Face Tattoos Should Never Be A Trend
There was a time when I thought neck tattoos were for those next-level bad boys, the ones I was too scared to date. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE bad boys (always have) but even I found it hard to trust one with such a publicly displayed I-don’t-give-a-f*ck attitude. In my mind, the ones with the neck tatts were the ones who were proud they had been in jail. And a hand tattoo would have me wondering if he was going through my wallet when I wasn’t looking.
I’m tattoo free, but I don’t hate tattoos. I understand the rebellious streak that exists when you get a tattoo, the permanent commitment between yourself and the design. But all tattoos are not created equal. I once assumed there was an unspoken rule—tattoo anything but your hands and never, ever your neck. I thought tattooing either of those regions was a personal political statement, a wish to never care whether you were accepted.
But times change. And so have I. You need only watch five minutes of MTV or BET to see how popular neck tattoos have become among the pop and hip-hop elite. Neck and hand tattoo no longer set a person away from the population. Dare I say it’s become mainstream. And man how I’ve grown to love them. A well-designed neck tattoo is now a turn on. Sorry Mom and Dad.
I believe in the freedom of expression and in the power of art, so the benefits of permanent body decoration like tattoos do not elude me. I have many friends who smartly decided to cover their bodies in colorful designs, which bring them joy everyday. They love their tattoos and few of them have pieces they regret. There are times when I’m envious of their artwork. I love the idea that each piece brings art into their lives every moment of the day. Not to mention, tattoos on the opposite sex can be incredibly sexy.
Fast-forward more years than I care to admit. I live in New York City’s East Village. I’m startled by the latest trend I’ve noticed: teenagers with face tattoos. They’re rocking eye tatts placed slightly under the outer corner of the eye, like Lil Wayne and Gudd Gudda. The prevailing style is a fleur-de-lis, similar in style to the New Orleans Saints’ logo.
Yes, the eye tattoo is super hot on Weezy and Gudda Gudda. But think for one second—is this a trend you want to participate in? This isn’t like rocking jeggings or shaving half your head. This is worse than regretting that last cocktail and sleeping with your ex boyfriend or best friend. This is like catching something you can’t get rid of.
Eye tattoos probably seem like a good idea at the time. Some bad ideas do.
Just because your favorite celebs are doing it doesn’t mean you have to. They have coffers deep enough to get them removed. I recently met a kid with teardrop tatts who told me he got them “just because.” Because? Really?
Maybe I’m a purist. The face houses the most important pieces of what make us who we are: the mouth and the eyes, forever glorified as the window to the soul. You look at a person’s face when you speak with them because you want to see the truth in the eyes and hear the tone in the voice as the words fall out to you. Facial tattoos disrupt and cloud. The tatts become the focal point.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone with a face tattoo. She was an earthly, almost mythic creature of slimness, beauty and elegance. She was mother earth and the queen of a foreign land wrapped in one exquisite package. Three–quarters of her face was covered by a gray-green pouncing leopard tattoo. It emerged from her right temple and extended across her cheek, below her eye and across the middle of her face. I never got close enough to look her in the eye, let alone inspect the piece and its details. She was mysterious and ethereal and seemingly approachable, yet always wandering the streets alone. I just couldn’t help but wonder what made that girl want a leopard pouncing on her face. And if that leopard was keeping people away from her.
I’m not a total hater. Kat Von D has an amazing celestial palate of stars above her cheek—beautiful. I loved The Game’s butterfly and even the LA he had covering it. Too bad he screwed it all up with that red star he has now. It sucks. While Mike Tyson’s tribal nonsense was originally disturbing, I now look past it. The face tatts of rapper Gucci Mane or Danger from For The Love Of Ray J? Whatevs.
I like to believe we exist in a world of Kumbaya, Shangri-La, Ralph Nader and no racism, but that’s simply not the case. I hate to break the reverie of your belief, but let’s get real. True, it doesn’t matter what people think of you and they should deal with your face tattoo and if they really were accepting people they wouldn’t judge you….blah, blah, blah. You’re right. I get it. But I still can’t help but call bullsh*t. Face tattoos are startling. They’re kind of like you put up a wall with the words F*CK YOU in neon lights.
I’m not telling you not to get a face tattoo. If that’s your jam, so be it. But please don’t hate on me if I stare at you longer that is considered polite.