Category: Tattooed Lady

So Cheryl got a new tattoo…

The media coverage around Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini toilet attendant thug * and her new tattoo made me chuckle.

First reaction – “OMG! Cheryl has a new tattoo on her cleavage, and we were so busy obsessing over her first official public appearance with the One Directioner in Cannes that we didn’t even notice!”

(in spite of the fact she was wearing a very low cut jumpsuit)

Cheryl cleavage tattoo

Second reaction – “What does Cheryl’s tattoo mean? Reports tell us it’s a Buddhist symbol for enlightenment, which would reflect her personal life, the breakdown of her second marriage, and her new relationship with afore mentioned One Directioner”

Or…

…maybe she just liked it?

Y’know, thought it would be a cool place to get a tattoo and found a design that would look nice.

Radical, I know.

People get way too caught up in the meaning behind tattoos.

Yes, it’s nice if they have a story and mean something to you. People get tattooed to commemorate times, places, events and people. They get tattooed to remember someone or to heal a physical or mental wound. And that’s great.

But it’s also OK to pick a design just because you like it. Just because it’s pretty.

What do your tattoos mean

I have “Dad” tattooed on my right hip. I did it last year because I wanted my Dad to know what he means to me while he’s still here, rather than waiting and getting a memorial tattoo when he’s not. That’s important and personal.

I also have a black rose on my left shoulder that I had done purely because I thought it would look lovely. It’s not personal but it’s still important.

Without casting aspersions on Cheryl, she has a bottom full of pink roses. Very well done pink roses, granted.

Cheryl bottom rose tattoo

But, with that in mind, does she really seem the type of person to adorn herself with a Buddhist spiritual symbol?

No.

And that’s perfectly fine.

I have another tattoo appointment tomorrow. I’m getting a flower mandala on the inside of my upper arm. Does it hold any personal meaning? Nope! But it will look pretty as hell!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

*I’m only teasing about Cheryl’s name and past, I actually quite like her. Well, as much as you can like someone who’s so pretty you actually want to cry when you see yourself in comparison ūüėČ

My latest tattoo

I got tattooed yesterday, as planned. And it frickin’ hurt! At times it felt like there was a flame on the back of my arm. I certainly breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.

Naively I hoped I’d get the whole piece done in one sitting. Even if there had been time I’m not sure¬†I could have handled it. But I’m absolutely thrilled with the result. Even though it’s hugely bruised and swollen, it feels like it should be there. Like it belongs. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, so I’ve already been visualising not having a naked arm anymore.

Here’s a picture, taken by my tattoo guy immediately afterwards when it’s all fresh and bloody (nice!)

Black rose arm tattoo

I have to wait until the end of May until my next appointment, which is a shame because I’m very impatient! I’m having a flower mandala, and I have the OK to use numbing cream! Apparently I’m not allowed to tell the chemist it’s for a tattoo, because they’re not supposed to sell it for that reason, so I have to say I’m having some injections.

Now I have the annoying couple of weeks of healing, where it goes tight, scabs up and itches like crazy. For someone who’s a natural born picker, the temptation to pull bits off is immense!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Tattoo Tuesday, some inspiration

I’m booked in for some tattoo work on Saturday. Major eek! I haven’t been tattooed for over a year and I feel physically sick at the thought of the pain. Every time I get some new work done, even if it hasn’t been very long since my last session, I’m convinced I’m not going to make it through. The first scratch of the needle, and the first 5 minutes or so of work, I have visions of myself having to tell my tattoo guy to stop.

Tattoospiration

It’s worse this time because I know that the positioning is going to , as I’m having some done on the inside of my upper arm. I don’t know anyone who says it’s not that bad there. Pinch your skin and you know it’s sensitive. Ouch.

Still, no pain, no gain and other such clich√©d sayings that really don’t help! I’ll grit my teeth, cry on the inside and rejoice when it’s over. I may even cheat a little bit and get some numbing cream.

I currently have a piece on my shoulder that has grown with time, and I want to extend it to a quarter sleeve.

Actually I want a half sleeve, or even a full sleeve, but there’s always the worry it might be detrimental to my career future, which is extremely annoying.

Here are the inspiration pictures I’ll be taking with me, and some of the styles I want to incorporate.

I love dotwork, if you look closely a lot of the design is made up from tiny little dots to create areas of shading.

