So Monday night I was out at the bar with some friends and we were talking about just how difficult it can be for female tattoo artists to be taken seriously, especially at the beginning of their careers. One friend in particular talked about how at one of the first studios she worked at, the owner would call her “Tits McGee” and ask her to take part in wet-t-shirt contests to promote the shop. To think that we’ve come so far as a civilization that the idea of a female president is a topic of serious discussion, yet female tattoo artists still have to work twice as hard just to be recognized for their talent and not their “assets”. Jackie Rabbit from Star City Tattoo in Roanoke, VA is another artist who, like my friend, had to work her ass off to be taken seriously as an artist. So when a client came into the shop and requested a Rosie the Riveter tattoo it meant a lot to her. Here’s what Jackie had to say.
I dont know the significance this tattoo has for its owner but I know it has a lot of meaning to me and was very proud to do this classic symbol of female strength. It can be very hard to feel strong in the “boys club” that is the tattoo industry. It has gotten better over the years but that isnt saying much. I got my apprenticeship at 14 and was second chair by 16. When I struck out into the world and started traveling I found it very hard to be taken seriously when in most studios (particularly at the time) the only place for a woman was as shop girl eye-candy. It has been a struggle to be seen for my work instead of my sex and my age. I have now found a wonderful studio where I am comfortable and respected. I may still be the youngest and only girl in the studio but all that matters is my personality and my work. I love you Roger and all the Star City crew. Im so glad that I have finally found a forever home <3