First off, I admit it — I do have a tattoo. It’s on my right forearm: A nautical star in blue and black with the Latin words “decus, virtus, sinceritas” below it. I am not anti-tattoo. I rather like them, and wouldn’t say no to more, especially if an apprentice needed a model for his master work.
That said, I’ve noticed lately a trend that perplexes: The odd tattoo.
By “odd,” I don’t mean “creative” or “unique.” I mean … horribly random or soon-to-be dated. For example, there is a delivery driver who comes to our building. His forearms are covered with inked logos: D&G, Nike, Burton. Why? What would possess someone to pay hundreds of dollars to have corporate logos permanently affixed to prominent places on his body?
I also see more and more people who have several tattoos that appear to be randomly placed. I observed a woman last week, running in a halter top and short shorts, who had perhaps a half-dozen small tattoos spread across an arm, her chest, her calf, and her upper thigh. Or people with arms or legs filled with small, unconnected tats. Don’t get me started on several neck tattoos.
Odder still are designs that are … curious. I saw a guy at Meijer yesterday with a bust of Winston Churchill on his calf. I’ve seen guys with giant chunks of poetry inscribed along the sides of their abdomens. Designs that look like they were drawn by an epileptic. Or huge blocks of ink in pseudo-tribal designs that end up looking like a Rorschach test.
Don’t misunderstand. I think a well-done full-sleeve is a thing of beauty. But some of the oddness I’ve seen lately screams “regret in years to come.”