One of my worries (because of my own paranoia, not the standard of my artist) is how the tattoo will “end”. I don’t want a border or anything final, in case I extend again in the future, and also because I think it can look a bit harsh. So I’m thinking maybe some filigree or decorative stuff which almost fades out to nothing and could be added to in future.

Ornate shoulder tattoo

I love the negative space of this one, although I have a feeling this is spray painted over a template, as a fashion tattoo.

Lace effect tattoo

These negative space ones are lovely too.

And I love mandalas, but worry that they’re currently “trendy” and might date, plus I’d be a bit of a fraud because technically they’re spiritual and I’m not.

I think my heart lies mostly with more black roses. The first tattoo I had on my shoulder was a black rose, and I love it to this day.

So, as usual, I’ll rock up on the day, thrust some ideas at my tattooist and hope for the best! Not a very technical approach, but better than being too overly set on the exact finished article and then not being 100% happy. I’m sure it will be great, once the swelling has reduced and my arm has stopped looking like a bloody animal carcass.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Are tattoos on women becoming more mainstream?

X Factor, whether you like it or not, is mainstream Saturday night TV. So it’s great that Rita Ora consistently shows her tattoos on the show.

Rita Ora tattooed bicep

Rita Ora tattooed wrist

OK, so Cheryl is known for having tattoos but, aside from the one on her hand, they’re generally hidden from view (what with her not getting her bottom out on TV, as much as I’m sure some people would like her to!)

Cheryl Cole tattooed bottom

Rita has quite a large and visible inking on the inside of her left bicep, as well as her right wrist, amongst others.

Not only that, I’ve recently noticed a tattooed McDonalds worker in their new advert. I can’t recall seeing any tattooed females in an advertisement before.

McDonalds advert tattooed girl

Tattooed males have been mainstream for quite a while, and represented positively in the media (not the bad boys they once were). David Beckham is lauded as a family man and ambassador for Great Britain and he’s extensively tattooed, including his hands and neck which at one time was for the realms only of the real hardcore of society. Most young boy bands have visible tattoos these days, with sleeves seemingly de rigeur. One Direction have a large collective collection of inkings and their fan base runs from very young girls through to fully grown women (although possibly for different reasons!)

In the past, public representation of tattooed females tends to be quite extreme – those who have a lot of coverage (like Jodie Marsh). It’s good to see a woman in a workplace on TV (I know she’s an actress, but even so).

One of my main bug bears has been the lack of tattooed models on everyday websites. ASOS, for example, uses a majority of tattooed male models (including, most recently, one with ink on his face) yet there never seem to be any women. This reinforces the stereotype that tattooed women are very much an exception, and can’t be used to sell an image or product. Why is that? Does it suggest that tattoos are off putting and undesirable? Strange, when beautiful women like Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie are inked.

So I was pleased to spot a couple of female fashion models with tattoos recenltly. Small, but it’s progress.

Boohoo featured this model on an eshot (note the not huge but nonetheless visible wrist ink).

Boohoo tattooed model

And H&M went all out with multiple ink locations, including fingers, on an email advertising party wear, no less!

H&M tattooed model

What are your thoughts on female tattoos? Are you offended by seeing them? Are tattooed men more “acceptable” than women? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Thanks. as always, for reading! x

Why don’t more women get more tattoos?

This is a ponder, rather than requiring a definitive answer.

When I was out last Friday I saw a girl, with long sandy wavy hair, tanned, pretty, wearing a maxi dress and sleeveless denim gilet. When she turned around, I was shocked that she had a full sleeve. Not shocked in an “oh my god, that’s disgusting” kind of way. But she didn’t look the type.

Daft huh?

I mean, what does “the type” look like anyway?

On the same night, my husband took this photograph of me.

Tattooed back

It’s not often I see how many tattoos I actually have (I mean obviously I know how many I have, because I commissioned all of them, but because of their position and me not being able to do an exorcist style headspin I don’t get to see them all). And I wondered how many people had the same thought about me? Were they surprised? Did they do a double take? Did they think that I was purposely trying to show them off with the top I was wearing? (that isn’t why I bought it, by the way, although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the effect).

If the girl I mentioned had been a boy, I wouldn’t have taken any notice at all.

I know a lot of it is down to pop culture. David Beckham is heavily tattooed and has made the look very much mainstream. Sure, there are people who are vocal about not liking his look, but in the main he’s classed as a handsome man with a fantastic career behind him, a sporting hero and a real family man (apart from the old Rebecca Loos phase). ASOS use many (in fact, mainly) tattooed models in their male section. Sports (I use that term lightly) like UFC, where men are pretty naked as they fight, showcase tattooed bodies. And, let’s face it, tattoos on blokes are now pretty “trendy”.

