Skin Deep 144

Censorship, What’s it all about?  And whom is it supposed to protect? And who says what we can and can’t see or print? This subject came up in the office the other day as I was picking photographs for the next issue of Skin Deep. I had just been sent some superbly tattooed images from one of the premier tattooists in this country. ‘You can’t use those’ said a voice behind me. “Why?’ was my first reply, the work was absolutely stunning and executed with such a fine and steady hand it would make any portraiture artist snap their paintbrush over their knee and go and find something else to do with their life. ‘Cos you can see her nipples’ was the reply. I was dumbfounded; surely this country hasn’t got that puritanical that we can‘t print a picture of a nipple in a tattoo? Apparently so. The distributors have said that I’m not allowed to print anything of this nature anymore. So no more nipples in the magazine, regardless if they appear in a tattoo or they are for real. Now I’m not one for just showing off a nipple for sensationalism, blimey, we all have them do we not? 

I can’t even print a piece of flash or a painting that could be the best hand-drawn and coloured artwork in the world from the hands of say, a great master like Horioshi III. If it shows a nipple or even hints of one under a gossamer kimono, then out it goes. I’m not too bothered about the lack of freedom of speech (or sight in this case), but it’s the fact that I get huge amounts of the best work from tattooists that have spent hours and hours, putting their life and soul into a tattoo and I’m not allowed to show them to you, the Skin Deep readers. 

That really gets my goat.  So from now on you’ll just have to take my word about all the gorgeous tattoos that you’re going to be missing out on, trust me there’s some great work on my desk that I can’t show you because we sell the magazine in America…

I think we are a victim of our own success, the fact that Skin Deep sells more and more issues of the magazine in the States means we are now restricted on the content by our cousins from over the Atlantic.

Rant over, enjoy this month’s ‘nipple free’ issue of Skin Deep.

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