A pandemic of tattoo parlours — 20 Comments

  1. I don’t properly understand that argument about what a tattoo will look like in one’s 60s… after all, a person’s far less likely to be asked to partake in a modelling shoot, or work for a high-brow company, and seeing as everything else on the body has gone south, I’d imagine attractiveness falls second place to personality in most cases.  Besides, tattoos can be touched-up if they fade and get wrinkly!
    Thing is, there’s a pandemic of cheesy tattoos out there… that trail of stars on wrists and necks seems to be really popular, but the point of a tattoo is that it’s supposed to be unique to the person that wears it.  That’s something I really don’t understand, that seems more like branding to me.  Given that it can take 10 – 15 applications of a tattoo removal laser before it’s completely gone, you’d think people would put more thought into it, but my buddy in Arklow’s making a killing with his removal studio, so I’m happy for him that there are gullible and impulsive people out there.
    Not me though, I love my inklings!!!
    Just think, only a few decades ago, folks went on a similar rant about the showing of ankles, followed by naked rock concerts as skin frustration was released.  This tattoo phase will probably only last another few years, before another mass obsession replaces it.

  2. My sixties argument is that suppose some girl gets stars tattooed on her face or neck – what is she going to look like in the Old Codgers’ Home when she is a bit wrinkly and gone south?

    How many people get tattoos in their early twenties and then ten years [or less] later find themselves desparately trying to hide them when they go for that all important interview for the job they always wanted?

    Your last argument sort of proves my point.  Showing of ankles or going naked is something that can be changed on a whim.  I can go naked today [I’m not, incidentally] and clothed tomorrow.  I can’t decide to have a tattoo today and none tomorrow,  It’s permanent, long after the fashion has gone.

  3. They like tattoos because they are short and don’t require the long attention span necessary to read an entire 140 character twitter message.

  4. No I mean the ankle thing was a frame of mind… skin exposure was a definite NO back in the day, when fashions changed, the people revelled in their right to be naked.  Same with tattoos – until recently only ‘certain’ people got tattoos; sailors, hell’s angels… inked women were most definitely frowned upon.  This pandemic of tattoo studios signifies a shift in that opinion I think.  People are now revelling in their right to have tattoos.  Whether they regret it or not in the future doesn’t matter right now, though you’re right, most may regret it in the future.  I suppose my point is that a lot of people are following fashion, whereas the rest get tattoos because they’re absolutely positively sure that they will love their tattoo forever.
    I thought about the fact that a job opportunity might arise and give cause for embarrassment, but the fact is that the type of person who gets a tattoo is not the type of person to want a mainstream job.  They’re more likely to fall into the volunteer/art/labour/music industry say, rather than something like a company rep.  That’s for ‘sensible’ people.  Tattoo’d folk don’t go in much for sensibility, we think it’s overrated.

  5. I like my tattoos.  I think long and carefully about what to get next.  My tattoos are for me.  They are an expression of who I am.  Now in all fairness I waited until I was in my 40’s to start getting them.  I get one at a time and as I said I think long and hard about what to get because I know I have to live with the decision for the rest of my life.  Now keep your eyes peeled to my web site and I’ll show off the one I’m getting later this week.

  6. I do agree that a lot of people are getting them now because it’s what all the cool kids are doing, and they’re not thinking what’s going to happen down the road.  I have 2 myself, one on my ankle and one on my shoulder, both easily hidden away if I put on business wear.  I’ve talked over how they’re done with my kid who’s 14 now and told him the same thing that I was told.  If you think you want one, pick out the design and wait a year, if it’s still important to you do it, if not, you saved yourself some pain and cash.
    Lucky for me, we caught a documentary on the history of tats and when he saw how they were done, he’s decided that he doesn’t ever want one. 🙂

  7. Ah, Skobieville. I visit regularly at the moment, but not the main town, a nicer spot just outside where my archery course is taking place. The optician in Cornellscourt is very nice, as is the one in Stillorgan. Parking is easier in both places. Oh, and my mate’s family owns one of the chinese take-aways.

