Tattoo You

Summer is pretty much unofficially here and one of the first signs of summer is people wearing fewer clothes. Along with the usual offenses punishable by the fashion police, the lesser coverage also results in too much information about people’s bad tattoo choices. At the risk of inducting myself into the curmudgeon hall of fame, here is my advice for those of you of the female persuasion who have not learned to just say no to permanent body art.

• If you choose to do the barbed wire thing around the bicep (and didn’t that kind of lose its cache around 1995?), please make sure you actually have some muscle tone to go with it. And by the way, if you do not have good arm muscle definition when you are 30, the chance of you gaining this attribute as you age is little to none.

• I know you might think that Martin the Martian is completely retro and ironic and think it would be very cool to have him tattooed on your entire back (life size). That’s okay if you wear a something with a collar to the office. If you prefer to wear summer dresses that allow Martin’s antennae to peak out at your neckline, I think you have bought yourself some serious credibility issues if you are working at any job that does not requiring asking “would you like fries with that?” And think about this: even if your current career path is to be a DJ eventually you will be too old to have street cred in that profession and may need to take an office job. Just sayin’.

• About the tramp stamp: if Brittany Spears is your role model, go right ahead. At least in most cases you will not cause others to have to witness the folly of your artistic choices. However, if you are ever in need of a spinal epidural – say, maybe when you and Tyler decide to have a baby – that might be a problem.

• What can I say about the full sleeve? Clearly it indicates commitment and a good relationship with a tattoo parlour, but unless you are Kat Von D who is the only person on this planet who has made a career out of having tattoos, you are relegated to wearing long sleeves for the majority of your life, although your tattoo might make your bingo arms more entertaining for the rest of us.

• Although they say that no one gets a tattoo to make themselves look ugly, many succeed. Even Angelina is perilously close to this precipice. She is also the poster child for getting tattoos commemorating current main squeezes. Apparently the easiest thing to do when faced with the requirement to swap out Billy Bob for Brad is to transform the offending tattoo into something less objectionable. Note that this does not reduce the number of tattoos.

• And finally, Cher has publicly said she is in the long process of getting all of her tattoos removed. If Cher, who has probably had more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers, does not think her tattoos are an asset at 65, what makes you think you will not want to ‘turn back time’ to that youthful lark at the tattoo parlour and walk out the door.