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Author Topic: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?  (Read 7636 times)

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Celany

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2015, 11:15:19 PM »
I'm kind of confused.  I thought people who got tattoos wanted people to notice them.   ???

Speaking for myself, my Beloved, my Beloved's sister, my tattoo artist, and a number (though not, by any means, all) of other tattooed people that I know: no

Like PPs have said, a lot of people get tattoos for personal reasons. I currently have a full back tattoo, a cuff tattoo around one ankle (that goes down across my foot also), and a small tattoo on my inner wrist. They're all very personal, I love them all very much, I adore looking at them/knowing that they're there (and I actually shave my legs more because I love the cuff so much, but if I shave one leg it looks weird, soooo...), and if I could make them invisible to the rest of the world (or just to anybody I didn't know well), I would in a heartbeat.

When people say to my tattoo artist "You just have that art so people look at you. Why won't you stop and talk to me about it? What's your problem?" (people often become hostile because she doesn't want to stop going out her business to answer questions about her tattoos for the next half-hour) will say "Sorry, my invisible cloak is at the cleaner's today. Wish I had it, so you couldn't see me".

It can be exhausting to have tattoos exposed and be stopped every ten minutes by someone who wants to ask about them. They also seem to significantly up the "dudes think it's OK to cat-call and say obnoxious, sexist crap" factor, which I hadn't realized would be a thing that happens.

Because I like to wear minimum clothing in the summer (hot!), and would also like a minimum of tattoo comments, I made some HUGE patterned silk gauze scarves this summer. They're light enough (and pack down small enough) that having one draped over me isn't too bad, if I reach the point of "If one more person tries to strike up a lengthy conversation I'm going to cry". The pattern makes it hard to realize that there's art on my skin.

It's not that people nicely complimenting them is bad. It's just...exhausting, honestly. If I see someone with body art that I'd like to compliment, I do the same thing I do for any other compliment, which is first take a good look at them and try to deduce if they're receptive to talk to strangers. If they're reading a book, playing a game, listening to music, or generally look like they're in their own world, I leave them alone. If they look alert & friendly (not tired, grumpy, sick, or unhappy) then I'll say something. If I can't tell how they're doing, I leave them alone.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

tash112194

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2015, 08:19:24 AM »
When people say to my tattoo artist "You just have that art so people look at you. Why won't you stop and talk to me about it? What's your problem?" (people often become hostile because she doesn't want to stop going out her business to answer questions about her tattoos for the next half-hour)

POD on this. I think the main problem is the people who comment on tattoos that feel like they have the right to know why you got it, and to then judge you on that reason. People who become hostile like this are usually the people who want to hear that you reason is good enough to justify your tattoo (and then it's never good enough for them).

Obviously there are the "just curious" people, but anyone who would become hostile would really lose any information I may have given out on my tattoo reasoning. All of my tattoos are very personal, and I do have a couple that people commonly assume are for very different reasons. (A broken heart on my wrist that people automatically assume is for some old boyfriend, that actually represents my half sister and I being kept apart our whole lives, and a phrase with heaven in it that people always assume is "some atheist blah blah blah" but is actually a song lyric from the song that finally made me break down and cry after the death of my grandmother.)

I do usually tell people what the inspiration behind my tattoos is because I feel like they are a great conversation starter, and may inspire people to get their own tattoos that help them cope with difficult things in life, (also that if you are asking politely, it means you are trying to get to know me instead of judging), but if I asked someone what the inspiration behind their tattoo was and I got a "Oh it's actually pretty personal" I wouldn't see it as a brush off, or as rude, just as something you don't like to discuss/are not interested in telling me.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2015, 05:48:52 PM »
I don 't mind if people ask but 5 of my 7 tattoos are on my forearms nad people seem to think it's ok to grab my wrist so they can get a better look.

Not cool.
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purple

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2015, 07:24:44 PM »
Celany can speak for me too: no.  Just. no.

WolfWay

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2015, 11:58:17 PM »
I do usually tell people what the inspiration behind my tattoos is because I feel like they are a great conversation starter, and may inspire people to get their own tattoos that help them cope with difficult things in life, (also that if you are asking politely, it means you are trying to get to know me instead of judging), but if I asked someone what the inspiration behind their tattoo was and I got a "Oh it's actually pretty personal" I wouldn't see it as a brush off, or as rude, just as something you don't like to discuss/are not interested in telling me.
I just wave the reasons for my tattoos away as "Oh they're just good luck symbols" or "Oh I just thought it was pretty" to prevent strangers digging any further. There are some things that are too personal to explain to total strangers.
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tash112194

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2015, 09:06:08 AM »
I don 't mind if people ask but 5 of my 7 tattoos are on my forearms nad people seem to think it's ok to grab my wrist so they can get a better look.

Not cool.

I've had this done to me too! And the guy wouldn't give me my arm back until I was through explaining, and even then I had to ask him to please remove his vice grip on my wrist thankyouverymuch.

