Sunday 8 February 2015

Tattoos; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As I have said before, I am a big fan of piercings and I admire most of the body art that I come across. However, there are some tattoos that I would happily have done, and some that I wouldn't even imagine having on my body.

I prefer small, discreet
tattoos. I find them much nicer than big tattoos, with the exception of a sleeve tattoo (if it's done well). My favorite animal is an elephant (don't ask me why!). So if i were to get a tattoo, one similar to this would be my first choice ! My mum is planning on getting a tattoo of a small infinity sign with a 'N' on either side, one for 'Niamh' and my little brother Nathan.

One of the worst things that can happen is that the tattoo artist makes a spelling mistake or messes up a detail in the tattoo. It completely ruins the tattoo, and makes you look kind of stupid!

A perfect example of an ugly tattoo would be Rebel Wilson's one in 'Bridesmaids'. It was done by a 'guy in a van', so that pretty much indicates how awful it is!

What does your tattoo mean?

Unless you are one of the select few who gets a random tattoo with no significance whilst drunk in Magaluf, your body art will most likely have a 'deep and meaningful' significance.

Ganesh: Ganesh is the elephant-headed Hindu deity. He is known to remove obstacles and create new beginnings.

Single Fallen Feather: A feather is usually a symbol of birth loss, and sometimes luck.

A Rose: Roses can symbolise beauty or love. 

Hearts: Hearts are one of the most popular tattoo designs. They are the most common symbol of love and passion towards someone or something.

Having said all of that, tattoos mean something different to each individual.  These are just some of the common meanings of popular tattoo designs but yours may mean something very particular and specific to you.  

The Tech Behind the Tattoo

Having never even gotten a tattoo, I can not tell you how you will react to getting one. I am a big fan of piercings, however, and currently have ten.  Many of my friends have piercings too so I do know that each person's body reacts in a different way to piercings.  I believe that having a tattoo would be the same.  In both cases you are effectively damaging your body in order to get the body art that you want.  As with piercings, some people have no reaction at all, but others can experience reactions that are very severe indeed.  

I can tell you how tattoos are done, however.  Once you are in the most comfortable position to get your tattoo, the area of skin that you want to get it on will be cleaned using rubbing alcohol. Then the area will be shaved, using a new and disposable razor.  This is a crucial step, as even the finest hairs can cause problems.

After the skin has been cleaned, the tattoo artist will trace the design of your tattoo onto your skin, so that they know exactly where to tattoo. Ointment will be applied over the design so that it doesn't rub off and the needle will slide over the skin more easily.

Now for actually getting the tattoo! People who I've asked have said the first minute or two of the tattooing process are the most difficult and then you get used to the pain.  When the tattoo is finished, it needs to be treated just like a wound, so another layer of ointment will be applied over it to protect it from airborne bacteria. Then a bandage will be securely applied with tape.


This video clip shows a tattoo being done in slow motion. It may look scary, but they can't be that sore given the amount of people who have body art! 

Sunday 25 January 2015

Tattoo or not Tattoo?

People often assume that if you have tattoos, that you're a 'thug' or a 'druggie'. When looking for employment, this has proved to be a big problem. 

If you are looking for a job, managers in many industries may not hire you, not because of their opinions on visible tattoos, but because of what their customers might think.  This is becoming more of an issue as more and more people are getting body art. Although having a tattoo should have no baring as to whether you have to ability to do a specific job or not, there are many people who think otherwise. 

For example, in the UK recently, teaching assistant was sent away form her first day of her new job at a Catholic school because her arms and neck were covered in tattoos.  26 year old Charlotte Tumilty says that she was told the tattoos on her feet, hands and neck were unacceptable because the school is 'strictly Catholic' and the management felt the tattoos were 'inappropriate.  The fact that she had tattoos did not make her a better or worse teacher; however, it went against the ethos of the school.

There are certain professions that seem to take a more lenient view of people with tattoos, such as the music industry, fashion, sport and some parts of advertising etc. 

So the moral of the story is, that if you're thinking of getting a tattoo, be aware that, much to your disgust, it may preclude you from getting a job in certain professions. If you are still keen on getting a tattoo, make sure it is either small or out of sight!

Thursday 15 January 2015

Tattoos - To be Respected or Condemned?

The value of a tattoo varies greatly depending on culture and social status. Some societies see tattoos as an art form, while others brand it as a mark of criminality or 'stupidity'. Many of these views vary, depending on the time of their existence and the lifestyle of the person judging them, but the main question is, why are tattoos respected in some cultures and denounced in others?

Tattoos have been an art form for thousands of years. They're known to have as many different meanings as there are global cultures.
In some civilisations, tattoos are an indelible mark of tribe or prestige. They represent a passage from childhood to adulthood, or a significant event in the owner's life. Many people also use tattoos as a mark of their relationship with a family member or a significant other, but one of the most popular reasons to get body art is that it adds to the beauty of the owner.

Monday 12 January 2015

Hi, I'm Niamh and I'm blogging about the geography and origins of tattoos :)