Tattoos – Fashion Or Cosmetic Rebellion?

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Each adolescent today seems to be carrying some eagerness to stand out with own means. Not that wasn’t common for any adolescent, everywhere, anytime, all times. But today’s adolescents seem to be thinking of one way to recreate uniqueness – through skin embellishments and jewelry enhancements (and I’m not talking necklaces, rings, earrings or bracelets!).

Tattoos. We’ve all been there at least once in our lives. Either it was a simple, innocent mark on the skin as a forget-not-note, either it was a tiny temporary holiday tattoo. Or serious ink. The kind that doesn’t go away, the kind that stays on even when you’ll be 50, 60 or 80 years old!

Scott Campbell Tattoos Marc Jacobs

One of the most famous tattoo artists (oh, yes, they’re called artists! Tattoos are a certified form of art) is Scott Campbell. What made him famous? Tattooing. Who made him famous? The rich and famous. And fashionable. Marc Jacobs? He’s got ink all over him. Cartoon ink! Spongebob, Eric Cartman (from Southpark), his pet bull terriers, a Simpson version of Marc himself, two renditions of the Oui porn magazine, Shameless on his chest, Bros Before Hos on the forearm (a tattoo carried by Marc, Scott Campbell himself and a small circle of friends), a couch on his right hip and so many colored stars.

Scott Campbell Tattoos Marc Jacobs Bros Before Hoes Tattoo

One of the famous models who got inked by Scottie C is Lily Cole with a fancy writing across her right foot and a little heart on her right inner wrist. The photos are taken by Terry Richardson, also a friend of our tattoo artist Scott Campbell.

Scott Campbell Tattoos Lily Cole Right Foot tattoo

I stand on the negative side of the barricade. I don’t believe in tattoos (anymore). I don’t see the beauty in inking my body (anymore). But I want to share this with you, I want to hear you out, know your side of the ink-story, maybe it’s indeed a fashion and I’m gonna be outtrended by this powerful courant de mode. (via)

Scott Campbell Tattoos Lily Cole Right arm heart tattoo

Scott Campbell tattoos Heath Ledger

31 comments

#1 Hapsical London Fashion Blog on 10.21.08 at 4:30 pm

Marc Jacobs’ recent personal style has been rather confusing, I’m never sure if it’s exciting or plain odd. I’d feel very unnatural with so many tattoos, but Spongebob has always been pretty cool.. :)

#2 Ellington on 10.21.08 at 9:33 pm

I am not a tattoo person, I would never get one and I sometimes think that down the road that the people who do get them regret them later on. It can be an interesting art form though.
But the thing that I find amusing about it all that if a person had a scar or a birth mark as big as the tattoo they wear they would most likely consider it ugly and want it removed.

#3 bena on 10.22.08 at 3:03 am

tattoo is an ancient art and has evolved into some sort of personal statement.. id love to have one but im just hesitant that one day i might regret having it but im still open on that idea though.. ive also heard how painful it is and that alone scares me.. hihihi..

#4 Sal on 10.22.08 at 11:05 am

Although I do wonder what we’ll all look like when we’re hanging out together in the nursing home, trading tattooing stories, I’m definitely in favor. I’ve even written a mini-manifesto on tattooing …

#5 kpriss on 10.22.08 at 1:44 pm

I understand people who choose to express themselves with tattoos. But I still think there comes a time when tattoos are no longer in. And I’m speaking from personal experience ;)

However, if you feel like getting some ink done.. it’s your choice… Just think that you’ll live with that every day, for the rest of your life. Or not?

#6 vasso on 03.28.09 at 12:42 pm

..trying to find a reason NOT to like tattoos is useless. I totally disagree with those who judge other ppl’s tattoos.
Honestly, the thought of ‘how you’ll be in late 70s with old tattoos’ is so sick: at that age the LAST thing one considers are tattoos.
Everyday ppl smoke, eat, don’t exercise, hate their lives. Tattoos make a naked body look different. A tattoo is a choise. Just search a design that has a meaning. And a good artist to make it real. No excuses needed.

#7 naomi on 04.21.09 at 12:50 pm

there’s always a chance that you’ll regret a tattoo… but I have had 3 tattoos from a young age and wouldn’t change them for anything. Tattoos only go out of fashion if you choose to get ‘trend’ tattoos (simple 5 point stars and such). But for expressive people, designing and then getting a tattoo can be an amazing experience, and everytime you look at the part of your body you have ink a smile forms on your face.

I think it’s too much of a personal issue to debate really.