LadyDyani

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2015, 09:16:45 AM »
I don 't mind if people ask but 5 of my 7 tattoos are on my forearms nad people seem to think it's ok to grab my wrist so they can get a better look.

Not cool.

I've had this done to me too! And the guy wouldn't give me my arm back until I was through explaining, and even then I had to ask him to please remove his vice grip on my wrist thankyouverymuch.

That's when you yell, "I don't know you!"
English doesn't borrow from other languages, it follows them down dark alleys and beats them up and searches their pockets for loose grammar.

Celany

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2015, 12:55:48 PM »
I don 't mind if people ask but 5 of my 7 tattoos are on my forearms nad people seem to think it's ok to grab my wrist so they can get a better look.

Not cool.

I've had this done to me too! And the guy wouldn't give me my arm back until I was through explaining, and even then I had to ask him to please remove his vice grip on my wrist thankyouverymuch.

My beloved also has a full-back tattoo and one of his coworkers once saw the bottom of it when he bend over the pick something up at work. So she walked over and started to lift his shirt up to see it better.

Their next month of working together was a little rough because she was peeved at how he turned around and yelled at her. It wasn't until (out of exasperation, because she thought he have overreacted and was being ridiculous) she asked their other coworkers if what she'd really done was SO wrong and they all (to a person) said YES, with several of the women chiming in with "And if he'd be a woman, and you'd been a guy lifting up her shirt, you probably could have been reported for sexu@al harassment" for her to understand (or at least pretend to understand) how deeply inappropriate she'd been.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

Let Them Eat Cake

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2015, 10:45:56 AM »
This is coming from someone with a *lot* of friends who have made some very strange tattoo choices... the best thing to say is nothing. There's nothing that can be done about it; plus, you never know, there might be a specific personal reason they got what may seem (and very well be) a ridiculous tattoo. Say you meet someone with a tattoo of a tap-dancing sheep across their back... maybe they got it in honor of their late father, who raised sheep for fun and was also a tap dancer. :P Kind of a stretch, but you never know.

Unless the tattoo was extremely offensive, of course... like a swastika or something. Although in that case, I'd be more likely to excuse myself, fake some kind of family emergency, and give the person the cut-direct. :P
"Jan, a real friend likes you for who you are, not what's on your face. If you judge your friends for passing judgment on you, you're not only judging yourself you're judging your friends for judging you. And that would be using bad judgment." - Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch Movie

JeanLouiseFinch

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2015, 01:53:35 PM »
I fall back on my mother's favorite diplomatic response, "Oh my, how interesting." Since she has made it to the age of 90 and still has many friends of all ages, I think her phrase is one designed to keep friends happy.  It's difficult for me to fib about whether I like artwork because I am an artist myself and my taste is very decided. I do not particularly like many of the tattoos I have seen, but I have seen some examples of culturally significant tattoos that are generally quite decorative as well which gives me an opening to ask about the cultural significance.  It seems odd to have a tattoo very openly displayed unless you don't mind at least polite questions (of course, rude questions are always a bad idea.) There are so many places on your body to put them discretely if you don't want questions. If someone had a swastika, or a "KKK," though, I would certainly ask about it, even if he brought his large unruly friends.

Luci

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2015, 05:12:46 PM »
My pharmacist has a necklace with an engraved photo of her daughter on it. The daughter was a photojournalist killed in central America by a radical group (made the national news, not that that mattered in this incident). Was I not to comment on it and tell her how touching it was the first time I saw it?She wears it always, just like a tattoo is permanent.

I would never touch the piece to see it better, or touch Lynda. But I was wrong to comment, once?

I truly think that it is OK to say positive things about another's personal affects in a positive way. I once told my the woman measuring my eyes for glasses when she said 'look at my eyes' that she had pretty eyes.

A cashier hands me my credit card back, am I not to comment positively that she has a lovely ring or a cool tattoo on her wrist? Many often like the vintage ring I wear. (A small ruby set in silver filigree. My greatgrandmother's engagement ring.) What is the difference between that and a meaningful tattoo?

I never get tired of these kinds of comments made to me, including that it's really cool that I have great skin or brown hair at my age.

I'm truly sorry, but I just don't get your problems. If you don't want the attention, don't do it. I can not much choose the things I get comments for, but you do.

I will try to refrain from these compliments about anything from now on, but it makes me sad because I just don't understand it.

Sharnita

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2015, 01:35:17 PM »
I am not a fan of tattoos in general. That being said, I understand that some are executed far better than others.

If somebody I asked me what I thought of their tattoo in general I might say, honestly, "Tattoos aren't really my thing."

If they told me that they were unhappy, a mistake had been made, or if it looked infected I would recommend seeing a dermatologist for an expert opinion.

If they told me a story about why they chose a certain tattoo I might reflect their feelings back "This is a way of always keeping your loved one with you."

Twik

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2015, 09:36:55 AM »
I'm another person who doesn't care for tattoos. But since they are essentially permanent, there's not much point in saying anything after the fact, other than "How nice!"

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