November 27, 2003 13:44 | Culture

No Tattoos Allowed!

Joi's Moblog: No Tattoos Allowed!

They actually have signage for that. Amazing.


It's a double-edged sword, though, or perhaps more of a pen-knife, perhaps:
I knew a guy who was a member of a sports club that prohibited tattoos. He was due to go back to England and wanted out of his contract, but was expected to pay for another few months. He walked in in a sleeveless shirt, proudly brandishing his new (fake) tattoo and was promptly relieved of any further obligation to the club.

The feeling among the club/pool/sento owners is that if you let in the tattooed yakuza types, (the thinking being that only criminals get tattooed,) your business will suffer. This is probably true, with tattooed foreigners being a negligible exception and not really worth worrying about.

I really doubt that I'd be comfortable at a club that allowed in a lot of tattooed people, not for the odd foreigner, but the gangster element. It's not really much different from American nightclubs or even schools in Los Angeles prohibiting the wearing of "colors" that signify gang affiliation.

Hey Jim!
Funny story. :)
Silly "feeling among club/pool/sento owners" but whatever.

The thing is, the days of tattoos only appearing on seedy characters are long gone (and that stigma has a history in western culture and perhaps japan, but not really anywhere else, right? I mean humans the world over have been tattooing for ages...)

And keep this in mind: easily 98% of people I know are tattooed. That's guys and girls, from all walks of life (including suburban moms...) If we had some stats on the numbers of people getting tattoos these days, all this bullshit stigma would disappear... within a generation anyways.. which it is doing anyways... ;)

Hey Boris!
If we had some stats on the number of people getting tattoos as well as stats on the number of people doing all kinds of idiotic things these days we would see a definite comparison.
It's kinda of like....graffiti on an nice,well-kept building...who wants to see that!...unless ofcourse you are the one who put it there....I 've got an idea...How about putting tattoos on little babies!....heck, maybe even pets!!....we don't have any guide-lines in our society anyway...What the heck!
Or about this for a "stigma".....tattoos have clearly been a sign of criminalistic nature for decades(in the U.S.A)...but now, to a generation who is apparently out of touch with this time frame in history,to them there appears to be "nothing wrong" with it. If there is even a concept of right or wrong to them! I wonder..... will doing crack be looked at as "nothing wrong" by the next generation?????
I kinda liked the idea of being able to identify "trash" we i see it.What's next....cutting off noses!...Is that the next "Fad"?....Oops!didn't mean to give you any ideas!!! ;)
Peace and sanity!

Hmmm… those are very interesting and very sarcastic comments, Griff. But, maybe you (and all of us out there) should consider a couple of things. First, there is no empirically demonstrated relationship between being tattooed and being a criminal. Second, that being the case perhaps it would be wise for you to literally look beyond someone’s skin and try to understand that individual on a deeper level. Finally, for a little reading material about unjust stigmatization and your fear of a crack epidemic may I suggest Alex Thio’s textbook "Deviant Behavior" (Seventh Edition)and Barry Glassner’s "Culture of Fear: Why Americans Fear the Wrong Things"? If you take the time to read a couple of chapters in either of these, you may just change your mind on a couple of issues.

I am in a cultural studies class at my university and I decided to do my final presentation of racial and ethnic motivations for modern, pop-culture tattoos, I was assuming there would be a ton of information available. What I discovered, however, is that the pages I found on the Internet had little to do with the culture or traditions relating to specific cultural tattoos. What was common, however, was that searches for Hispanic, African American, or even White tattoos resulted in very stereotypical results. Almost all of the results I came across concerned criminal activity, mainly gangs. Being a 22-year-old Caucasian girl with four tattoos, I really had not thought that there was such a stigma attached to body art in 2005. I knew, I’m not stupid, that there are still those that disagree with tattoos… my step mom thinks they’re only for bikers and drug user…but I thought they were on the decline. Knowing tattooed people from every walk of life, mainly upper middle class whites, I am surprised these views are still so prominent.

i guess i must be in the 2% category - look ma, no tattoos!

hehe Caroline.

I had a discussion a few months ago with someone about "sex" partners. And I was noticing in the last 3 years, I'm in Montreal, I had only one tattoed sex partner. On the other side, the person talking with me said almost the opposite. It was a kind of funny to try to understand which kind of communities we were into. I guess very different somehow. :)

And btw, I'm tattooless too!

Griff, You are absolutely ridiculous. Your statements are absene and very ignorant. Maybe if you knew something about tattooing you wouldnt be so arrogant. a FYI alot of people get tattoos now a days, doctors lawers ceo people and even teachers.. ITS NOT JUST CRIMINALS