#8 Aaron on 06.30.09 at 5:12 pm

Hey! I just got a tattoo and I’m going to get a few more. The pain is not too bad. I thought long and hard about my tattoo, and I made sure that it looks really cool, it has meaning, and it’s not written in English ^^ lol. Usually when it’s in a language you understand it loses that awe aspect to it. I got music in arabic going down my wrist but it’s only about 2-3 inches big, nothing giant. I look at it and absolutely love it! People will get like the Tasmanian Devil on them, of course you’ll regret that :P

All the tattoos above (besides the girls) are regretful in my opinion.

#9 nikki on 07.03.09 at 1:22 pm

It is so crazy to think of what someone might think of your tattoo when your 80 years old! at that age the tattoo is going to be the last thing any one will be looking at! And you will not ever regret a tattoo if you go to a good tattoo shop and get a tattoo that has meaning to you. getting a cherry tattoo because your best friend at the time has one will probally be something you would regret for sure, but getting something for a loved one that passed away or a symbolic design or ANYTHING that means alot to you will not be something you would ever regret. just ask yourself “do i want this tattoo for myself or because it’s a trend?” and make sure you wont be bothered by it in your future. also you can get a tattoo in a less visible place if your a little more conservative. its 2009 and there is no reason for anyone to be close minded about getting a tattoo.

#10 Andrei on 11.11.09 at 9:33 pm

Like said, tatto is for life!

so when you do a tatto make sure that your putting something unique, that comes in to your personality, life style and beliefs. Perhaps a unique experience or something that really inspires you will bring you positive feelings every day that you look yourself at the mirror.

The tatto being pretty or cool is just a pre requisite, don’t make it the reason for making one!

#11 Lucy on 01.19.10 at 6:39 am

I love tattoos! I’m fascinated with what different people have inked on themselves! I don’t think I’ll ever regret getting mine, but isn’t it better to regret doing something than regret not doing it!? My tattoo didn’t hurt at all, just felt a bit like pins and needles!
Judging someone by there tattoos is no different from judging people by their race or religion, They are just using their right to freedom of mind!

#12 al on 01.30.10 at 12:55 am

I need a sketch dragonfly tattoo of Heath Ledger
- someone can tell me as I get it?
please

#13 Erica on 02.21.10 at 4:06 am

I don’t feel that tattoos will ever be regretted or “not in” if the person makes sure it is something very personal to them. As long as it is very meaningful and close to that person it should always be loved by them. On the other hand, someone who goes to get a tattoo just to go get a tattoo, makes absolutely no sense to me. Especially as a tattoo artist, I unfortunately experience much more of the latter and it nearly makes me want to quit the job. But, I love tattoos, all of mine are very personal and I will never ever regret them or be worried that they won’t be considered “cool” or “in.”

#14 Amanda on 06.27.10 at 10:55 pm

You dont get a tattoo because they are “in”, you get them because they have a deep meaning to you. I am a female with 9 tattoos, most of which my husband drew and 2 that he actually tattooed himself. All of my tattoos have meaning and all can be covered. If I didnt have to worry about having to put them in places that are easily hidden I would get more. Some things people get are pretty dumb though, or when people just go and pic something off of the wall art just to get a tatt. Thats when people start regretting what they get later down the road.

#15 carole on 07.16.10 at 9:26 pm

Wondering if you do tattooing for breast reconstruction . i need areola tattooing . Have you ever done it ?

#16 gloria on 09.25.10 at 11:21 pm

I have three tattoos one I just got done today a hawaiian one n ghandis signature …. I’m sad to say I sometimes regret the signature but its small n may get it removed. Either way tattoos tell a story of ur life. If u want it do it. U only have one body n one life.

#17 CDC on 10.17.10 at 11:54 pm

I think we (Americans or anyone living in a relatively affluent, technologically advanced society) live in a world void of meaning and character-building challenges and environments. This drives us to manufacture methods to communicate that we have character and convictions – e.g. this ‘means something’ to me.
200+ years ago, you worked to survive and your hands showed it. Families would have 10 kids and 3 would die before their 20th birthday. These things develop character and integrity (if righteously persevered through). Now, little has to be done to survive. We have mid-life crises; we commit suicide for boredom and meaninglessness; we fall into depression at not knowing which higher education path we’re supposed to follow; ultimately comically trivial things the old world would have laughed at.
So we now feel that writing these things out on our bodies, because of its permanent and conspicuous nature, will be a serviceable substitute for this lacking character.

…and Ironically this supposed statement of individuality is almost never that; the internet has clearly exposed a sort of collective unconscious, strongly running through the world of tattoos. There’s basically variations on about 4 or 5 themes right now.

So aaaanyway, I’m thinking about getting sum sort of heart tatooed on my chest with wings and a baner that has sum script righting on it… or shuld it b a foriegn laungage? I don’t know, ne way, I want the righting 2 meen sumthing, so I’m totaly open 2 ideas. Thx.

