Friday, November 1, 2013

On the subject of ink...

I first considered getting a tattoo when I was about 14 years old. I was going through my rebellious stage and was an avid fan of L’Oreal’s blue hair highlighters and faux-snakeskin trousers (I cringe just thinking about it). I thought about it long and hard and decided that it wasn’t even a matter of wanting a tattoo, it was a matter of needing a tattoo (especially given my sister had some serious tattoo artistry done a few years earlier). At the time I had decided that out of the entire flora and fauna catalogue I would choose a spider which was to be placed on my right ankle. Decision made. I was prepared to put up a good fight when I went to my dad to ask for funding for this important project. To my amazement, surprise and disappointment dad didn’t seem at all shocked or bothered by my idea and said he didn’t mind as long as the aforementioned or any other tattoo would not somehow find its way to either of my shoulders (“because that would be a bit vulgar”). That was a bit of anti-climax because how is that cool and rebellious when your parents are not shocked by it?! In hindsight it was probably a case of my parents using reverse psychology but I didn’t end up getting the tattoo in the end and shortly after I was shipped off to the Land Down Under so it was probably a good thing given my new school (read: prison) didn’t even feel comfortable with lip gloss let alone tattoos.

My memory fades at my old age but I think I may have had a relapse around the age of 18 after graduating from school but my tattoo ponderings were categorically quashed by my BFF who claimed that she would basically defriend me (in real life that is… since these were pre-Facebook days) had I gone ahead with the tattoo. At the time we were both living on the Gold Coast which is basically Australia’s miniature version of LA… except at times quite trashy. So majority of tattoos that we were exposed to were the ones of Southern Cross or Dolphins or Butterflies – sometimes all three… that lived on the backs, shoulders, boobs and hips of jolly girls who liked dancing on tables at Shooters /The Drink/Melbas bar (I was up on those tables right next to them, sans the ink).

The next few years after that the tattoos didn’t cross my mind as I was too busy graduating from uni, finding a job, hating the job, moving to London, changing the job, having the time of my life until this year I started getting dangerously close to a particular age milestone and started compiling (as you do) my ‘bucket list’ for the next 10 years. So the ink crept back into the list of things to do. But now that I’m older and wiser – I decided that it is not something to be taken lightly.

I decided to ask around and see what people think about tattoos these days (especially given that every man and his dog’s friend has one). The responses varied but the underlying message was ‘don’t do it!’

Here is a random sampler of opinions:
·         Don’t do it – you are not a rockstar (from anonymous friend – btw thanks for clarifying that because I had totally forgotten that I wasn’t a rockstar…duh)
·         Don’t do it – you will regret it one day… probably on your 50th birthday
·         Don’t do it – we will not be friends if you do (from my photographer/blogger friend! Wtf! Aren’t creatives meant to be the open minded ones?!)
·         Don’t do it – you are having an identity crisis, it will pass (from a drunk friend who arguably is also having some kind of a crisis)
·         Do it!!! – girls with tattoos are sexy, how soon do you think you can get it done?! (from a former romantic interest)
·         Do it… – I have 6, its not big deal – shall I come with? I’ve been thinking about a 7th (from a friend who is an associate director at an investment bank…go figure...)
·         Do it… – I will pay for it if the tattoo has a reference to Miley Cyrus in written or pictorial format (my ex-boss who thinks he is hilarious)
·         Errmm – haven’t we been through the tattoo stage already? Oh wait…that was me… (from my sister)
I must say the only comment that really made me question was the one about my 50th birthday… I mean at the moment it’s not even a hypothetical possibility that I will ever be 50 years old… but then again a few years ago 30 years old wasn’t really an option but now its becoming unsettlingly (did I just make up a word?!) real.   

So basically to wrap this up… I still haven’t made up my mind about the whole thing… mostly because I’ve been thinking a lot about what it may be (it will be writing I know that much) and I have not been able to come up with any sentence, word combination or picture that I would be comfortable carrying on my skin for the rest of my life. Just thinking back to my ‘spider’ days – I thank my lucky stars for not having to spend the money to get that insect removed from my ankle… It all seems like a great idea at the time but can you carry it proudly when you are of the elegant age???

p.s. here is a little picture of the gorgeous Pernille who’s Nordic style I absolutely adore – she has a sneaky ink bracelet on her wrists which comfortably blends in with the rest of her jewellery (snapped by me at PFW outside Grand Palais in September this year)