  8. Jim C – An interesting concept?  Twitter messages across your back?  And like Twitter, once they are done, there is no getting them back!

    K8 – I’m afraid there are still many people who associate tattoos with a ‘certain type’.  Tattoos = Lager Louts / Slappers.  Tattoos are a symptom of the modern generation, where everything has to be NOW with no thougtht whatsoever for the future or for consequences.  And before you accuse me of generalising, I think you may be going that way yourself?  I can’t imagine many of the slappers in Skobieville work in the arts or anywhere for that matter!!

    Brianf – Waiting until you are ancient senile forty is grand.  Presumably you know the consequences by then.  Good luck with them, but please – no photographs.  Do I want to see a large fat hairy American arse?

    S Mum – Waiting a year is excellent advice.  I think I’ll wait twenty for mine?

    Thrifty – Cornellscourt?  Stillorgan?  Fucking shopping centres.  Though they do tend to be a bit safer!! 😉

  9. Once again I notice with joy that we have the same views on a particular subject. I regard tattoos as a complete nonsense, as well as a waste of time and money.
    If human beings were meant to have any pictures or symbols on their bodies, we would be born with them.
    There were – and are – a number of different cultures and civilisations in various parts of the world where tattoos are common. Especially in East Asia – particularly in China and Japan – there is a long-established tradition of them. Originally often influenced by religious superstitions, they have now no longer any special functions, except for the criminal underworld there. Both Triads (Chinese Mafia) and Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) are using distinctive tattoos to identify their members. It is like a branding, which makes it almost impossible for someone who joined ever to leave the organisation again.
    In the Western world the people most likely to have a number of tattoos were for many years sailors and mercenary soldiers. However, tattoos were always a sign of the lower classes here, seen usually only on men of ordinary service rank, and occasionally on a Sergeant or Petty Officer. Among commissioned officers tattoos never caught on and would have been looked at as badges of folly.
    Much of the tradition of tattoos is down to boredom between times of action, when nothing much happened, but the men still had to stay together. There were also a few interchanges between different cultures, as well as outright silliness, usually following a drunken night out on shore.
    In East Asia and the Near and Middle East certain tattoos on women are openly visible badges indicating their availability as prostitutes. This is especially important in some cultures where most women are veiled and guarded all the time.
    I wonder how many of our young women realise what certain tattoos on their bodies mean. (I saw several sporting the symbol for ‘registered as prostitute in Shanghai’…)
    What you observe in your local town Skobieville is sadly happening all over the country. The description you give could be as well of places I know here, or in Cork, Limerick etc. etc.
    Decent local shops close, and when after a long time of standing empty the premises are occupied again, it is either by a stupid and unhealthy US fast food chain, a betting shop (usually UK-owned), a hairdressers’ shop, a Chinese take-away or – indeed – a tattoo parlour.
    I also noticed an increase in such ‘essential’ businesses as dog grooming parlours, mobile phone outlets, shops for mobile phone covers, gadget shops and so-called ‘fun shops’ that seem to cater mostly for stag and hen parties, ‘Halloween’ and other idiotic events. There is also an slowly but steadily growing number of places for Chinese medicine and beauty therapy.
    At the same time there is almost no independent bakery left in Ireland (we have just one left here now, while we had over a dozen 20 years ago) and the number of independent grocery shops,  greengrocers, butchers, hardware stores and newsagents is going down fast.
    In other words: Decent local business is driven out of Ireland, replaced by US & UK owned multi-national company outlets, and then the people you call ‘Skobies’ (others might call them chaffs, riff-raff or parasites) do move in to become the new and required customers for the new shops.
    Thank you very much, Fianna Fail!
    Perhaps it might be better to cover the whole of Ireland with concrete and tarmac and hand it over to the USA as a permanent airbase.
    Would save a lot of hazzle, and there’ll be no more need to have one’s environment polluted by Skobies…

  10. Wouldn’t have one myself but I don’t really care if others like them and I don’t think they’re a symbol of the ‘lower’ class any more. I know millionaires with tats . . .can’t say that good taste in tats has transcended the class barrier though. I reckon your skobies probably get them because they make them look tough and intimidating. The NZ Maori have a long tradition of tatoos like many pacific Islanders but they have to (or should) ask permission of their clan because each tatoo depicts ancestoral history. I rather like that.