#18 Sly on 11.17.10 at 5:59 pm

Maybe you should get the Chinese symbol for “strength” or some sort of tribal design on your lower back or a d*ck tattoed on your face. Either way, the meaning is what’s like, totally important.

#19 Tug knife on 11.18.10 at 7:06 pm

Dude, CDC, that was pretty much the funniest thing I’ve read my entire life. ThNk u 4 dat.

#20 Gallow on 04.05.11 at 8:35 pm

The colonials use to cut of body parts of Māories and sell them because of the art on them. And now we use them as if they are our own, just like everything else without any regard of what a crappy position we left them in :(

#21 Muir on 09.06.11 at 8:09 pm

CDC my dear, as clever and hilarious as you were trying to be in that comment, I’m afraid you actually came across as a little ignorant. Tattooing’s been around since Neolithic times, so “200+ years ago” the denizens of “the old world” were inking themselves too. And eh, newsflash: we still work to survive. And people still die, and people still suffer, and people still build character and integrity. And don’t trivialise suic!de.

#22 CDC on 09.07.11 at 7:02 am

“trivialise suic!de”

Well now, here we have ignorance and hypocrisy.

…and at what point did I make any reference to the origins of tattooing? …and 200 years ago, tattoos weren’t a ubiquitous part of mainstream culture – far from it.

And if you think the struggles faced now are even remotely comparable to those of even a hundred years ago – that, “my dear”, is true ignorance; as an American (or any other ‘first-world’ citizen) today, we are the richest, most spoiled (e.g. technology, world-travel cheaply available to the average citizen, medical advancements, access to all foods from anywhere on the planet of any season, welfare, social security) generation that human history has ever known.

Basically, the reasons the tattooed, no-longer-counter-culture hates spoiled rich kids, are exactly what they (we all) exemplify to the rest of the ‘developing’ world, and world history.

…now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go spend a couple weeks on the other side of the planet.

#23 Hilary on 08.01.12 at 8:29 pm

it’s definately spelled “hoes” not “hos”…

#24 kpriss on 08.02.12 at 2:17 am

definitely…. maybe

#25 Riana on 08.02.12 at 6:08 am

Does Marc have man b**bie implants? Sorry, with OS and all those athletes bodies…..??

#26 kpriss on 08.02.12 at 6:11 am

it’s for fittings purposes only! lol

#27 Riana on 08.02.12 at 6:24 am

ohhhh, OK then thank you! :D

#28 kpriss on 08.02.12 at 6:31 am

;) I’m sure he takes them off outside the Fashion Week season!

#29 Kate on 08.30.12 at 8:35 am

I am tattooed. I know many people who are also tattooed. I know several older people (meaning in their 60s and 70s) who are tattooed. Not a single one of us regret what we have. When it comes to tattoos you either never get one, you get one maybe two, or you just go for it and you either stop when you’ve run out of ideas or skin. Most people I know who are tattooed are creative people and we simply view our bodies as another way to express our ideas. The others are telling a story with their ink, most of them are older, and most were in the military. A fun cliche I heard on the topic once, if your body is a temple why not add a mural? People who get their tattoos because they mean something to begin with to the receiver never regret that choice. Its a small piece of their life story that they will always be reminded of and they will always cherish. Like anything, if you get one done for the wrong reasons, e.g. “It looked cool”, you will regret it. They’re not for everyone. I ask humbly that if it is not for you to not think so quickly that everyone who gets tattooed makes terrible life choices or is a unsavory person or we’ll regret what we’ve done to ourselves. Personally, I am going to Graduate school to become an Art Therapist and I am looking to pursue clinical certification and hope to work in a children’s hospital once I graduate. Two of my favorite tattooed friends are both police officers. One of them travels the world often and gets a tattoo in every country. Another friend of mind was rejected from the military for having pins in his arm so he went out a got military tattoos to show his love and support and his insane amount of knowledge in the history. He was mentored by two heavily tattooed 70 year old Marines.

Again a cliche, but don’t judge a book by its cover.

Quickly to comment on a part of this entry, tattoo artist art certified by the health board for standards of cleanliness, but most of them have some form of art certification or degree ranging anywhere from drawing or painting to graphic design. You have to have a significant amount of artistic skill to transition in a field such as tattoos.

#30 kpriss on 08.30.12 at 8:56 am

Firs of all, thank you Kate, for your insightful comment. It surely adds a new perspective to the ink matter!

Also – the best of luck with your studies! It really sounds amazing and I bet the reality is just as great!

You’re perfectly right – there’s gotta be a real, profound reason for everything in life, even for skin – deep deeds like tattoos! :*

#31 Karen on 11.03.13 at 10:59 am

You may be interested in Sali Hughes’ defense of tattoos here (although specifically written with women with tattoos in mind).

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