Name a heavily tattooed woman? You probably can’t. The first one that comes to my mind (excluding actual tattoo artists) is Jodie Marsh, and she’s not exactly someone to aspire to based on her past (can you say judgemental?!). Yes there are women who have tattoos (Angelina Jolie, for example) but not many of them, and certainly none with much coverage.

Maybe part of it comes down to clothing differences between genders. If a man is going to an event, or to work, where he may not want to show his tattoos for whatever reason, then he can easily cover up in a long sleeved shirt and trousers. If a woman is going to an event then it’s much more difficult. And while I have blogged before about my own appreciation of a glamorous woman with tattoos on show, I can’t say I would dress like that for a work function.

If I had a different life I would look different. I’d certainly like a half sleeve. I’d like finger tattoos. I’d like to look like any one of these cool ladies.

Tattooed woman

Tattooed women

Tattooed woman

But fear of judgement stops me in my current life. Because, despite equality and feminism and all the other great steps that womankind has supposedly made, I still believe that women with tattoos are judged negatively by many.

And that is why I think more women don’t get a lot of tattoos.

But to those that do? You’re awesome!

Tattooed glamour

Tattoos can, and do, get a bad rep. Potentially even more so on women. To judge a woman as a slut or stupid because she chooses to have ink on her body is ridiculous, but I have seen evidence of such accusations online. Recently a Facebook group called “Your Tattoos Make you a Horrible Mother” was received very badly – and rightly so. How physical appearance affects your ability to care and nurture is beyond me. Anyway, I digress.

One of the ways I love to see tattooed women is dressed up and glamorous. The contrast of the highly polished look with the edginess and often unexpectedness of inked skin is such a beguiling juxtaposition.

Although only temporary, Cara Delavigne embodied the look at the Met Gala this week.

Cara D

She’s received some criticism because they’re only temporary, but she does have real permanent tattoos as well so I think that’s perfectly fine. While I’m not a fan of hers, I do love that she’s strong willed enough to go down the permanent route, in spite of the fact her appearance is her job. It’s two fingers to convention, and doesn’t seem to have done her any harm. Plus, anyone who is promoting visible tattoos as completely ok is doing a good thing.

Here are some great images of glamorous ladies in all their inked glory.

Tattoo 1

Tattoo 3

Tattoo 4

Tattoo 6

Tatttoo 5

Tattoo retro 2

Tattoos obviously go with the territory when you’re a tattoo artist yourself.

Hannah Aitchison

Tattoo 2 Hannah Aitchison

Tattoo Hannah Aitchison

Kat von D

tattoo Kat Von D

Tattoo 2 Kat Von D

Megan Massacre

Tattoo megan massacre

Tattoo megan massacre 2

And of course the odd few celebs (using that term loosely when it comes to Jodie Marsh, obvs)

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library
Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Tattoo angelina jolie

Tattoo jodie marsh

And I adore these retro pin up styles

Tattooed retro Tattooed retro 2

Retro glamour is just cool full stop though – tattoos or not!

 

First tattoo

Yesterday I took my sister for her first tattoo. She asked me a while back if she was allowed to have one (not sure why I would be the point of approval instead of her parents?!) So I offered to pay for it as part of her 18th birthday present.

I’m a little wary of kids getting tattoos so young. A few of her friends already have numerous tattoos, obviously starting before the legal age. It’s kinda young to decide on something permanent, and I know my tastes are very different now than they were when I came of age. But she’d chosen a very simple and pretty design for her hip, which isn’t going to be cause for regret at any point.

20150328_150733

I had my first tattoo when I was 22. I’d wanted one for a lot of years, probably since I was around 17. I remember being in a shoe shop and seeing a girl bend forward and a tattoo being visible on the small of her back (now affectionately known as a tramp stamp). I thought it was fabulous! But still waited 5 years to get one myself. And then had it enlarged 3 times in quick succession.

After that, I didn’t get any more tattoos until I was married, 6 years ago. And what started as one nautical star on my left hip to signify¬†our marriage¬†has somehow grown; encompassing and overtaking the “tramp stamp”, extending up my side, and more recently across the top of my back. But the growth has been organic, measured and planned. As such I love my work and know that it’s truly representative of me. If anything, the weak spots are the original work I had done at 22/23, because it’s just swirly nice patterns, taking up prime skin real estate that I could now use for more meaningful pieces. Having said that, I don’t regret it, and that’s important.

