Neck tattoos and the power of words

A lot of you have probably seen the article on Jezebel where a woman tells her version of events when she was turned down for a neck tattoo. If you haven’t seen it, you can have a look here.

The artist in question, Dan Blythewood, wrote a very even and well thought out reply to the incident and the article that was written about him.

Anonymous submission to BME

The reality is, none of us were there, so we can’t know for sure what went down. The problem, all too often, is that someone has an experience that was negative or that didn’t go their way and they take to the Internet to trash the business or person. All of us has had a bad experience somewhere I’m sure and maybe sometimes we can recognize that we were being unreasonable ourselves. If I’m being honest, I can think of times when I reacted poorly to a situation and the business/worker wasn’t really at fault. Trashing the business or person online can have serious repercussions and that’s something we should all consider before we exact our online revenge for some slight, real or imaginary. We are attacking a person’s livelihood or, in the case of a shop, attacking the livelihood of several people. Our words are powerful and if people choose to react immediate to one version of events, they can seriously harm a business. Sometimes our words are wholly justified but maybe it’s a good idea to think on it and take at least 24 hours to decide if this is worth the wrath of the Internet or if maybe we handled the situation poorly. All that said, I don’t know Dan at all, but I do know that the policy of not tattooing hands, necks and faces on people who are not already heavily tattooed or otherwise set in their life path where visible tattoos won’t hamper their future, is a common policy and one that many professional artists apply to all sexes.  At the end of the day, personally, I’d rather see an artist who has ethics than one who will just take my money and do whatever I want, regardless of how foolish or detrimental it may turn out to be. (Please note, I’m not calling visible tattoos foolish in this instance because I happen to think they’re beautiful however I do believe it’s foolish to not consider the long term consequences of something so visible.)

I’m sure there are many who could write far more eloquently on this topic than I can but those are my thoughts and I have a hard time believing things went down as described by the person seeking a tattoo. At the end of the day, she got her tattoo elsewhere and I’m not sure why she felt it necessary to take to the Internet to not only trash the artist but mock his work as well. Please leave your comments and thoughts below but please also remember to be respectful. Name calling (either way) is not helpful and doesn’t invite further discussion.

Note: The photo at the top of this article is not of anyone involved in either article. The photo was submitted anonymously to BME.

3 thoughts on “Neck tattoos and the power of words

  1. She wrote the article very condescendingly and clearly has a very entitled attitude in general. She didn’t get what she wanted so she threw a tantrum. She mocked the tattoos of people who had 100% nothing to do with it in the throes of her tantrum. Clearly that never struck her as contradictory to her “feminist bodily autonomy” angle.

    And frankly, all he was trying to explain to her is that when you have a visible tattoo people will form an impression based upon that, accurate or not. Didn’t she just do the same thing to random people? Maybe he didn’t explain it diplomatically to which she took it as an insult (tacky) and got defensive, but let’s face it – getting a bunch of little words tattooed reeks of a lack of creativity and thoughtfulness. And her response shows a great deal of insecurity, not the best trait to have when getting a neck tattoo. So he was right.

  2. I always find it suspicious when someone refuses to even consider that sexism might have affected their decisions, because being steeped in this culture, how can anyone be so positive they’re above all that?

    Also, imho it’s poor customer service to call someone’s sense of aesthetics “tacky” just because it differs from your own. I didn’t appreciate the rebuttal’s mocking tone toward Jezebel readers (what does Sex Pistols even have to do with anything beyond being a means to belittle feminists?).

    So altogether, I’m inclined to say this tattoo artist has some work to do around gender and communication. It’s totally an artist’s right to refuse anything, but I believe it could have been done more politely. Plus, there’s no need to lower oneself by snarking back at a grumpy customer review; if you choose a line of work where you interact with consumers on a daily basis, roll with the punches a little when people take issue. Being chill about minor disagreements is part of your job.

  3. if anyone wants to know, the artist who did the tattoo for the pic of this article, it’s : Hanumantra lamar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>