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A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Weird Science
This was inspired by an article schmi linked concerning differences between men and women on the subject of tattoos. It got me thinking, so I've decided to conduct my own incredibly unscientific study.

The basic premise:
If you are a man with ink or an interest in ink, fill out the first poll, entitled The Illustrated Man. Leave comments as you see fit, and invite your friends to visit and take the poll themselves.

If you are a woman with ink or an interest in ink, fill out the second poll, entitled (appropriately enough) The Illustrated Woman. Leave comments as you see fit, and invite your friends to visit and take the poll themselves.

Poll #172892 The Illustrated Man

Do you now have a tattoo?

Yes
23(54.8%)
No
19(45.2%)

If no, would you consider getting one?

Yes
15(75.0%)
No
5(25.0%)

Do you have multiple tattoos?

Yes
13(31.7%)
No
28(68.3%)

Which of the following reasons contributed to your desire or decision to get ink?

Image or status
0(0.0%)
Love of the art
0(0.0%)
Desire to accentuate a part of the body
0(0.0%)
Desire to decorate the body in general
0(0.0%)
Meaningful symbol or image (personal)
4(11.1%)
Meaningful symbol or image (social)
0(0.0%)
Pain/endorphin rush
0(0.0%)
Other (please specify in comments)
1(2.8%)

Which of the following reasons was most important to your desire or decision to get ink?

Image or status
0(0.0%)
Love of the art
1(2.9%)
Desire to accentuate a part of the body
2(5.7%)
Desire to decorate the body in general
7(20.0%)
Meaningful symbol or image (personal)
22(62.9%)
Meaningful symbol or image (social)
1(2.9%)
Pain/endorphin rush
0(0.0%)
Other
2(5.7%)

Where are your tattoos?

Upper arm
3(12.0%)
Lower arm
1(4.0%)
Hand
0(0.0%)
Upper leg
0(0.0%)
Lower leg
2(8.0%)
Foot
1(4.0%)
Face
0(0.0%)
Neck
0(0.0%)
Chest
1(4.0%)
Abdomen
1(4.0%)
Shoulder
0(0.0%)
Back
3(12.0%)
Small of the back
0(0.0%)
Hip
1(4.0%)
Butt
0(0.0%)

Did your choice of placement have anything to do with concerns about your "reputation"?

Yes
15(48.4%)
No
14(45.2%)
What??
2(6.5%)


Poll #172893 The Illustrated Woman

Do you now have a tattoo?

Yes
43(57.3%)
No
32(42.7%)

If no, would you consider getting one?

Yes
25(75.8%)
No
8(24.2%)

Do you have multiple tattoos?

Yes
23(33.3%)
No
46(66.7%)

Which of the following reasons contributed to your desire or decision to get ink?

Image or status
0(0.0%)
Love of the art
0(0.0%)
Desire to accentuate a part of the body
0(0.0%)
Desire to decorate the body in general
2(3.2%)
Meaningful symbol or image (personal)
11(17.5%)
Meaningful symbol or image (social)
0(0.0%)
Pain/endorphin rush
0(0.0%)
Other (please specify in comments)
1(1.6%)

Which of the following reasons was most important to your desire or decision to get ink?

Image or status
1(1.7%)
Love of the art
2(3.4%)
Desire to accentuate a part of the body
0(0.0%)
Desire to decorate the body in general
12(20.7%)
Meaningful symbol or image (personal)
39(67.2%)
Meaningful symbol or image (social)
1(1.7%)
Pain/endorphin rush
0(0.0%)
Other
3(5.2%)

Where are your tattoos?

Upper arm
1(2.1%)
Lower arm
2(4.2%)
Hand
0(0.0%)
Upper leg
0(0.0%)
Lower leg
4(8.3%)
Foot
1(2.1%)
Face
0(0.0%)
Neck
0(0.0%)
Chest
1(2.1%)
Abdomen
0(0.0%)
Shoulder
4(8.3%)
Back
6(12.5%)
Small of the back
3(6.2%)
Hip
2(4.2%)
Butt
0(0.0%)

Did your choice of placement have anything to do with concerns about your "reputation"?

Yes
21(35.0%)
No
20(33.3%)
What??
19(31.7%)


Tell your friends!

Current Mood: curious curious

53 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
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riverbank From: riverbank Date: August 26th, 2003 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
once thought i might get a tatoo turning my arm into a tree limb. i much prefer henna (temp) tatoos 'cause i'm forever changing. i do have many peircings in my ears left from my muti peircing days. i took out all the facial ones years ago, too many shiny things.
i've changed from my outragious-look-at-me punk days into an incognito as-long-as-they-don't-look-me-in-the-eye i can almost pass look. i find it more fun to lure unsuspecting people into subversive conversations. *chuckle*
komos From: komos Date: August 26th, 2003 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I confess I don't have any ink. I am fascinated by irezumi though, and think that if I ever reached a point where I was happy with the canvas (and could find an artist), I'd probably try to get a partial sleeve of plum blossoms on my right arm.

