Wow. Long time no see. My apologies about the lack of news posts so far this year, but as of today they’re back and are sticking around.
Well, since it’s been so long there may be a couple of stories that are a few weeks old, so I’ll be covering them as well as catching up on this past week in modification news the world over.
To get things started I’d like you to meet Lisa Khoury. Lisa is an assistant news editor for the University of Buffalo’s newspaper, The Spectrum.
Earlier this month Lisa caused a bit of a fuss with her article entitled “Why put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?” Here’s a couple of choice samples from her piece.
I get it. It’s the 21st century. You’re cool, you’re rebellious, you’re cutting edge, you have a point to prove, and you’re a woman. Awesome. Ladies, I know you’re at least at the legal age of making your own decisions, but before you decide to get a tattoo, allow me to let you in on a little secret. A secret you may have not fully realized yet thus far in your life. What you must understand is, as women, we are – naturally – beautiful creatures. Seriously, though. Your body literally has the ability to turn heads. Guys drool over us. We hold some serious power in our hands, because – as corny as this sounds – we hold the world’s beauty.
But something girls seem to forget nowadays, or maybe have not been taught, is that women hold the world’s class and elegance in their hands, as well. So what’s more attractive than a girl with a nice body? I’ll tell you what: a girl with class. Looks may not last, but class does. And so do tattoos. An elegant woman does not vandalize the temple she has been blessed with as her body. She appreciates it. She flaunts it. She’s not happy with it? She goes to the gym. She dresses it up in lavish, fun, trendy clothes, enjoying trips to the mall with her girlfriends. She accentuates her legs with high heels. She gets her nails done. She enjoys the finer things in life, all with the body she was blessed with. But marking it up with ink? That’s just not necessary.
But at the end of the day, are you really a happier person? Has this tattoo, for instance, caused you to learn something new about yourself? Has it challenged you? Has it led you to self-growth? Nothing comes out of getting a tattoo. You get a tattoo, and that’s it. You do something productive, though, and you see results. That’s a genuine, satisfying change in life. Not ink. Invest your time, money, and effort into a gym membership, or yoga classes, or new clothes, or experimenting with different hairstyles if you’re craving something new with your body, not a tattoo. I promise, it will be a much more rewarding experience, and you won’t find yourself in a rut when your future grandkids ask you what’s up with the angel wings on your upper back as you’re in the middle of giving them a life lesson on the importance of values and morals.
God knows the last thing this world needs is another generation of kids questioning their basic values and morals.
Oh Lisa. Poor innocent Lisa. It seems that Lisa didn’t realize that not only do modified people read the paper, but they’re also capable of sharing it with their friends online. Needless to say the article went viral shortly after it was published. Now, to be fair this is an opinion piece, however instead of just giving her opinions based off any kinds of facts, she played the moral highroad and claimed that women who get tattoos are, essentially, immoral trash. The feedback she received online was staggering and forced her to write this “apology“.
I’m a 19-year-old college sophomore, I help run my family’s restaurant, I’m a writer and editor at my school’s newspaper, and a woman from Australia says I’m “sexist.” A professor from the University of Illinois wonders about my mental stability. A man double my age is calling me “ugly.” In the past 48 hours, authors, war veterans, mothers of small children have told me I’m ignorant, worthless, brainwashed, classless, disgusting, hypocritical, and judgmental. A man from New Zealand called me bigoted, self-righteous, conservative rubbish.
Alright, so the reaction was pretty harsh, however stating your her means she’s implying that because she’s young she shouldn’t be criticized for her opinion. But I digress, let’s see how she handled the rest of the apology. (Emphasis mine)
I wrote an opinion piece about tattoos for Monday’s Spectrum. As a female, I took the woman’s stance and said I’m beautiful without a tattoo.
I never meant to be vindictive toward an entire subculture. That’s why its response was so unexpected to me. Its words were different; it wanted to eviscerate me. I am sorry to anyone who took my words as a personal attack. I am sorry to anyone who felt disrespected in any way. This column was meant to express my opinion and explain how I live, not to tell you that my way of life is in any way superior to yours. I was misinterpreted. These strangers have slowly and in the most painful way possible ripped me to shreds within the past 48 hours. Their hate will be tattooed in me for a long time, but only as a learning lesson.
