Letters - 204

Published: 17 October, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 204, October, 2011

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

Letter of the Month

A Grey Matter Issue

I am writing to tell you what a great article I thought ‘Only Women Bleed’ was (no.202). And to thank you, really for publishing such an interesting, enlightening and thought-provoking piece.

The article jumped out at me for a few reasons; One – it was a really interesting article and that’s always good in a tattoo mag, two – I am a tattooed woman, and three – it's a subject close to my heart.

I am currently studying for my PhD (only part-time study, my other time is spent being a domestic abuse adviser and a Mum). My PhD is in Gender Studies & Sociology, focusing upon heavily tattooed women and the way society perceives them. I want to look at the idea that if a tattooed woman over-compensates for her ‘deviance’ via other means, such as overtly ‘feminine’ clothes or make-up, she can just about ‘get away’ with being tattooed… in the eyes of the non-tattooed community.

Your article was a breath of fresh air, and very timely – I had just drafted a blog post about my thoughts, and about my recent experience with a tattoo magazine (not Skin Deep, I have to say!).

The article has renewed my faith in the way tattoo magazines can and will represent tattooed women.


Thanks for sharing Emma – this is an issue that’s as long and complicated beneath the surface as time itself. Anybody interested in reading Emma’s excellent blog post can find it here: http://penandinked.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/the-tattooed-beauty-myth/.

Tattoo or art? Is there a difference?

I was just approaching my 16th birthday (tut tut!) when I got my first tattoo, a unicorn on my upper right arm. Over the following three to four years I had another five. So by the time I was 20 years old, I had four on my arms and two on my back. I am often asked if I regret getting them, to which my reply is always, “no, I just wish they were better!”

I am now 42 years old and have decided that it is time to do something about them and indeed, make them better. On my first trip to a tattoo studio all those years ago, all I knew was that I wanted a tattoo, not really caring what of! I spent some time looking through a catalogue of pictures, picked one out and got it tattooed on my arm, and there it was… forever!

That’s kind of how it went with all of my early tattoos.

As I am now a lot older and a little more sensible (debatable) the whole tattoo experience has been completely different. Firstly, I spent quite a bit of time deciding what design I would like (the existing unicorn built up with a wizard). The next step was to search through magazines and the internet to get a clear picture in my head of exactly what I wanted.

After that, I needed to find the artist that I would trust to do the work. It was vital that I made the right decision. I didn’t just want another tattoo, I wanted a piece of art, and I stumbled across an amazing artist whilst looking through Skin Deep. I saw a full-page advert with three pictures on it, all very good. It was from a studio in Gosport called Inklination. I went onto their website and was impressed by the work displayed on there, none more so than Ceridwen William’s gallery. Her work is excellent and Ceri became my chosen one!

I paid a visit to the studio and chatted through my design before booking an appointment. I was totally gobsmacked when I was told that the earliest appointment was four months down the line. This confirmed that I had made the right choice. You don’t have a four month waiting list for no reason. The difficult part was waiting patiently for my turn. As excited as a kid on Christmas Eve I counted down the weeks and months.

The concern I had was that in my mind I had built the tattoo up to be fantastic, it was going to be great. This left Ceri with a lot to live up to. I needn’t have worried. Although not quite finished, Ceri has nailed it! It is perfect! Now it’s my tattoo that is in their advert and I couldn’t be more proud! (see photo). Was it worth the wait? You bet! I now have an amazing piece of art on my arm, not just another tattoo. Now for the next one.
Dave Jones

Thanks Dave – always nice to hear a great story. Keep them coming!

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