Honestly, I doubt it would end there.
From: fafner Date: August 26th, 2003 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't have any. I did get as fas as being in the chair with the pattern on my shoulder but changed my mind. Im so glad I did. I would hate to have that thing on me now.
The problem is the permanence. You change..they don't. I know many people who have them and not a one who's glad they do. Not all hate them but they all say they wish it wasn't there.
If you think back on stuff you thought was neat 10 or 15 years ago you will probably be glad you don't have it tattooed on you arm. Well the stuff you think is neat today won't seem that way in the future.
There's going to be a lot of unhappy people in a few years I really feel sorry for the girls who mess themselves up with a bunch of junk that shows.
That's really sad.
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angellike From: angellike Date: August 26th, 2003 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I got mine kinda down there....ya know!!!!
So I didnt get to pick a spot....
komos From: komos Date: August 26th, 2003 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rock!

Given the picks, I'd probably say with hips (I was thinking "pelvis"). Otherwise, I'm happy to include "unmentionable" as a choice for the final results. ^_^
From: drewberry4 Date: August 26th, 2003 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have one tattoo so far but an appointment for another in a couple of weeks. :)

In response to this question.... Did your choice of placement have anything to do with concerns about your "reputation"?
My only tattoo so far is on my inner forearm. It's visible with everything except long-sleeves (even 3/4 arm sleeves don't cover it) and my parents were very concerned about me getting it there. I had my own issues with it as well, because I plan to get a job in an educational setting, and obviously having a visible tattoo isn't going to win me any points. But my tattoo is of an Om symbol, and although I do not have it for the religious meaning I have it for the symbolic meaning, plus a few other more personal reasons. I knew i needed the tattoo to be on my forearm, where I could see it. And so, I decided that I didn't want to get my tattoo permanently put somewhere that wasnt "right" for me.

This didn't really make a lot of sense. Hopefully you understood the gist of it :)

And in case anyone complains that this doesn't pertain to Boston: I got my tattoo at Fat Ram's in JP :)
komos From: komos Date: August 26th, 2003 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
What will the second be?

I think having a tat somewhere that seems right can be just as important as the tat itself. It's unfortunate that inking still carries something of a stigma with it, but I think that that's changing slowly. It will likely never be mainstream to have maori designs etched on the face, but pieces appearing elsewhere seem to be gaining acceptance.

And besides you can be one of those rare "cool" guidance counselors... I think we could use a few more of them.

schmi From: schmi Date: August 26th, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did your choice of placement have anything to do with concerns about your "reputation"?

ROFL...

Btw I said yes, because I was planning to get it done on my upper arm, so I can cover it up at work. Thus my reputation at work wouldn't get ruined. ;)
komos From: komos Date: August 26th, 2003 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hehe...

It was an interesting assertion that I wanted to test. On first reading, it struck me as kind of an old-fashioned "bad girl" judgement, but I can see how it could be read in terms of professionalism and such.

Hope you don't mind this exercise. I really am curious about this and didn't have anything better than annecdotal evidence to go on. I may actually try to find Sanders' book before too long.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing that if it becomes the right thing to do, something will suggest itself. It's an interesting perspective, though. Rather than choosing an image that has meaning you will carry, you carry meaning and are seeking an image to represent it.
From: grapesoda Date: August 26th, 2003 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're missing a part of the body on the list! My tattoo is on my side...part of it winds over onto my back and part of it is on my hip. I got it to cover up a smaller tattoo I had gotten when I was in my early early twenties...and that tattoo was about reclaiming my body. I'd grown up with all these body trips and hang ups passed down from my parents. I was euphoric from just making the decision to get a tattoo. twelve years later I wanted to cover it up, and I wanted something larger so I got the treewhich had it's own long winded explanation too. My second tattoo (third if you count the one that was covered up) is on my arm and I got it because the tattoo guy was *heaven* and I wanted to get another tattoo from him before he moved away.
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
That would be the second, then. :\

Your pics bring up an interesting question. In the original study, it was suggested that men were more likely to get tats to show them off, while women were more interested in decorating the body. In the LJ community at least, I've seen more women displaying their tats than men. Does it have something to do with the perceived anonymity (or perhaps perceived intimacy) of the forum, or was the original study off base? Or, is it simply that given a cross-section of the LJ population, there will be more women than men?

Curious.
tau From: tau Date: August 26th, 2003 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I was a disraught teen I cut a rune for pain over my heart. In college I decided this needed to change and had an image of the triple goddess (signifying my evolution as a woman) tattooed over it. You can no longer see the original scar, and I'm very pleased with the tatt.

