"Just do it"

Vega sends in this crazy big Nike Swoosh Backpiece by Ozzie Perez at Body Graphics in Philadelphia, PA. Since Nike isn’t an online casino, I’m guessing this wasn’t a paid advertisement either — I wonder in these cases (because you see giant “product placements” every once in a while — and I don’t just mean beer stuff) what profound experience cemented the corporation into their lives!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

74 thoughts on “"Just do it"

  1. yeah, ive gotta say – nike aside, they could have at least hardcore stylized the tat and made it look interesting and original (to some extent)

  2. I don’t really like how the angle’s kind of wonky so it can fit on his entire back. It probably would have looked better if he were less preoccupied with the size (like all men)

  3. i dont like it. its dumb. sorry just my opinion. there has been much better artwork on modblog.

  4. I know a few people with corporate slogans inked on them, but none that big and that ugly.

    *thumbs up*
    Way to waste a load of perfectly good canvas dude!

  5. I dunno, if he’d done it up his back rather than across it, maybe the perspective would be better. But as is, it’s like someone took the swoosh and clicked %50 stretch in MS Paint.

  6. Oh my god. I swear to god I saw something about this as a parody in adbusters magazine around 1997.

    They didn’t even do a good job on the swoosh.

  7. That is alloooottt of black.
    I think the swoop could have been shaped better, but meh.

    I hope he is very happy with it :)

  8. I would be interested in knowing the motivation and the story behind the tattoo. Without knowing WHY he got it, my first opinion would be that it is a bit of a waste of a great canvas. So i’m prolonging judgement until I have an idea of why he got the tattoo in the first place!

  9. Who’s to say he’s not an athlete and tends to prefer Nike merch? Maybe Nike’s become a big part of his life and this means a lot to him. Just because it’s not unique or different doesn’t mean it’s not well done. The letters all line up nicely and it’s not missing splotches; I’d say the artist did a fine job of creating what the customer wanted. And congrats to him for getting something he wanted despite the obvious criticism he’ll get for it.

  10. CHEERS to doing whatever the fuck you want!

    and like creative said, the work itself could be A LOT worse.

  11. I’m not a star trek geek at all but the swoosh looks more like the star trek logo thing to me.

  12. i wouldn’t even do this for a lifetime supply of their sweat-shop, child made gay ass shoes… maybe he works(ed) in one of their sweat-shops as a kid… who knows, who cares… not i

  13. To Ozzie’s defense, he did it exactly they way they cust. wanted it. He knew it was a strange request, and that’s why he gave me permission to post it. I’m pretty sure he told me the guy was a runner.

  14. Just Do It: Star Trek. You’ve got to admit it would be pretty funny seeing him run shirtless by your house as you went to get your morning paper.

  15. Kudos to him for doing something that everyone else may not care for. His body, his choice.

  16. i agree the swoosh could have been done better.. as far as stupid goes.. hey to each there own… im very interested in the story behind this tattoo though.

  17. Yeah, yeah, it’s his body blah, blah…still can’t see why I should validate his dumbness, though

  18. A sad statement indeed.

    Absolutely nothing endearing about this tattoo. Of all the originality and technical ability that goes hand in hand with with the work of some tattoo artists this guy chooses the ultimate sign of conformity, consumerism and global exploitation.

    Truly awful.

  19. Hi again, Giles! Ha, it’s a modblog morning for me I suppose. I usually never comment here, but it’s so fun when I’ve got a day off.

    Um, I think Shannon’s remark at the top is a good reminder that everything has a frame of reference. “I wonder…what profound experience cemented the corporation into their lives!”

    I do understand your perspective, and I believe there have been times of my life where I would have agreed more with it. I just can’t forget that I don’t know why this guy chose this tattoo. I know why I wouldn’t choose it (for exactly the reasons you describe), but I don’t know why he chose it.

  20. Horatio (glad you are here) – It’s difficult to understand why someone would even contemplate Nike as a symbol that you would permanently etched on you.
    I checked Vega’s IAM but no clues there.
    For me Nike symbolises everything wrong with modern commercial society so I can only make the assumption that the recipient is either unaware of Nike’s human rights record with regard to workers or simply loves their products so much.
    It is worth noting that the word NIKE is missing which just shows how strong Nike’s marketing is. The owner could actually claim it does not represent Nike at all and have a convincing argument, not with me though :-)

  21. don’t personally like not understand why? but perhaps my not understanding why is why I don’t like it.

    tis amazing how the old ”don’t judge a book by its cover” thing goes right out the window at tymes like this.

    as pointed out it doesn’t specifically say Nike, could it not be that although Nike inspired, it holds a deeper meaning for the owner?

    of course this could just be a huge Nike fan in which case bleh, but I’m personally choosing not to judge one way or the oter without knowing a little more.