  11. You are quite right, Baino, the Maori of New Zealand are one of the native cultures of this world where tattoos have a long tradition, connected with their spiritual believes and their ancestor worship. And I have absolutely no problem with that, or with other native people who decide to decorate their bodies in one way or another.
    I have also no problem with other people getting tattoos, but I exercise my right to find it tasteless, ‘cheap’, disgusting and a sign of the lower classes. You will have noticed that I said ‘lower’ and not ‘poorer’. Because money has absolutely nothing to do with it. These days we have many millionaires from the lower classes, mainly due to Football and Pop music.
    Most of them are unable to evolve and develop culturally, no matter how much money they have. They might be millionaires and rub their shoulders often with some less careful people from the upper classes, but they still remain what they were before: badly educated examples of lower class life. Tattoos seem to be part of their sub-culture, and more recently it appears that plenty of young women in Ireland got tattooed, for the one and only reason that one their friends had done it, too. One can see whole flocks of girls, chattering like geese and having not a single brainwave between them, trotting down main street on a Saturday night, dressed worse than the notoriously tacky prostitutes of Rome, and all being tattooed in fairly visible places.
    Personally I see these girls/young women as a lost generation. No man in his right mind would ever marry any of them or use them for more than the one-night stands they themselves are keen on. All they want is “havng fun”, whatever that means. In reality it means getting drunk and behaving badly, maybe taking some drugs, and then having sex of the most shallow and depraved kind. They often look ten to twenty years older than they are, most of them are over-weight and hardly any has even a beautiful face. What a waste of DNA… but these ugly tattoos make it really a complete shambles.

  12. Baino – I wholeheartedly agree about tribal tattooing.  That goes back to the dawn of time and is an essential part of the culture.  I don’t somehow think that lions’ heads or dragons have any place in Irish history so they don’t quite fit in here.  There is a modern fashion too for women to stick stars all over themselves which I find quite baffling.
    Emerald – A modest reply?? !  One piece you put in made me laugh –
    I also noticed an increase in such ‘essential’ businesses as dog grooming parlours, mobile phone outlets, shops for mobile phone covers, gadget shops and so-called ‘fun shops’ that seem to cater mostly for stag and hen parties, ‘Halloween’ and other idiotic events. There is also an slowly but steadily growing number of places for Chinese medicine and beauty therapy.
    Once again, you described Skobieville perfectly, though you missed out on the ‘pound shops’ [or is it Euro shops these days?].  All these premeses seem to be ideally tailored towards the vacant mind.
    I would take issue on the matter of ‘class’ however.  Somehow, whenever there is mention of a ‘lower class’, by definition that implies that there is an ‘upper’ or superior class.  I wouldn’t claim to be superior to Skobies, but rather of a different mindset.
    Maybe that’s my problem?  Maybe I shouldn’t be worrying about the way the country is going down the toilet or silly fripperies like that?  Maybe I should concentrate my mind on the more important issues such as what Peter Andre is up to, or what Paris Hilton wore last night?

