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J’adore/ J’abhor

To Ink or not to ink? That is the question that's getting the Muddy office fired up this week. Two editors battle it out (*ducks for cover*).


Instagram: @michellevisage


J’ADORE says Danielle Jones, Muddy Hants & IoW editor

The fact my mum hated tattoos is probably part of the reason I love them. Call it long-term youthful rebellion, I’ve been obsessed ever since I was a teen. To me, it’s always seemed edgy and cool, and one of the first things that caught my eye about my husband was his impressive collection of ink. I admire from afar – I actually don’t have any of my own but I’ve spent many an evening trawling for pretty tattoos, whether looking at celebs’ artwork, admiring the trend of dainty minimalism or watching shows like Tattoo Fixers.

When you break it down into the fundamentals of what tattooing is, it’s hard to not be impressed. Every line, every dot, each tiny bit of shading has to be strategically placed by an expert hand.  It’s a way to wear your life story, share your beliefs or have something beautiful you can look at daily. Look at Michelle Visage – at 51 she has tattoos on her thigh, calf, foot, and between her breasts and every one tells a tale.

Much like art though, it is subjective, and the end result of getting a tattoo is totally dependant on the vision and talent of the person that creates it. You wouldn’t buy an ugly painting so if something is going to be permanently placed on your body, you need to apply a lot of due diligence to choosing an artist and a design.

I think a lot of negative association with tattoos is due to the post-Shagaluf markings we’ve seen. A badly drawn dolphin may have seemed like a brilliant idea when under the influence of tequila and mild sunstroke, circa-1997, but now… not so much. However, that wonky porpoise still commemorates something – a life moment, a good memory, a hangover that lasted longer than the holiday did. And when it comes to tattoos – much like life – you usually regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. Plus if you don’t like it, you can always get it covered up with an even bigger one!

J’ABHOR says Hollie Bond, Muddy Cambs & Suffolk editor

Before you get up in ink-covered arms about me hating tattoos – I don’t hate people who have them (that would be exhausting, seeing as a fifth of the UK does, apparently, including members of my own family!). If you want to cover yourself in permanent pictures, that’s your prerogative, but hand on arrow-through-heart tattoo, you’ll never find me in a parlour, even after ten straight vodkas. Probably because I would’ve sobered up by the time I’d chosen a design – it takes me half an hour to even pick a nail colour for a week – and remembered tattoos are 100 per cent not for me.

It’s not just how they look. It’s my sister’s experience that really makes me avoid them. Fresh from an emotional break up, she jetted off to The Cook Islands to mend her broken heart and came back with a Polynesian flower tattooed on her foot. Cue months of wearing socks all summer (not a good look) in front of our tattoo-hating dad, followed by expensive laser removal that made her sob from the pain. If only she’d just bought a picture of the damn flower and hung it on the wall.

Skin just doesn’t seem to be a good canvas for art. The nerve endings make it an excruciating process (or so I’ve heard), it doesn’t erase easily and then there’s the problem of ageing. Just imagine when you’re 90 and the grandkids ask what your tattoo is… and you have to unfold the wrinkles to make it legible.

Forty per cent of millennials have tattoos now, so it’s not even the ‘alternative’ look it once was – just a fashion trend that will come to an end, and then happy days for the laser removal clinics. To rest my case, if beauties like Angelina Jolie and David Beckham can’t even pull off the tattooed look, then why on earth would I?


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