  22. We are all here to make judgements of sorts and to provide opinions, hence the little box allowing us to make comments.

    Granted some comments go beyond “wow, how cool” and try to express an opinion backed up with why that opinion was given. Ergo I explained that I found the tattoo repulsive and explained why.
    Compare this with the Geisha tattoo and it is clear which is a thing of beauty and skill and which is a symbol of global greed, worker exploitation and crass consumerism.

  23. I would really like to know WHY individuals get tattoos such as this. Not to make fun of them or judge their tattoo design choice, but what exactly in their mind makes them chose a Nike ad? I mean seriously, do they just think it’s a cool shoe? Work for Nike? Or what?! Someone who has one write an experience, or if there is one, post a link!

  24. Possibility 1: Ironic. Profound.
    Possibility 2: Inspirational. Profound.
    Definite: People on modblog, and generally people in the community think they are the smartest shit around. They’re not.

  25. I think it’s cool. And certainly more original than lots of other tattoo themes – I can only recall seeing one other nike tattoo, and it wasn’t this big and bold. On the other hand I’ve seen loads of stars, geishas, skulls, dragons, etc. As a theme, just because it’s a symbol of all that’s wrong in the world to some people, doesn’t mean it is to everyone.

  26. #30 – what is a “gay ass shoe”

    1.just wondering…is the shoe “gay” meaning that they dont like to be paired with a left if it’s a right, or a right if it’s a left? does it only like shoes that are simmilar to it in genitalia?

    2.or is it a shoe intended for a gay persons ass? is this a new clothing form that no one (except you) has heard of yet? like we are now wearing shoes on our ass, if we happen to be gay? can i wear one if i am straight? talk about discrimination…….why dont i ever hear of these trends? is it because i live in a city outside of Tokyo, NYC or London?

    3.or, are you just using “gay” in a negative, immature and hateful way to describe a pair of shoes that a corporation made with the exploitation of young children.

    you know what, im just going to go with #2, because i am ALWAYS the last to know about fashion. fuck. and i dont want to believe that someone would be that ignorant, when trying to describe the injustices done to children overseas….who makes the gay ass-shoes that NO ONE fuckin told ME about ? is it nike?

    ps. thanks for keeping me in the dark about fashoin trends. jerks.

  27. Maybe he really, really loved his experience working for them for 23 cents an hour as a 7-year-old?

  28. Maybe Nike’s products played a role in changing his life (rehab after a car crash, etc.) and he came to associate “JUST DO IT” slogan or the swoosh symbol with his recovery and rebirth. There are many, many, many “legitimate” reasons (if you really even need that) to get this tattoo.

    If we expect to be treated with respect by people who don’t understand why we do the things we do, don’t we really have the obligation to do the same in return (especially in a case like this where it’s clearly not hurting anyone else — all arguments about Nike’s business practices aside)?

  29. No different than a BME tattoo really folks. At the end of the day both are a brand with their own business/social interest. If Nike has been an important part of this guys life than he has every right to have this tattoo and not explain to anyone.

    At least this means more to him than any of those GoldenPalace.com suckers.

  30. Ugh. I hope this tat at least has more meaning to him on a personal level that just digging on a shoe brand.

  31. I know a couple of guys who work for Nike who tell me there was a period in which lots of their employees got the Swoosh tattooed on one or both feet. This fad soon palled. Ok, say Nike meant sometime profound to the guy, there are much better tattoos to convey that e.g. Nike = Winged Victory in Greek mythology, it’s the hood ornament that you’ll find on Rolls Royces…use that rather than something that looks like you’ve had a sweatshop t-shirt heat-welded onto your back!!

  32. While I agree in a general way with bfree’s comment, I maintain that I am an exception!

  33. “Definite: People on modblog, and generally people in the community think they are the smartest shit around. They’re not. “

    Bfree, I love you.

    very, very, very, much.

