Why I Choose to Write about Tattoos

Over the years of writing this blog I have repeatedly seen comments similar to the ones I am going to highlight below. The common claim is that as the author of this blog I must be secretly insecure about my tattoos and that I care too much about what other people think about me.

If you go on the internet writing stuff like this, you obviously care very deeply what other people think say about them.
People with no regrets have no need to defend themselves because they genuinely don’t care what small minded people have to say about their personal choices.

The fact the person made a blog about it, tells me that he is not completely secure about having tattoos.

The first thing I need to share are all of the times in my life where I was treated poorly due to my tattoos. I will detail each and every instance of discrimination in the workplace, every case where someone made a negative comment about my tattoos and each and every case where I thought I was treated different in any way because of my tattoos. I hope everyone is ready. [Read more…]


Misleading the Public Using Infographics

Infographics are a great way to cram a lot of information into an easy to read picture. But this tattoo graphic recently shown on the National Post is a perfect example of how misleading they can be.

Not so Current State

Some of the data looked suspicious to me so I did some searching and found the full study that most of this chart was based on. The data for the “where are people getting tattooed” as well as the “who’s getting inked” all seems to be from a report titled ‘Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: A national data set‘. The authors of the graphic give credit to this study which was published in 2006, but the data was actually collected in 2004. The original study presented the age data in birth year, but whoever created the graphic decided to convert to age. They must have subtracted from 2006 instead of 2004 and all age ranges shown on the graphic need to be adjusted 2 years lower.
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Sturgeon’s Law

I have heard quite a few people say that most or all of the tattoos they see on people are crap. My response to this argument has always been that I agree, but that argument could be applied to pretty much any art form. There are millions of people in the world creating art in many forms, but not all of them are actually good at it. The art we see in museums, the music we hear on the radio, the movies that make the most money, and the tattoos that we see in magazines… These are all top tier of examples in each area respectively, but the other 90% that doesn’t get recognition is most likely crap.

Today I discovered that there is a term for this, and it’s called Sturgeon’s Law, or Sturgeon’s revelation.’s_Law

I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud. Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. are crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other artforms.

So there you have it. The next time someone claims that 90% of the tattoos they see are crap, I will nod my head in agreement and refer them to Sturgeon’s Law.

Don’t get lumped into that group! Do your research, plan your tattoo with a good artist and you can be part of the 10% with high quality ink.


Wedding Day Tattoos

I haven’t posted many personal stories on this blog, but I wanted to share this special day with my readers as well as to account for the lack of posts over the last few weeks.

Two weeks ago, June 4th 2013, exactly three years after my first date with Heidi we became husband and wife. After beginning to plan a more elaborate and traditional wedding in the fall, we decided to scale things back significantly and pull the date in. Instead of choosing an arbitrary Saturday based on the availability of the wedding venue of our choice, we decided to honor our true anniversary. The wedding was small and casual. We had an absolutely perfect day for the occasion and had the time of our lives.

One of the arguments I have heard against tattoos on women is the old, “what are you going to do when you get married?” The answer is, have fun and look amazing doing it. Heidi chose a dress that showed some of her tattoos, but did not make them the center of attention. If I do say so myself, she looked stunning. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

My ink was covered for most of the day, but made an appearance in a few of the early photographs.
My ink was covered for most of the day, but made an appearance in a few of the early photographs.
All covered up, walking the streets of NYC with our entourage
All covered up, walking the streets of NYC with our entourage

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Inked-up politicians brand Air NZ’s tattoo policy as hypocritical

In the wake of my recent Tattoos and Employment post, there is a big story making the rounds about a woman who was denied employment by Air New Zealand because of a Ta Moko (traditional Maori tattoo) on her forearm which violates the company’s no visible tattoos policy.

Air New Zealand stood by its policy yesterday, saying it was primarily a tourist business and many cultures would consider tattoos frightening or intimidating.

Many are claiming that the airline is being hypocritical because the airline uses a Maori symbol in its logo and on the tail of their planes.

National Party MP Tau Henare had four tattoos, two of which would breach the airline’s policy.

He said Air New Zealand was displaying a double standard.

“If somebody’s got a koru on their arm, is that going to scare the tourists? I think it’s a bit rich that Air NZ … are outlawing on their staff something that’s on the tail of the plane.”
He felt there should be some leniency for traditional tattoos.

As a follow-up to this story The New Zealand Herald is currently conducting a poll to capture their readers feelings towards tattoos. With over 13,000 votes so far, a large portion of respondents say that they don’t want to see tattoos and would prefer that people kept them covered. 11% actually responded that they “despise” tattoos and won’t associate with anyone with tattoos. This survey clearly shows that there are lots of people out there who would prefer that tattoos are covered. Air New Zealand is running a business and the needs and wants of their customers need to be a top priority.

What makes this case different than cases like it in the U.S. or other countries is that tattoos are an integral part of Maori culture. The New Zealand Civil Rights Association states: “Traditional Māori moko is an expression of and celebration of Māori culture and identity. A person of Māori descent may not be denied employment, entry to premises, or declined service because they wear moko visibly.”

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.