to be.
I first noticed this tattoo boom while on holiday in Greece and then when we returned home, we saw that it wasn’t just English holidaymakers who flaunted tattoos or even a certain category of person, if you will. It was everybody—young, old, posh and not so posh and so on.
Samantha Cameron, the Prime Minster’s wife, and the likes of pro footballers David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, have one or two or three, and Joe Blow English on the street or in a restaurant has some also.
A close acquaintance of ours turned up with not only the two delicate designs on her hands that we had already seen, but also she had a new gigantic creation, on her thigh, featuring a skull and a rose. Charming, indeed. And I am not being sarcastic.
Then while visiting a private hospital in London, we noticed a consultant, sporting a tattoo on his arm.
Volume, however, is about the only thing tattoos or its industry, if you will, has in common with technology—it’s the in thing and as such is experiencing exponential growth, so much so that tattoo artists are strongly advising people not to get the ink done in back parlours. It could end badly.
Tattoos are applied with needles, though many who have them say it’s not too painful. Umm! Still, some have likened the process to self-harm. Maybe that is going a bit far but I can’t help but think: Ouch!
So, what’s the rage?
According to The Guardian’s article, celebrities might have something to do with it –they do set trends. Also, history might have a part in it. Tattoos are not a new thing; they go back a long way. For goodness sakes, Winston Churchill’s mother had one.
Nonetheless, I wonder if fiction might have a hand in in too. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, for instance, got folks dressing like Lisbeth. So why not be inspired by her tattoo?
Author Natasha Mostert features tattoos in her compelling read, The Keeper, a story about a man who has learned how to capture the chi, energy, of his opponents and kill them. Her heroine, a Keeper, a healer of sorts, is also a tattoo artist.
In any case, one expert on BBC Breakfast this week said that tattoos are not appropriate for everybody—lawyers, accountants, bankers and the likes.
Another guest, a tattoo artist, said these people are in on the trend too. They are more discreet about where their tattoos are placed and likely will be until tattoos become mainstream in their world, too.
At this rate, I suspect there will be a mass unveiling soon. In any case, the BBC’s guest tattoo artist advised against having your partner’s name needled on your skin. Just ask Halle Berry or Cheryl Cole.
Still, tattoos are on fire! But 75 per cent of those who get them say they regret it, according to a BBC stat on Ask Jeeves. Could this have anything to do with fleeting fads? Who knows?
Maybe that is just why I don’t have one. Rarely, do I get caught up into the hype about the in thing, the latest. It took me eons to get on board with the latest technology: iPhone, Ipad, MacBook, you name it.
So glad I did since Apple is boasting about having made the best laptop on the market. Good thing I got that logic board replaced. Still their rival Samsung is piping them at the post at every opportunity. The latest is the Galaxy smart watch. Interesting. Still, I think I’ll give it a miss—tattoos, too!