Inkoming - 154

Published: 01 December, 2007 - Featured in Skin Deep 154, December, 2007

Air your views or have a rant and we’ll give one letter a free, yes free, t-shirt! Aren’t we nice?

Winning Letter

Hey Neil

Some tattoo magazines you read, the editorials drone on and on. You however, always seem to get those good old brain waves cascading into action. The editorial you wrote about that lovely lady journalist was quite a corker. But rather than my blood boiling I burst into laughter. 

What type of journalist cuts off half of her customer/client reader base? Her career is going to be short lived as I really cant see her having a chat and a cuppa with Angelina Jolie, Lilly Allen, any of the Osbournes, Sophie Anderton, the Beckhams or really, most of the celebrity world!! On top of that there are going to be a fair few readers that will not be buying that paper any more. 

Also what she said is discriminative, sexist and has no solid roots!! Now, if she was to slag off a Christian for wearing a cross or Sikhs for wearing a turban she would have been knee deep in shit. But why is it our culture can come under fire? A tattoo is a truly deep thing that is carried for life. It can help get over death and turmoil. It can provide self-confidence and a feeling of achievement. There are tribes of women who, for uncountable years have been tattooed generation after solid generation, as a part of their religious belief system.

The part about just criminals having tattoos got a few of us giggling though. She really is a very naive woman. Any self-respecting criminal (if there is such a thing) will not get tattooed as it makes them easily identifiable. Yes, there are gangs that sport tattoos, but they are mainly covered up... (Can you imagine her as a witness at a line up? Dear, dear me!)  

And as for the self-harm thing...ha-ha what a silly little girl she is! As you said Neil, tattooing is used as a deterrent for it. I have a friend who finds comfort in tattoos as it gives him a real sense of achievement and takes the need away to cut himself. We also have a customer that badly self harmed until he came to see us. If you imagine wrapping an elastic band around your arm and pull it tight, that’s how deep the cutting was. Yet after Jon tattooed him he is well on the road to recovery.  Also he doesn’t want to mess up all that lovely work!

Instead of being angry with her I think we should pity her. She obviously is a very prejudiced, malicious and naive woman. If she has to suffer such a blinkered life then it’s a shame. 

You will have to keep us informed on what she thought of Skin Deep. If this magazine can’t change her mind nothing will. 

Thank you for yet another controversial editorial Neil!

Cathy @ Vivid Arts

SD: It’s great to hear of more people benefiting from tattooing and moving away from self-harm. Isn’t it funny how many more articles have sprung up recently that berate tattooing, scarification and branding and are written by people with little to no knowledge on any of the subjects? Ignorance and fear are easily spread by such nonsensical ramblings, and we hope that Skin Deep can help show people how wonderful what we do is.



Most of the members of my family have tattoos, I think it lets your individuality shine through.  Recently my 14-year daughter asked for permission to have a tattoo on her spine.  Although I love mine and I love my daughter I think this would be irresponsible of me to give in to the pleading.  She brought home a friend from school of the same age to show off hers!  What kind of idiot lets a 14 year old into thinking this is a good idea.  They’ve not stopped growing yet.  Am I wrong?


SD: No, you are most certainly right to tell her that she has to wait until she is 18! If a tattooist is willing to break the law by tattooing a minor, you have to ask yourself if they are also willing to violate health and safety regulations too. Any reputable tattooist should refuse to tattoo someone that is underage.   



Just read Robert Webb’s letter regarding under age tattooing and can only fully agree with what he said, but then as you read through your fine mag the majority of interviews ask the question of when you received your first tattoo and it seems a large amount are when they are under age. This may be bravado, but if we are to keep raising the profile of tattooing surely we should not give the dissenting voices against tattooing any ammunition to throw against us?

Yours, Iain

SD: Well pointed out Iain! However, we feature many American artists and the laws on tattooing vary from state to state over the water; in some places people can be tattooed under the age of 18 with the permission of a parent or guardian. Of course, Skin Deep does not condone illegal activities of any sort.



I recently went in to my local Claire’s Accessories (my niece dragged me in there!) and I was shocked to see them piercing the top of the ear with a piercing gun. I have always known this to be illegal in the UK and I checked with trading standards and it seems it still is. However, Claire’s advertise on their web page that they do this and when I questioned them they told me they were doing nothing wrong. Please could you tell me, has the law changed? Or are Claire’s in the wrong?

Gwen Head

SD: Piercings should really only be performed using a hollow cannula needle, followed by the insertion of jewellery. The British Body Piercing Association (BBPA) have some great information on their website for anybody who is curious as to why guns should be avoided. They say, “Guns cannot be properly sterilised in an autoclave and the studs are generally quite blunt. This causes extra trauma to the area being pierced. Sometimes the metal can cause allergic reactions because it is not of sufficient quality for initial piercing. The studs are too long for nostril piercings and can cause the stud to irritate and go into the inner part of the nose. Butterflies are normally automatically attached making it difficult to remove the stud and can cause severe pinching if swelling occurs.”

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Dear Neil

I’ve just read your article in issue 152 about the tattooing of people who have had reconstructive surgery due to having had breast cancer, or as you call it ‘this horrible disease’, at the Royal Marsden Hospital. I think it’s absolutely fantastic that tattooing can be used in such a good and positive way. Hats off to Sue Broom and all who have helped to make this possible.

I’ve read in previous issues of your magazine about people getting the same endorphin release that you get when you self-harm, and I found this an interesting read with me self-harming.

I have also had a tattoo of my late wife Margaret done at Inky’s in Skipton, North Yorkshire so here’s to all the tattooists, keep up the good work.

Yours truly, John Atkinson

SD: Sue and her team are certainly providing an amazing service in helping women to regain their femininity. Tattoos as a form of therapy for self-harm appears to work for a number of people and it is great to hear that you have gained something from reading about this. Sounds like you are very proud of your tattoo John! 


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Skin Deep 154 15 December 2007 154