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Author Topic: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?  (Read 10940 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2015, 02:45:32 PM »
So, if you're not supposed to study (stare) at it without saying anything, and you're not supposed to say anything... what do you do? I can't *not* see something if it's unusual (and by "unusual" I mean that the vast majority of people I meet do not, in fact, have a rose on their shoulder), so how do I deal with that?

Also, tattoos don't really interest me (I'll admit that I find them unattractive in general, but have seen some so good that they outweigh that feeling), but if asked about it directly, I'd either say "it looks like it was done well", or (if that wasn't true), "I don't think I'm qualified to say."
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Carotte

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2015, 03:16:54 PM »
So, if you're not supposed to study (stare) at it without saying anything, and you're not supposed to say anything... what do you do? I can't *not* see something if it's unusual (and by "unusual" I mean that the vast majority of people I meet do not, in fact, have a rose on their shoulder), so how do I deal with that?

Also, tattoos don't really interest me (I'll admit that I find them unattractive in general, but have seen some so good that they outweigh that feeling), but if asked about it directly, I'd either say "it looks like it was done well", or (if that wasn't true), "I don't think I'm qualified to say."

Well, you see it but you try to move past it, like if their t-shirt print was appealing to your eyes (yellow stripes and pink polkadot, at the same time!) or they had a shaving mishap* and were missing a patch of beard or eyebrow.
If you don't care for them and the tattooed person doesn't engage you about them then no need to talk about it.

I do think that if it's someone somewhat close that just got it done, it's polite to remark on it, like you would for a new haircut. Even if you don't like the haircut you can find a few niceties just to say "hey, I noticed something about you". 

*Like my SO who is missing a half inch square patch of hair near his temple because of someone who lowered the hair trimmer guard too much... not going to say who's fault it is. Will say that I'm she's going to be more carefull next time and SO didn't mind, so there's that.

turnip

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #62 on: June 23, 2015, 11:40:37 AM »
So, if you're not supposed to study (stare) at it without saying anything, and you're not supposed to say anything... what do you do? I can't *not* see something if it's unusual (and by "unusual" I mean that the vast majority of people I meet do not, in fact, have a rose on their shoulder), so how do I deal with that?

Also, tattoos don't really interest me (I'll admit that I find them unattractive in general, but have seen some so good that they outweigh that feeling), but if asked about it directly, I'd either say "it looks like it was done well", or (if that wasn't true), "I don't think I'm qualified to say."

What do you do when you see someone with an obvious disability or physical deformity?  Do you stare and go up to them and ask them what caused their unusual feature?  Somehow, I suspect under those circumstances, you'd manage to hold your tongue and avoid obvious gawking.  Treat tattoos the same way.

Back to the OP, I saw this on my FB feed recently

https://hpwritesblogs.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/www-thesemicolonproject-com/

Briefly - the writer got a tattoo, it's a little crooked, but she likes it that way.  It is always going to be an 'interesting assumption' that because you don't think someone's tattoo looks right or is spelled correctly, they must have made a mistake.  Just as it is an 'interesting assumption' that they got it for attention.

NFPwife

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2015, 11:38:11 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.

The bolded is my same process. There was a woman at my gym with a very unique style, facial piercings, face ink, very tribal. I asked about one of her tats one night and we became friendly. (If you look at us together, we're a study in contrasts. In sooo many ways.) I ran into her at a department store, she was talking to some friends, saw me, we embraced warmly, and chatted a bit. DH told me her friends almost died of shock. If I hadn't commented on the tat, I wouldn't have a new pal. 

DanaJ

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2015, 04:28:40 PM »
Briefly - the writer got a tattoo, it's a little crooked, but she likes it that way.  It is always going to be an 'interesting assumption' that because you don't think someone's tattoo looks right or is spelled correctly, they must have made a mistake. 

On some stupid "bad tattoos" Buzzfeed kindof page, and it predictably features tattooes with incorrect spelling and such. But there is one tattoo that says: "No regerts!"

There is absolutely no way that I believe that is a mistake -- it's utterly brilliant!

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: S/O What to say about a bad tattoo? Anything?
« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2015, 12:00:39 AM »
My cousin has a tattoo on his leg, written in one of the Asian alphabets (no idea which) that accurately translates to "tattoo on my leg".  People who can read it think that the tatto artist musth ave been pulling one over on him, but the joke's on them; it was very deliberate.
"After all this time?"
"Always."