Many would argue that there is really no such thing as a “shitty tattoo.” It can be poorly done, a divisive image, or in a bad location, but any work of art (no matter how creative) on the body is arguably “un-shitty.” I disagree entirely–surprise! And this is coming from someone with only two tattoos: a pin-up girl and the RNA symbol from Heroes. That’s right! But just for the sake of argument, allow me to attempt to prove my stated hypothesis.
Exhibit A: What the fuck?
Unless your tattoo is an obscure reference to a specific thing or event in your own life, the general purpose of the art is for people to know what they’re looking at. You might be able to get away with an extremely decorative sleeve of tattoos–such a feat that one might actually take the time to study your entire arm canvas. However, once you decide, “I’m going to get a tattoo with no discernible border. Something that looks like a flamboyant rash, perhaps?”…you should really never be allowed to decide anything ever again.
Exhibit B: Illiteracy.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the illiterate and mentally unstable decorating their bodies with images and messages, but (barring an embarrassing removal) they must know that they will be stuck with this brand for the rest of their lives.
When we see these literary abominations in photographs, we can’t help but laugh–laugh for the undoubtedly retarded tattoo artist who slaved over this canvas of skin only to have it become the bane of his existence; but most importantly, laugh at the jackass who shows off his shit online in hopes that the Internet community will somehow be anything less than relentless.
Exhibit C: The Douche Chill
It’s a fucking shame that I didn’t take this picture myself. I could have put it in Dress Down Day. The 1990′s was a troubling decade. Individuals had to find new and interesting ways to express themselves. All your grunge friends start wearing flannel and torn denim, your fat friend starts wearing wolf-shirts and wants to be called “Wolf,” the pretty blond chick shaves her head, and last–but not least–you go batshit insane and scream, “WhatifIgetICEtattooedallovermyselfwouldyouguyscallmeMrCoolIce?!GREAT!” as you scamper with arms flailing into a back-alley tattoo shop.
Exhibit D: Seemed like a good idea at the time…
There’s a certain understanding that goes with getting your first (and maybe last) tattoo. It’s the acceptance that for the rest of your life, this will be who you are. There’s nothing wrong with a band tattoo, sports tattoo, or pride tattoo as long as you fully understand that you may have to feign interest in whatever you choose to claim undying adoration towards for the rest of your natural life. In some cases, though, putting a quick and easy end to your life may be a viable solution.
Exhibit E: “You’re scaring people.”
Although there are many examples on the type of tattoos that make people feel needlessly uncomfortable, I found it necessary to focus on one in particular. People who get tattoos on the backs of their heads shouldn’t be allowed to leave their homes. One of the advantages to having scary gang members and white supremacists sport symbolic tattoos is that you know who they are and you stay away. When a redneck walks into the restaurant in which you happen to be dining, you shouldn’t have to worry…the problem comes when you’re faced to discern which face is real and which is a tattoo.
Exhibit F: The Portrait
Very few tattoo artists can pull off the portrait; and you don’t know any of them. What starts out as an innocent photo of your wife, girlfriend, or loved one can easily be twisted and deformed to the point that it resembles a cacophony of demonic gremlins joyously sodomizing Barbara Streisand. I’m not saying that getting a photo-realistic portrait is a bad decision, but…if you haven’t done it–don’t.
Exhibit G: The Why?
I’m all for weird and intriguing tattoos. It’s noble to have a good sense of humor about yourself and your body, and getting a funny tattoo is an excellent way of showing it. Originality and creativity are your friends, but some tattoo decisions simply cause people to ask: “WHY?” What would persuade someone to make some of these absurd decisions? Drunkenness? A dare? Or perhaps just a lackluster understanding of what is quirky/fun and compared to a tattoo of a fucking chair.
A tattoo conveys a message to those who see it. It says something about who you are; like a tribal tattoo says you’re probably an asshole. Tattoos like this cement the idea that either you have an infinitesimal personality, or you were repeatedly beaten about the cranium with a sock full of batteries and bad ideas.
Exhibit H: Is your tattoo artist 7?
When acquiring a tattoo, sometimes it is often customary to have the artist either draw it first onto a transfer-sheet, or simply draw it first on your body so that you know exactly what it is going to look like. Once we accept this as fact, it is only fair to deride those who fail to have the common sense to tell the tattoo artist to fuck off back to the Fair grounds where they can practice their obvious lack of talent painting kids’ faces.
Exhibit I: The Fattoo
When you are obscenely obese, you have a lot more body canvas to work with. Some have the foresight to use this space wisely with either a large image or nothing at all. The downfall that is seemingly unavoidable is when these physically overwhelming individuals decide to fill themselves with either several non-connected images or something that loses its intended form beneath rolls of relentlessly bulging flesh.
Exhibit J: The Nazis and the Unicorns
There are endless symbolic images that, when tattooed, identify you as being affiliated with a certain group. Skulls, 8-Balls and Spider webs (for example) can often be indicative of an allegiance with White Supremacists. It is also a somewhat unassuming way to declare your hatred and bigotry without sporting a giant swastika on your face. Unicorns, on the other hand, have the tendency to declare I’M A PUSSY no matter what social situation you find yourself in. There’s really no way to make a unicorn appear as a symbol of power. So if you’re a Nazi, combining your hate with the faggy spectacle of a magical horse is probably a bad–wait, scratch that…Every White Supremacist should be legally obligated to get this tattoo.
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