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Overground Online

Tattoos: Body Art or Bad Move?

It is thought that at least a fifth of adults in the UK have one somewhere on their body; girls are now as likely as guys to get one; David Beckham has armfuls, and even the Prime Minister’s wife has one! Writes Rena Dipti-Annobil.

Yes I’m talking about tattoos. Once only seen on sailors, convicts and old Indian people who had religious symbols tattooed on their hands, these days they are as common as pierced ears.

Yet I’m still a stranger to body art. Both my sisters have tattoos on various parts of their bodies, even my mum will probably get a tattoo before I do (I’m serious, she has actually mentioned it)!

It’s not that I’m scared of the pain (I’ve experienced child birth), it’s just the fact that they’re permanent, and that my husband hates the idea of me having one. But this hasn’t stopped me planning the designs of my future tattoos in great detail and watching programmes like Miami Ink with fascination.

Last week saw the return of the series My Tattoo Addiction on Channel 4. The programme is hilarious at times, and if it’s taught me anything, it’s never to get a tattoo under the influence of alcohol.

As illustrated in the documentary, tattoos are a good way of channelling emotion; one man in the doc even used some of his dead dog’s ashes for the ink in his tattoo. And they often tell a story about a person – they let you into their psyche without having to even speak to them.

Also there’s the issue of going for jobs with visible tattoos. Even though employers have to change with the times and bosses in the creative field might welcome signs of individuality, some organisations may be put off by tattoos. There is currently no legislation to protect people with tattoos and piercings from being discriminated against during the interview stage, so these are a few things to bear in mind when considering any kind of body art.

At one time, having a tattoo would have been a sign of non-conforming. But these days, not joining the crowd and having ‘virgin skin’ seems like rebellion against the mainstream. So for now, I’m staying bare.

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Tags Channel 4, david beckham, rena dipti annobil, tattoo, Miami Ink, My Tattoo Addiction, body art, Samantha Cameron
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