Women and Tattoos – the quite frankly pointless debate

I was watching This Morning this week and there was a debate about tattoos after Cheryl Cole’s new tattoo appeared on the front page of The Sun. The debate: whether tattoos make you less attractive. My main qualms with this were: a) why are WOMEN only included in this? Why not ask if it makes men less attractive too? Why not just make this a generalised tattoo debate? & b) Daily Mail writer Angela Epstein was arguing against tattoos, a surprising stance for a Mail journalist I know, in a manner only described as childlike by shouting over everyone else to get heard.

The usual “oh but you’re a really pretty girl and you are just ruining your looks/harming yourself by getting tattoos” was thrown around a good 4 or 5 times. Snore! I’ve heard this too many times myself and honestly I’m bored of it now. If that is the only reason you can think of why I shouldn’t get a tattoo then quite frankly there are no reasons why I shouldn’t. The whole debate seemed very one-sided to me too, the girl with tattoos didn’t get to speak much and though Eamonn Holmes was defending her, the argument went unheard over the above excuse and that it’s a form of body mutilation.

Plastic surgery can be and should be considered body mutilation too but I’ve never read a piece by a female Mail journalist slating that. With the amount of horrible comments about celebrity women’s looks and weight they dish out in their columns every week I don’t think they’re really helping people’s perceptions of female bodies, the shape and their appearance. In my opinion plastic surgery is a much more extreme form of body mutilation, actually changing the size and appearance of your body is far more drastic, a lot riskier and doesn’t necessarily make you instantly attractive. Though it seems it’s a more accepted than a bit of ink in your arm/leg/shoulder etc.

The whole fact this was only aimed at women annoyed me, why is there STILL a problem with women having tattoos? I’m a woman, I have plenty of tattoos and I plan on getting more. Every tattoo I have means something to me, they’re not stupid spur of the moment things that I’ll regret but full of memories I treasure and will continue to do so when I’m old and grey. I just don’t understand why it is more acceptable for a man to be tattooed than a woman, what’s the difference? Again it seems women are criticised for doing what they like while men get away scot-free. Though my issue is not with men but with people, mainly other women, slating me and other females for having tattoos and apparently making ourselves ugly.

The only issue I have is silly tattoos, people getting tattooed when drunk or not thinking it through. It’s a lifelong commitment, like having a child but without the annoying having to change smelly nappies bit, you have it forever so you better like it and make sure it’s something you can live with. My main advice when anyone asks me about tattoos is to make sure you really think about what you want. Design it and wait a couple of months before getting it, over that time you realise whether you actually like the design or not.

But can we stop judging women with tattoos now please? There is nothing wrong with a tattooed woman. A lot of people prejudge those with tattoos, which is wrong and needs to stop, just because someone has a tattoo doesn’t make them a horrible or less attractive person. 9 times out of 10 it has a personal meaning and it’s their CHOICE. If you don’t like tattoos that’s fine but don’t judge or slate me for being a woman with tattoos and definitely don’t say I’m ruining my looks because I’ve heard enough of that to last a lifetime!

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