Many points, especially about feminism, were taken out of context and turned into something demeaning. My point about my body having “the ability to turn heads” stemmed from the fact that I wasn’t the healthiest teenager, so when I learned more about health and fitness after high school, I found meaning in that. Not because I was becoming skinnier (for the record, I in no way find myself slim), but I found that I was setting goals for myself, and, for once, achieving them. I felt happier because I felt healthier. Each day I felt like I would live a longer life, and my future kids wouldn’t have to worry about their mom dying from smoking cigarettes or not exercising regularly, the way I worry about my parents. The whole clothes thing? Well, when I lost weight, yeah, I was actually interested in dressing myself for once. Do I wear tight fitted clothes every day to school for the aesthetic, sexual pleasure of the men around me? Eww. I wore the same jeans for about 17 years and recently discovered there are other styles out there for me to try out, I guess what I was getting at was perceived as something much more shallow to my readers.
But no one was conversing about my points. Instead, they were taking certain lines out of context, and it was no longer a conversation, but an appalling backlash.
Dear Lisa. This half-hearted apology only tells us one thing. It tells us that you really don’t feel bad about what you said, and that the people who were understandably offended should apologize to you for being so mean. You say you were misinterpreted, and that you never meant to be vindictive, yet you state in your apology that you “took the woman’s stance”. So your opinion should be taken as you speaking up for all women? Or does it mean that all men have the opposite stance and believe women are only beautiful with a tattoo? You then go on the explain why you feel you’re beautiful without a tattoo, without actually giving any reasons that having a tattoo would make you feel otherwise. But if we go back to the original article, at no time do you mention that your opinions are just about yourself. In fact, you state multiple times that elegant women, women with class, etc. all have no need of a tattoo to make themselves feel beautiful. No mention of your own experiences at all. I hate to break it to you but you ARE being vindictive to a subculture, and there was no misinterpretation of your words.
I want to bring something up that ModBlog readers will know, and Lisa probably doesn’t. Tattoos aren’t always about aesthetic value or beauty. There are many different reasons for women and men to get tattooed. Lisa’s belief that tattoos are only for beauty reveal her willful ignorance, as well as her inability to see why she offended as many people as she did. To her a classy woman is one who works out, gets her hair and nails done, wears outfits that may be slightly uncomfortable, and put on make-up. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to Lisa, but all of those “classy” things are actually forms of body modification. Dying your hair, altering your appearance, changing your body through working out, wearing high heels, etc. all change how you look from your “normal” appearance. They’re the ones hiding who they are by putting their bodies through sometimes torturous rituals just to make themselves more appealing to others. At the end of the day, with all your make-up gone, heels off, and clothing on the floor, you’re only as beautiful as you see yourself. That beauty comes from confidence, and the feeling that when you look in the mirror you’re seeing the person who you want to see. Just because you see yourself without any tattoos doesn’t mean you’re better than those who do. We modify our bodies not because it’s cool or trendy, we modify ourselves to show the world, and that person in the mirror, that we can be exactly the way we want to be. The bottom line is that we respect ourselves and others not by how they look, but by how they act, and people like Lisa Khoury should do the same.
Alright, so with that mess behind us, we’ve got lots more news to catch up on. So keep on reading.
To lighten the mood a little, here’s a commercial that IAM:Bubble_Toes sent me. They also added a translation for us non-francophone types.
Mom sees the tattoo at the bottom of her daughter’s back, and says : “What is this tattoo?! it’s bullsh*t!” Mom raises her top, shows off her tattoo to her daughter and says “Now HERE’s a work of artist”.
Ad motto : “times change. So does twingo”
Now that’s an ad I can approve.
Moving on to the “stupid crime” section of the news we’ve got a couple of people who really don’t understand the impact of tattooing another person is. First up is Chuntera Napier who thought it would be a good idea to let her son get a tattoo.
Chuntera Napier said her son, Gaquan Napier, wanted to honor his older brother who died after being hit by a car, and she had no idea it was illegal for him to get a tattoo.“ It made me feel good to know that he wanted his brother on him,” Napier said.
Napier said. “It’s not like he was asking me, ‘Can I get Sponge Bob? Like people getting all kinds of things on them. He asked me something that’s in remembrance of his brother. How can I say no?” When asked why he wanted to get the tattoo, Gaquan said, “Because it represents my brother.” Napier took her son to a tattoo artist in Smyrna where he got a tattoo featuring his brother’s old jersey number. Someone at Gaquan’s school noticed the tattoo and contacted authorities.
I see where the problem is, she didn’t know how to say “no”. So moms out there, when your 10 year old child comes to you and asks for a tattoo, it’s OK to say “no”. This concludes today’s public service announcement.
Now, allowing your son to get a tattoo is pretty bad and can easily lead to your arrest. An even easier way to get arrested? Become a drug dealer that will only sell to people that have your name tattooed on them.
