"Betty Leopard": My Tattoo is not a Bumper Sticker, It's a Custom Paint Job

Saturday, 4 February 2012

My Tattoo is not a Bumper Sticker, It's a Custom Paint Job

There has been an article doing the rounds on the internet this past week that criticises women who have tattoos. The article, titled "Why put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?" argues that women are beautiful as they are, and that getting a tattoo is pointless and un-classy.
Now, I can't argue with the first point; women are beautiful in all our varied shapes, sizes, and colours. Indeed, I also agree with the author in her point about the how attractive a trait class is. However, beyond that, our views diverge.
I am a tattooed woman. Not to the extent of some women, and not as much as I would like to be, but I have chosen to go under the needle and put ink to flesh, on more than one occassion. As such, I am quite offended at the incinuation that my decision makes me a woman without class. I do not consider my body art to be 'vandalism' of 'my temple'; it is exactly what it says it is - body ART - decoration that I have chosen, that has expression and meaning.
I strongly disagree that you get nothing out of a tattoo. The author asks if your tattoo has caused you to learn something new about yourself? Has it challenged you? Has it led to self growth? I would answer yes, strongly yes, to all of those questions. However, these things are not something that can be easily understood by someone who does not have, or care for, tattoos. My tattoos hold great meaning for me; I remember who I was when I first formulated the ideas, where I was when I drew them up, how I picked where to have them done, who was with me when I did have them done, how I felt and all the craziness associated with the whole process. My tattoos are memories and feelings far beyond anything the actual images represent.
I don't see why the author will advocate women dressing themselves up in nice clothes, high heels, painting their nails and doing their hair as means of appreciating and enjoying their bodies but feels body art is not just a further step in dressing up, styling yourself, expressing yourself through your appearance or appreciating your body. I love my tattoo, seeing it makes me smile, it makes me feel good about my body; plus, I'm willing to put in extra effort to keep myself in shape so it stays in shape too ;)
I am also deeply offended at the prospect that my body art will corrupt the morals of my grandchildren. I have little to say about that as it is such a ridiculous idea. I have a tattoo but am in no way morally corrupt, and far be it for any distant news editor to accuse me of such.
And I won't even start on the double standards......

My tattoo is not a bumper sticker; It's a custom paint job. And I LOVE IT!

I think tattooed woman are beautiful, powerful symbols of feminity that no-one else has the right to judge. Class, elegance and beauty are not one thing, set out as rules in stone. The best thing a woman can be is herself; tattoos, piercings, scars, moles, wrinkles and all.

I will add one caveat; that a tattoo should always be well thought out and well executed, don't cheapen yourself with a cheap tattoo.

I will leave you with some images of my favourite beautiful, strong, inspiring tattooed women to think about (without even starting on the Suicide Girls).

Anna Fur Laxis (photo from annafurlaxis.com)
Cervena Fox (photo byTina Korhonen, taken from facebook)

ReeRee Rockette (photo from Rockalily.com)

Ok, rant over, for now.


  1. So true. My tattoos are landmarks of important times in my life. They're a very personal thing, to me they represent my growth. . . They're also very pretty. X x love the blog Hun.

  2. Such a brill post. My tattoos are a part of me and I don't think anyone has the right to judge or comment on whether I am less of a woman because I have some :-) xx

  3. I agree with you. I do think that some tattoos can look un-classy. I have seen some really awful ones. But some can look nice.
    A year ago I was going to get a tattoo. I had thought about it for ages (years), was completely sure of the design and knew where on my body I wanted it. It also had great meaning to me. But then after much deliberation I decided not to go ahead with it. I don't really know why, something just told me not to. And I'm glad I didn't get it. I'm not saying I wouldn't have one in the future though, I still have that same design in mind.
    So while I think some tattoos can look un-classy. Some tattoos can look really good, like the ones in the pictures you have shown. They can look good if done properly. While I would never get anything like that, I think that they look really great!

  4. completely agree on this! and i love your expression 'custom paint job'! excellent

    chlo @chlowitty blogs

  5. I really do agree with you. That was a nice post to read, it made my morning, thanks!!

  6. Thank you all for the lovely comments.
    It's not fair that people with tattoos all get tarred with the same old fashioned ideas. It's 2012 for goodness sake, not 1952.

  7. I love those sleeve tattoos. would love to get one but don't have the courage or money at the moment.

  8. what a saying! people are always surprised when they see my tattoos because I'm ''such a lovely girl'' .... er so nice people cant have tattoos too?! I just had a peek at yours - looooove the pink leopard print!

  9. I love tattoos on a woman, I must say before I go on that there there are some that are rubbish and just look like some commercially churned out "art". when done right can add so much to a person. Sadly i have none , i am afraid of needles :-( I can still admire them though)

  10. Each of us has different point of view on tattoos on women. I don't have any tattoos on my body cause I don't want to but I find them so cool having tattoos. And I don't see it as vandalism, you're right it is exactly a body ART!


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