  34. Pingback: :: Just do it :: February :: 2007

  35. Shannon – Whilst I take on board your point that there may be a reason for this tattoo other than crass commercial sycophancy I think your example is quite far fetched and I don’t think there are truly “many many” more reasons why someone would have this done.
    Part of understanding why people do things like this requires critical evaluation of it. To simply say “oh it’s all good” goes little way to understanding the variety of complex social and psychological decisions that go toward changing your body, especially in this way where a deliberate commercial sign has been blazoned across his body.
    It’s not enough to simply say ‘it’s his body therefore it must be acknowledged as good’, there has to be a more in-depth evaluation of the effect such distinct markings have on those who see them as well as those who wear them.
    Part of the tattoo experience is the viewer and their reaction and understanding of it, granted it is a small part but one that is important none the less.

  36. CreativeNonFiction – do you get left out of fashion trends too????!!!!!

    and hey to the person that wants to start an “LA GEAR” sleve – fuck off i already have mine outlined!

  37. Toser – no shit, I was wearing sweats through highschool because I thought it was cool (Nike of course). Bastards! And now that I’ve gotten free, I realize Nike’s cool again with gay ass shoes…fuckers.

  38. A string of As and 100%s, and an 145 IQ, suggest that I’m smart – and, you know what, I hate it.
    Being smart often impedes social functioning, and creates an immense and impotent anger at stupid people. I blame my constant rants on here on being smart.
    No boasting, no bullshit, I wish I was a moron. :(

  39. (How happy is the moron, he doesn’t give a damn. I wish I were a moron, by God, perhaps I am! ;) )

  40. High IQ does not necessarily mean perfect grammar.

    >Em – Never be ashamed or angered at being of higher intelligence than other people. It is something you have worked hard to achieve and you should be proud of your status.

    Unfortunately we live in a society where stupidity is celebrated and those who choose to better themselves are isolated and often ostracised into feeling ashamed.

    NEVER wish you were a moron, ignorance is never bliss.

    Stupidity did not create the great works of art, write the important works of literature, discover the cure for illnesses or challenge the thinking of the times.

    You are unique and should see yourself as an example for others to follow rather than wishing you were like them.

  41. Em,
    Your clever enough to be what you want. Why not be a moron every alternate day.
    Just teasing :)

  42. Intelligence quotients aren’t worth the paper that they are written on. They are simply an out dated concept. A test ignorant of cultural backgrounds with results which people constantly fail to put into the proper context. Having a smarts like that doesn’t mean that you understand how the world works or what makes people “tickâ€?. Additionally, making incorrect statements even while using proper grammar and pretty words fails to make your argument correct.

    I am the first to admit the limits of my own intelligence and that’s why it bothers me (like so many other people) when people present their opinions as facts you could look up in a book somewhere.

    The guy got a tattoo that many people disagree with or dislike for some reason. I guess it’s good that it’s not on their body then. The way I feel is that tattoos are art. Art is not good or bad separate from the meaning and since meaning is context dependent… I think everyone gets where I am going with this.

    All that being said I don’t like the piece. Even separated from the stigma the company has inside the morally self righteous subcultures on the fringe, the swoosh looks clunky and the lettering far too small in comparison. The only thing I can see which the piece has going for it is the solidness of the black which I fear will not be the case after healing. It’s ugly, but I refuse to assume he’s some brainwashed brand addict who hates children in third world countries without knowing his reasons for sitting under the gun for hours.


  43. Giles – you don’t “work hard to achieve” high intelligence. You either have it or you don’t. Intelligence is not the same thing as achievement.

    And it can certainly be a curse, especially when you’re young.

  44. Duck.

    If you want to call, people who disagree with sweatshops and child labour, the “morally self-righteous”, then I put my hands up and declare myself to be morally self-righteous, and, in fact, I declare anyone who DOESN’T to be a selfish, nasty idiot.

  45. I think you misunderstood, well to a certain extent. I simply feel that a lot of people pick and choose what companies and ideas they are against without being educated on the facts or even knowing why they’re actually against them. A perfect example is when you see “nasty idiots” lacing up their chucks.

    Regardless, I never called the people who disagree with sweatshops morally self righteous, did I? I simply stated that is the location where more often than not, you find a negative stigma associated with Nike. If you are unable to seperate the two ideas then throw your hands up and declare all you want.

    Yes, yes we all agree that child labour is bad, but there are many evils in the world and all too often the pot calls the kettle black.

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