“Back in the nineties”

I think there are very few people who worked in a piercing or tattoo studio in the late 1990s that don’t remember chatting with their coworkers at the beginning of the summer season and saying something to the effect of, “well, this is going to be the last big summer.” Piercings and tattoos were so unbelievably popular that it was impossible to believe that the “fad” couldn’t possibly last any longer. Almost all of us thought that one year soon we’d be remembering the nineties as “the good old days” back when mods were still popular.

I was watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine today and was reminded of those days because of a funny scene that takes place in the episode “Past Tense” (season three, episode eleven) when some of the characters time travel back to the San Francisco of 2024. One of the people who travels back is Jadzia Dax, a trill, who like all trill has characteristic leopard-like spots running down each side of her body from head to toe.


In 2024, humans did not yet know about non-terran civilizations, so Jadzia had to come up with an excuse for her spots. The scene between her and a human she’d met that was helping her out (Christopher Brynner), was quite amusing –

Christopher Brynner: You know, those are very unusual.

Jadzia Dax: Oh, you mean my tattoos?

Chris: It is amazing work! Where did you have them done? Japan?

Jadzia: How did you guess?

Chris: Well, I used to have one myself… A Maori tribal pattern — used to go all the way down my arm. I got it in highschool, back in the 90s, just like everybody else. Of course I had to have it removed. Well… you know how it is. To get the government contracts, you have to look like all the rest of the drones. So I guess that makes me a sellout.

Because I’ve made it my mission to binge watch every Star Trek episode of every series, I’ve been enjoying the body modification references, both direct references like the one above, and indirect ones like all the different characters and races with tattoos — I thought about making a post cataloging it or adding it to the BME encyclopedia, but then had a bit of a reality check and realized it would be of interest to me and maybe… three other readers.

Make it bleed!

Remember when I said I thought maybe I was posting too many scarification photos? Yeah, remind me to delete that entry, and while you’re at it, remind me to rename my testicles “Ryan” and “Ouellette”. Then maybe people will think that my wonderful balls traveled to Linkoping, Sweden and did this wonderful Jean Luc Picard as Locutus of Borg skin removal scarification on Elin’s back. Fortunately for Elin though, it was the real Ryan Ouellette, of New Hampshire’s Precision Body Arts (precisionbodyarts.com) who created this gorgeous piece of Star Trek superfandom over six hours of assimilation with his blade (and a little help from Nick Kelley who did the initial artwork design). Beautiful work as always — and I have to wonder if in the distant future, when this piece has faded as all scars must, if it might be an idea piece to give a second life to with a bit of tattooing?

Black and Grey Biomech Facial Work

Most of the facial tattoos that I see these days are geometric or some type of neotribal or art tattooing. I do also see some bright colourful biomech — you know, the stuff with big heavy outlines, extraterrestrial psychedelia, and graffiti-like saturation — but Bec’s stands out from the crowd because it’s black and white (to be clear, it’s not just the photo — the tattoo itself is beautifully grey-shaded) and still very feminine. Waves of HR Giger alien machinery weaving through her skin, across the side of her head and on her neck. Love it. You can find her at Cherry’s Tattoos in Hornchurch, UK. As always, click to zoom.


On account of being dropped on my head as a baby I’ve never trusted my ability to recognize faces, but the combination of Bec’s tattoo and facial structure is really reminding me of the facial implant on Star Trek’s Seven of Nine… Are you with me on this or am I living in my own fantasy world again?