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Tatts not welcome

Think before you ink ... tattoos can cause more problems than they're worth.

Think before you ink ... tattoos can cause more problems than they're worth.

It used to be bikers and trash celebs or their wannabes who had them. Then along came the grunge Nineties when everyone became an individual and got them - even your teacher. Today they're mainstream: check out the supermarket queue, the school run and the bridal party at the local park on Saturday. Yet tattoos still attract ire and men and women with tattoos suffer discrimination, according to inked club-goers.

They claim that a number of venues in Victoria, including a bar in Ballarat north-west of Melbourne, refuse entry to patrons with tattoos. Usually this means tattoos in the ''wrong'' places - prominent areas such as the hands, neck and face. The clubgoers says that these bans are not uncommon. ''It happens in clubs and venues right across Melbourne and it's discriminatory,'' says ''RJ'', a heavily tattooed personal trainer. ''You're refused entry or asked to cover them up before entry. It's happened to me and there's nothing offensive about my tatts. They're body art. These days all types of people get tatts.''

''These days all types of people get tatts.''  

Still the prejudice remains. Imogen Lamport, an image consultant, says while discreet tattoos are usually tolerated by employers, most balk at large or suggestive examples of body art. ''Tattoos are permanent statements and, in my opinion, they are not always appropriate in some situations,'' says Lamport, who advises largely corporate clients. ''Sometimes they can just look wrong - like when a bride is in her beautiful gown.''

But can tattoos be considered offensive when every second person has one? And there are some major and ladylike celebs leading the charge, too - Jessica Alba, Penelope Cruz, Heidi Klum all have tattoos. Do you? Do tattoos really attract censure these days or are the tattooed clubgoers in Victoria overstating the case? Do you like tattoos? If you've got them, have you faced discrimination? In what situations do you feel compelled to cover them up?

251 comments so far

  • To paraphrase François-Marie Arouet, I may disapprove of all the tattoos with which adults festoon themselves, but would defend to the death (or at least to some discomfort) their right of self-defacement.

    And for myself I reserve the right to say they look stupid and ugly.

    Date and time
    July 26, 2012, 10:48AM
    • Completely agree with both statements.

      The H
      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 11:01AM
    • Here here Redsaunas!

      Stupid, ugly, cheap (looking... not to actually have done at somewhere decent) and just plain trashy for the most part. But each to their own and freedom to any person with what they want to inflict on their body... and this is coming from a wife with a husband with plenty of tattoos.

      Yep... stil at work....
      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 11:39AM
    • "Every second person has a tattoo ..." Obviously a lot of careful research behind this teaser on the main page. Where did you do the survey -- in a nightclub?

      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 11:44AM
    • I do admire the Sth Koreans for creating a law which states that only a medical doctor can tattoo a person- no qualified doctor would waste their time on being a lowly paid tattooist.
      This has kept tattoos from becoming mainstream as it's only the thugs who have them on their backs.
      Thank goodness some cultures have determined tattoos are the identifying marks of thug gangsters as they look cheap and nasty.

      # I don't mind name, rank and serial number under the foot for soldiers though.

      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 12:04PM
    • Whenever I see someoene with a tattoo I think they're another depserate attention-seeking wannabe who no doubt has a menial as they're unemployable in any respectable profession.

      Whenever someone tells me they have a tattoo that you can't see I just think they're another talentless no-hoper that wastes money on trivial cr*p just to follow the herd.

      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 1:19PM
    • @Alex Way to go to insult a whole bunch of people in one go. I've got two tattoos, have a very respectable job and have never comitted a crime let alone been part of a gang. Are you seriously trying to suggest that I'm a thug?

      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 1:37PM
    • @Bender what would you classify as a respectable profession? I'm guessing a labourer or a profession where one has skin exposed is one that you would not see as "respectable"? Would a lawyer or an accountant garner your respect?

      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 3:06PM
    • @calling3

      You knew you were gambling with impressions when you made the choice to be tattooed.

      Would you wear moccasins to a job interview?
      If you're as respectable as you claim then why wouldn't wear the moccasins to the interview?

      # You know in Russia in the prisons there, the crim's forcibly tattoo the other crim's with a symbol to match their crime. So, I think it's a blue diamond in a triangle on the hand that is the tattoo forced upon paedophiles.
      Hmm, now if you're so upstanding and noble calling3 then why don't show us all how you defy stereotypes by getting a blue diamond within a triangle tattoo on your own hand?
      Why, then you can prove something absolutely worthless to us all.

      Come on calling 3, do it.
      We need a male ruby rose equivalent in Aus to teach us, umm, err, something or other.

      Come on do it, as it would amuse me to know that you are teaching me something.

      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 4:12PM
    • Redsaunas,
      I have recently paid(that was the only discomfort) for some tattoos.
      They represent something to me. I am not a teenager.
      I can't say you are ugly because I can't see you.

      Dino not to be confused with
      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 6:19PM

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