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14 May, 2021

Wayne's World: Tattoos do not define the person

G’DAY Tropicairnsians, I have been totally amazed by the number of females in today’s society that have skin art, or as more commonly referred to, tattoos.

By Wayne Marshall

 About 200 years ago, give or take a few years due to poor memory, I got inked.

A black panther’s head on my left shoulder. Now with age it looks like incredibly angry seal.

Women with tatts used to be commonly referred to as bikers, but now everywhere you look there are females of all ages, races and society classes with these sometimes-beautiful works of skin art.

I say sometimes because I have seen some really ugly skin art as well, which can clearly identified as home jobs, prison jobs or very bad backyard, unskilled cheap work.

This form of artistry has become a very widely accepted personal expression of individuality, so loved by some that they will even travel overseas to get work done by a highly skilled artist.

I recently watched a video of a girl in New Zealand getting a tattoo using old form of Te Uhi a Toroa (albatross bone chisel of Toroa) dipped into tree pigment. This chisel is tapped with a small mallet or fern stalk into the skin, a very long, slow and most times painful process.

Not only are these women getting tattoos but also many are getting heaps of body piercings.

One wonderfully cheerful female team member at the big green box called Raitch has some 15 tattoos all in black ink and the first one was done in Switzerland at fifteen years old while on holidays with mum (and inked with mums blessing).

 She also has 25 body piercing, with all the work costing many thousands of dollars. When I asked why she ventured in to this form of body transformation, she says these all make her happy.

There is all sorts of stories relating to why these women get tattoos, some to remember loved ones that have passed on, others to celebrate children, others to celebrate separation from ex partners or even starting new relationships.

So next time you see some interesting skin art, strike up a conversation with them about their body work and more often than not, you may walk away smiling like I did with these lovely ladies.



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