I'm 31 now, and I don't regret the choice.
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I heard that scar tissue doesn't carry pigment well. Did your artist somehow incorporate the scar into the design?

As I've said, I don't know many people who do regret their choice to do this. One, actually, and then only one of her three pieces because, as she put it, she got it for the wrong reasons.
alchemi From: alchemi Date: August 26th, 2003 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hello. I've been sent by majorweather. I just wanted to suggest a related poll about perceptions of others. It would be interesting to see how well founded the fears of negative judgement are among this (highly unscientific) group.
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, but how would you design the instrument? What sorts of questions would you ask? And would the poll be limited to those who responded to this one?

If you want to help build this, I'm more than happy to host it.
From: corvus_coronis Date: August 26th, 2003 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm "clean-skin poddy calf" (cattleman's term) - though I did once try to tattoo a small star on myself with a sewing needle & felt-tip pen ink.
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)
That's kinda hardcore.

And I mean using cattleman's speak. ;)
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I don't think I knew most of this. It did make me laugh, though. ^_^
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ada From: ada Date: August 26th, 2003 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I came here from a linking post in majorweather's journal.

I would never get a tattoo myself, mostly for the reasoning regarding its permanence. The chances that I will feel the same about something when I am in my twenties or in my sixties and all of the time in between is highly unlikely.
The convenience of henna easily satiates the fleeting desire of self marking. I like to think of the body as a canvas that is painted over and over again during a lifetime.

I also have learned the lessons of ink from a sibling and know of what the situation might be down the line. My sibling had quite a number of illustrations done in his young adulthood, and from my point of view it is bizarre in a way to see him approaching middle age with arms emblazoned with skulls among other things.

There is a developing spectrum of body modification which includes intentional scarring through cutting or burning the skin. I have evident scars which resulted from a significant surgery. A vertical scar the length of my torso that traces the spine and a smaller slanted one near the hipbone area adjacent to the previous scar. Even without inked illustration, perhaps I am 'decorated' in a way...
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
The idea of permanence was what originally shied me away from getting work done, though it retained a mystique for me. I came to the conclusion that if I were to have something done, it would have to be something I treasured both for the art as well as for the experience itself. Once I actually decided on something, I started worrying over the condition of my body and its impermanence. In short, I worry too much.

I've come to appreciate the relationship that people have with their scars, and I liked the segue you used here. Perhaps there is a desire (at least in part) in body modification to experience the dangers that could lead to scars... a kind of controlled application of visceral experience, if you will.
snackdaddy From: snackdaddy Date: August 27th, 2003 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)

PARDON ME FOR DROPPING BY UNANNOUNCED

My name is snackdaddy
I came by this journal through a variety of linking and lurking and filled out your survey.
I have some considerable coverage as well as numerous peircings. Other then a tattoo on the back of one of my fingers, all peircings can come out and all tats can be covered, providing I wear long sleves. I have designs for my neck, but again, not visible if i wear a closed collar shirt, that would be if I ever had to conform to society and work for "the man", which i do not. Having a "different" look is quite the motivation to be independently successful. My only reason for getting any of them was to be different. My first was at 16, a huge bird on my left forearm, i got it there since if i was gonna regret it someday i might as well get it in a place everyone could see it. I was an instant hero in school, but caught quite alot of hell from my Italian parents. I've been collecting them now for 23 years.
I look upon it as my body armour.
It keeps people AWAY from me.
It keeps away the closed minded and fearful. The truly open minded and non-judgemental people can approach me, and those are the only people I want to associate with.
Sorry for such a long post. If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer you.
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: PARDON ME FOR DROPPING BY UNANNOUNCED

No apologies necessary. This is in the name of science! ...or something. ;)

Thanks for sharing this, though. I've a couple of friends who have very similar views, and while I think I made a reasonable attempt representing them, it's always good to have the thoughts of someone who's actually been there.

Out of curiosity, do your tats have a unifying style or are they more representative of the various talents who have inked you?
bookfoole From: bookfoole Date: August 27th, 2003 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)

I found out about this poll from majorweather. Even though, I don't have one and have no intention of getting one, I don't have anything against them. I just feel it would look like I'm trying too hard to look young. At 40, it would be a bit like a comb-over ; )

I used to joke with a younger employee that in 35 years kids will by saying to each other, "So, what tattoos do your grandmother have?"
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a gent in my office who didn't get ink until his late 40's. He took some ribbing for it, but the timing had real meaning for him and it seemed to lead to some sort of transformative experience.

Honestly, I think it's probably healthier than getting implants (I still can't get over that there is such a thing a "pectoral implants" for men) or obsessing over teenagers.
mudguts From: mudguts Date: August 27th, 2003 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)
who knows why.
just sit still in the chair and think about it for awhile.
komos From: komos Date: August 27th, 2003 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could I contemplate this on the Tree of Woe?
53 comments or Leave a comment
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