  13. Well, it appears that Skobieville is everywhere. Perhaps it is some kind of nation-wide franchise that spreads, like McDonalds, or cancer.
    You are right, I did not mention the (former) Pound Shop – now called 2 Euro Shop. And as it happens, there is only one of them here so far. Though I believe a second one is going to open soon. Signs of the recession, surely.
    With regards to ‘classes’ I like to point out that I only describe what I see. It might be with regret, but we have to accept that there is still a very rigid and strange class system in Ireland. Perhaps not as stiff and strict as in the UK, but bad enough.
    Personally I am not in favour of class systems. But it is a fact that only a certain group of people here has access to the best education, to certain jobs in the public sector, and to various other ‘perks’.
    And at the same time we have a – steadily growing, it seems – group of people whose education is poor, whose language skills are even poorer, and whose sole interest seems to be “having fun”, as they define it. This all happens usually at taxpayers’ expenses, as most of the people in this – by definition ‘lower class’ – live on social welfare. The worst of them are the ‘single teenage mothers’, who get money and other benefits thrown at them in bundles and from different departments.
    I use a different word for them, beginning with w. And even though I am neither prude nor a puritan, I often find it embarrassing and offensive how they behave every day in public.
    The strange thing is that in Ireland (& the UK) the number of such people grows steadily, and that neither the government nor themselves have an interest to improve their situation and mindset.
    In many other countries, especially in the so-called ‘Third World’, one can see the opposite tendency. There many people are really poor – in a way no-one in Ireland could ever contemplate – but they are keen to evolve, gain knowledge and education, and move out of their misery. In contrast the ‘lower classes’ here seem to be happy and even proud to be senseless and useless ballast of the nation. And the government seems to be happy as well, as they either vote FF or not vote at all.
    It is quite possible that the showing off of tattoos is some kind of ‘badge of membership’ in this great national club of morons.

  14. Recently in the gym there was a chap with 3 tats on his back, Shannon, Jordan, Lee.  I didnt know if he was some sort of atlas or its was the list of his kids.
    I wouldnt be a big fan of tats I’ve always associated them with either sailors or prisoners, I sometimes wonder if any of these Chinese symbols on the lower back really mean “gas pipe below”
    Why people get symbols that mean nothing to their culture is beyond me but I believe that tats have become brand marks in the porn industry and that certain women are more recognised by their tats than their face.

  15. Very interesting, Alan. Didn’t know this about women appearing in porn films. (It’s not an area I have any contacts with.)
    But in East Asia, as well as in the Near & Middle East, prostitutes have been tattooed for centuries, perhaps even millennia.
    What brings our own rather mundane and bland people to copy this now is hard to say. But perhaps some of the young women, who might know of the use of tattoos by porn actresses, are trying to suggest that they are as sexy as those appearing in certain films… Women do a lot of silly – and often unhealthy – things to give certain impressions, especially when they want to impress men. And what I find most puzzling is that most of their attempts actually achieve the opposite. Personally I find most Irish women extremely unattractive, and the younger they are, the worse it usually gets.
    Your chap in the gym was perhaps an angler who listed the rivers he has fished in…

  16. I used to quite like tattoos on the lower back, just above the waist band of jeans until they started being referred to as ‘tramp stamps’. Put me off quick time!!

  17. I feel the point is being missed by most of you.  Getting a tattoo used to be an expression of some thing that was important to you.  My father had a tattoo on his right fore arm and I could never consider what he would have look like without it.  He joked that it was something foolish he did when he was younger.  In fact it was an expression of Love for my mother.  And like his tattoo, his love lasted as long as he did.  Now today, people get a tattoo not as a ‘true’ expression of themselves or their feelings but on a whim.  I look at tattoo as I do at smoking.  Just because people have been doing for years does not mean that it cant be harmful and we are willing to love with the long term effects…..

  18. Good point, Bubbles. Some people really have a strong reason or want to show how much they love a person.
    During my time in the Navy I had quite a number of sailors with tattoos in my commands, and often if was the name of a women they carried. As long as the relationship works and lasts, that’s fine. Problems occur however when either the loved one goes off with someone else, or when the sailor falls in love with another woman.
    Sometimes this can lead to rather bizarre re-tattoing or modifications, like changing an ‘Anna’ to ‘Hanna’, ‘Eve’ to “Evelyn’ or even ‘Bee’, etc. etc.

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