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Saturday, September 27, 2021

smooth sailing
This shouldn’t come as any surprise: Tattoo adornment above the collar and cuffs is slowly gaining more social acceptance.

The day when most businesses are blasé about visible tattoos on employees seems a ways off. But then, it is only relatively recently that tattoo artists were comfortable inking neck and hands.

“In the old days tattooists wouldn’t do it,” said Bob Baxter, the editor of the tattoo journal Skin & Ink. “There are 528 shops in New York and maybe 10 won’t do it now.”

Necks and hands, said Joshua Lord, an owner of East Side Ink on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, were the last taboo. Now it is common for customers to seek them, he said. “Before it was people in industries that are forgiving,” he said, meaning principally music or art. “But recently I’ve done them for doctors and funeral directors and teachers, and a lot of hairdressers,” who use hand tattoos as conversation starters, he said.

Count me out of this creeping body-inkage. For better or for worse, I maintain an old-fogyish attitude toward tattooing: Regardless of who’s sporting the body art, it strikes me as low-class even when well-done, and thus is a distinct turn-off. It was bad enough when the tats were strategically hidden on the torso or upper limbs; now that they’re migrating to the neck, ears, palms, and fingers, it’s harder and harder to hide my distaste.

But, as one of the above article’s subjects noted, it’s almost becoming more mainstream to have a tattoo than to not have one. I think that’s a bit forest-for-the-trees, but the trending is probably moving in that direction. If so, I look forward to the distinction that’ll come with being well outside the mainstream.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/27/2008 07:18:19 PM
Category: Fashion, Society
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