My tattoo behaviour has definitely been affected by those around me. Not to say I’ve been influenced, but if I was in a relationship with someone who didn’t like ink then perhaps I would have less (or more likely, be single!) My husband and close friends have tattoos and it’s a common interest between us. I certainly have more than I ever thought I would, but for all the right reasons.

And maybe that’s why my sister wanted work done. Her boyfriend has tattoos, as do her Dad and our Mom. Asking me for permission was always going to be a yes, as saying no goes against my own appearance. And also, as old fashioned as it seems to tar tattooed people with the loser brush, the truth is that some people do judge tattooed people purely on their appearance.¬†She sees that I’m a professional person with a respected work persona and a career, despite what I look like on my days off.

I also had some work done while I was at the studio (it was actually my appointment in the first place, but I offered to share it with my sis). It’s too pink and swollen¬†to share at the mo, but it does signify the end of my most recent expansion.

Then again, I’ve said that before!

Here’s a topical tune from a band called L.U.S.T, from their 2010 album of the same name (it’s a great album)

Tattoos in the workplace – all the world’s a stage

On Tuesday night I went to see a production of Saturday Night Fever at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. I was surprised to see that the chararcter playing Tony Manero had tattoos on his back during one of the scenes where he took his top off, and also that the (female) club singer character had a full sleeve and back tattoos.

Why was I suprised? Well, firstly, because it doesn’t fit in with the 70s timescale of the production – especially not for the female actor. I guess I’d have thought they would be covered with make up. Or, maybe the actors would have been overlooked for the part because of their tattoos not fitting the character they were auditioning to play. Which, quite frankly, I’m very annoyed with myself for even contemplating.

I have tattoos. They’re mainly covered up and I planned them that way. I have a wrist cuff that is generally on show and I don’t even think about it anymore as it’s been there for so long, although in the beginning I was very conscious of it. Occasionally I’ll catch someone looking at it when I meet them for the first time. Not judging. Just looking. I work in a stuffy corporate environment which is very male orientated and I’m aware that most of the people in my office would think differently about me if they knew the extent of my tattoos. Which is really unfair. Yet here I am doing the same about the actors from the show.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m trying to say here. I guess it just shows that tattoo acceptance is still a long way off. That appearance is still the very first thing we see and that we make a judgement – even if it’s not a negative one – without even realising. I certainly wasn’t upset that the actors had tattoos. Surprised, yes, and even impressed. I think it’s fantastic that the show producers didn’t try to cover them in spite of the fact there would be people in the audience who would see it as a negative and judge their appearance accordingly. It’s fabulous that they were up there performing based on talent. I’m conscious that I will cover my wrist for upcoming interviews. I wish I didn’t feel I had to, but if I were to miss out on a job role a little part of me would wonder if that was anything to do with it. Yet there are circumstances where I wear my tattoos with pride; where I will dress to show them off.

Society is still such a judgemental place, and we have to be so many things to so many people that we often can’t be 100% true to ourselves all of the time. Rare is the person who’s worklife mirrors their homelife mirrors their social life. Maybe it’s just part of being an adult. Or maybe it’s part of being an individual – refusing to comply just because we should. Sticking two fingers up to the norm, so that we can be our own norm when the time is right.

Tattooed person Tattooed person 2

Tattooed person 3

Interestingly, when you search Google images for tattooed professionals in the workplace, there are barely any photographs of women.

By the way, the show was really good. Very talented crew – live musicianship on stage incorporated as part of the story gave it a different spin, stunning voices, and some really great dancing (as you’d expect). Considering they’ve been touring since December they were as fresh and sharp as if it were their first ever performance.¬† The Alex is a joy; still having that olde worlde intimate feel due it’s relatively small size.

Alexandra Theatre
Isn’t this a cool pic? I was wondering what the actors see when they’re looking out at the audience looking at them.
Alexandra Theatre 2
Out of curiosity I googled the female actor. Her name is Cici Howells and she plays numerous instruments including flute, clarinet, sax, oboe, guitar and trumpet. Her talent far far outweighs her physical appearance.¬†Here’s a photograph of her in action in another production; playing classical music with her tattoos proudly on show. Brilliant.
Cici Howells

Her online casting profile mentions her tattoos and that they can be covered up easily. Making it even cooler that the producers of the show chose not to.