Mario Sergio Freudenthal from Itapetinga, Brazil, has been arrested after police found his name inked on a number of clients’ bodies, which is thought to include more than 70 people. As a result of the officials finding his surname on robbery suspects and deceased people, police tracked him down. The task was made easier because he was the only man in Itapetinga with that surname.
He probably could have gotten away with it if he’d only have changed his name to “Smith”.
Now, while it isn’t a crime to modify your body (at least in most places), it’s not a good idea to allow someone claiming to be a doctor to inject tire sealant into your ass.
The number of victims of a fake Miami doctor who allegedly pumped dangerous chemicals into their bodies and sealed their wounds with Super Glue has jumped to as many as 30, reports say. Oneal Ron Morris, 31, who is transgendered and known as “The Duchess,” preyed largely on other transgendered women who hoped to enhance their curves and gain more feminine features, authorities said. But after Morris allegedly injected them with harmful chemicals, including Fix-a-Flat tire sealant, many ended up in the emergency room.
Police suspect the duo may be part of a network of scam doctors who have been offering black market surgical enhancements at home “pumping parties” for years. Morris’ case first came to national attention when an unidentified patient was rushed to the hospital after a mixture of tire sealant, cement, glue and mineral oil was injected into her buttocks, authorities said. Another Florida transgendered woman, Rajee Narinesingh, was traumatized after The Duchess’s alleged injections to her face left her disfigured. Nearly a year after receiving the shots, Narinesingh’s face began to swell and develop large lumps that burst. A doctor had to fix the botched job by literally pulling cement out of her face, reports said.
Cement. She injected cement into their bodies. Being a transgendered individual is tough enough, but to have someone target the transgendered community with this type of scam is unforgivable.
Speaking of cosmetic surgery, actors in China are now being forced to undergo screenings for tattoos and facelifts in order to gain admittance to the Beijing Film Academy.
The country’s future movie stars hoping to enter the renowned Beijing Film Academy will be disqualified if they have had a facelift or tattoo, Beijing News reports. “We will conduct a physical exam to eliminate candidates with tattoos or facelifts,” said Vice-President Wang Jinsong. Candidates wearing heavy make-up will also be required to wash it off for the interview. Some 6,185 candidates have applied for the 85 places at the performing school of the college from, the report said.
In legal news Bettendorf County in Iowa is looking to place a ban on tattoos and piercings in public places.
The Bettendorf Park Board is considering a policy that would address the tattoos, piercings and attire that a guest is allowed to display at their city facilities. Last summer at Splash Landing water park, a patron complained about another patron’s tattoo – stating it was inappropriate. The staff member asked the guest to cover their tattoo but the guest decided to leave instead. Bettendorf Parks and Recreation Director, Steve Grimes says he understands every situation may not end like this. The new policy would help the staff members know how to handle the situation in the future. Grimes says the policy would address issues of “decency” of tattoos that are allowed to be displayed.
With the 9th circuit court ruling last year, I can’t see this policy ever seeing the light of day. It’s probably just some posturing to appease local voters in an election year.
In much sillier news a British man has found a way to always make sure he has his passport on him. By putting his passport on him.
Richard, 27, who had the tat of his old passport done while backpacking in Australia in March 2006, said: “I wanted something to remember my holiday by, but also wanted something patriotic. “My girlfriend at the time thought I was a bit daft, but eventually she found it hilarious. That seems to be the general reaction.” Richard, a personal trainer from Wandsworth, South West London, ran out of cash on his Oz trip. So he whipped his top off in a bank branch and used the tattoo as ID. He said: “The cashier gave me a strange look. She typed in my name and details after reading my tattoo and allowed me $50.” But in London, Richard — who was born in Sydney and has dual British—Oz nationality — keeps his tattoo covered up. He said: “I don’t walk around with my top off.”
Passport officials said he couldn’t use his tattoo to go abroad or enter the UK.
We’re just about done, but before I go I wanted to leave you with some reading for the weekend. This week I’ve got three articles that are worth sitting down to peruse.
Publisher’s Weekly has put together a collection of literary tattoos, focusing on which books have inspired the most tattoos.
The Queen’s Chronicle has an interview with Dr. Norman Goldstein about his medical studies into tattoos and tattoo inks.
And finally, Energy Publisher has a great write-up on a Vatican conference that was entitled “Into the Skin: Identity, Symbols, and History of Permanent Body Marks”. Essentially religious scholars got together at the Vatican to discuss the church’s views on tattooing.
So that’s it for this week. We’ll be back again next week with more news from around the world. Remember, if you see an article that you think should be included in the round-up, just send me an e-mail with the link.
Have a great weekend everyone.