Monday, August 29, 2011

"You can never be overdressed or overeducated."

     ~ Oscar Wilde

I asked a priest, before my first tattoo, whether to get one would be an appropriate thing to do. My priest reminded me that the body is a temple and encouraged me only to tattoo art that reflected the sacredness of the body. I've always attempted to follow his advice. Recently, as I'm in the process of designing my newest, and most public tattoo, I've heard a good deal of negativity about them: they indicate an immoral lifestyle, they indicate self-loathing, or lack of education. Women seem to get the brunt of the negative press. According to one radio host, tattoos on "the female" advertise a lack of faith, promiscuity, and and attempt to be unfeminine. I'm a little disturbed by the generalizations more than the negativity. I'm sure there are people who are tattooed for these reasons, is possible. I've never met such people, but I haven't met everyone, perhaps these sad people are out there. 

I can really only speak for myself. I love my tattoos, I love making the temple of my body as opulent as any cathedral. I love designing art that follows the lines of my body, that brings to light my passions, that creates a sense of the overall person I'm becoming, just as clothing, jewelry, make-up, and other additions do, only more permanently. Thanks to my art, I am unable to hide my faith, my passions, my attachments. I'm unable to become a chameleon, I'm forced to walk through that world as myself. Like the move to the land, my tattoos insist I live intensely, and fully. It is a lovely way to live, and an added benefit to the enjoyment of decking myself out in all the beauty I can hold.


  1. The female!!!

    No, I don't actually have anything to say but "good post;" just wanted to acknowledge the perverse incorrigibility of the fe-male.

    Silly fe-males!

    Dad sent us a whole bunch of photos of Yarrow looking confused and disdainful. I hope you're all doing well!

  2. Yarrow is less confused and more should have seen the look she gave Luba the other day, while Luba was trying to lick her face.

    I'm glad you liked the post! I thought of doing on just "the tattoos on the female" but tattoos in general seemed more the issue.

  3. There's something about our western culture that sees tattoos in a negative light; I don't know why.

    I don't want tattoos because they're too permanent for me. I think this relates to my ever-changing "style" in dress, hair, and makeup. Some days I want to be prim. Some days I want to be punk, or preppy. Some days I'm all-out Bohemian in Ecuadorian linen and hoop earrings. But I'll never let anyone tell me I can't wear any of this with my chapel veil to Mass!

    Anyways, I find henna a suitable and super-fun tattoo alternative, and it. Smells. Good.

    If I were going to get a tattoo, though, I really think it would be writing more than pictures. Probably Hebrew or Tolkien's Quenya, with a phrase or sentence that has shaped so much of who I am that it's hardly more than a frame or highlight, having it inked into my skin.

  4. They are permanent - one of the few permanent things I'm really comfortable with (besides marriage, I guess). But I know what you mean about text being the ideal ink - I've plans to limit my future ink to mehndi designs and meaningful quotes.

    But henna is amazing! I love the smell and the whole process of being painted!