I was raised in a religious household where tattoos were verboten; the body was a temple and women even hesitated over piercing their ears. When I was 19, I went to a studio in Cambridge with my then boyfriend and we had simple circles tattooed on the inside of our wrists. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to dislike tattoos – like any piece of art, not every style will be to everyone’s taste. For others, I suspect the vehement dislike of tattoos is really a fear of women’s skin. Some say tattoos are addictive – that it starts with a butterfly on the hip and ends with full sleeves and a septum piercing.
I felt the tattoo artist talked me into getting it a bit bigger and more elaborate than I would have liked.
The tattoo on my arm is my third, but the first was on my ankle – a Day of the Dead-style skull with roses. I’d heard the ankle is the most painful place to have a tattoo, but the place that hurt most was my arm, where I have a zebra. Please note that successful applicants will be contacted to organise an interview with management. SE VIENE LA TERCERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hola Victor como andas loco, dale mandame la nota loco, igual en unos dias te llamo y charlamos, nos estamos viendo !!!!
He had it done in Scotland during his national service in the 50s, so the tattoo must have been more than 30 years old when I became fascinated by it. Modesty in all things was required, especially for girls, and a flash of colour on the skin was a desecration of a holy vessel made in God’s image. Despite the increasing availability of procedures aimed at removing tattoo ink from the skin, most of us go under the gun knowing full well that the image will be permanent – that’s part of the attraction.
I have a tattoo five inches lower than my belly button – a waxing and waning moon entwined with my daughter’s initials.
I did have another child, by a caesarean section, no less, and although the surgeon did her best to avoid the tattoo, complications resulted in a wider-than usual incision. When a woman makes her own mark on it, she isn’t quite as available to receive whatever fantasies you might want to project on to her. I cover up when I see him and wear fingerless gloves – I have to tell him they’re in fashion.
Her childhood in Kenya was difficult: her mother, a well-known aviator, died when she was three, and Carberry was often beaten by her governess. I got it as a way of prompting myself to move forward, to have something that reminded me where I wanted to get to: I wanted to get to Mexico.
It was excruciating, because it went into my armpit, where I now know there are a lot of nerves. I think of tattoos as art, but also, every time I look at mine, I relive the emotions I felt when I had them. I’ve got a pretty one of flowers on my arm, and one behind my knee of a hand holding a chilli pepper up to some teeth.


It relates to a time I put on a lot of weight and really suffered, before I realised that being thin is a trap.
We’re looking for an established and talented tattoo artist to join the Kaleidoscope crew. I used to ask him to roll up his shirtsleeve and I would use my finger to follow the outline of a woman cheekily reclining in a margarita glass. But even so, my star reminds me of the most enduring friendship I’ve had, the optimism that characterised my late teen years and my innate disobedience.
Our daughter likes to trace the circle on my wrist with her finger and hear the story about why and how we got them.
Sailors used to get images of Christ inked on to their backs to make the first mate reluctant to use the whip on them.
The thick, white scar that denotes my son’s entrance into the world runs across the tattoo. Men’s tattoos might be about allegiance to a gang, a subculture, a faith or a family. If skin is a screen, and a woman writes on it, she is telling the world (or even just herself) that her own standards of attractiveness are more important to her than the standards of anyone else who might cross her path.
Obviously it hurt, but it makes you feel as if you’ve gone through something to achieve it. I sometimes think about erasing them, but that would be like pretending it didn’t happen.
As a teenager, she was a key witness in a celebrated murder case, the 1941 shooting of the 22nd Earl of Erroll, and at 17 she joined the first aid nursing yeomanry in the Women’s Territorials during the second world war.
I don’t see it until he sketches it out in pen on my arm, just before the needle goes in. I don’t particularly like that area of my arm, and getting the tattoo meant I had to confront that.
This position is for an experienced tattoo artist with an existing client base and solid portfolio. The shading that was supposed to indicate the flirty curl of the woman’s toes had become a faded, bluish blur. I was out on my own for the first time, throwing myself headlong into making my mark, and letting the world mark me. At the end of the year, the fund had been underspent and what was left was divided between the students who’d already received an allowance from it.
These are all good things, and none of them, like the tattoo itself, is an aspect of myself I’d want to rub out and forget.
Relationships come and go, but some people’s histories are always entwined with each other, and some of us like to write our histories on our skin.
They’d ask for elaborate designs on their limbs to mark voyages taken and ports visited – a kind of indelible dog tag that, they hoped, would identify a corpse lost at sea and washed ashore. If you get pregnant again, the most imaginative advised, the letters will stretch out like they’re written on a blown-up balloon. The skin around it is dotted with marks where the staples joined me back together, the puckers where the drains at the site of the wound were placed.


They might be to memorialise a lover or child, remember a journey, a period of time in prison or a religious conversion. Jewish friends have told me they wouldn’t dream of having their skin inked, not only knowing but feeling the particular history of forced tattooing, used in concentration and labour camps like branding on cattle. In 1946, Carberry became one of a handful of women to join the merchant navy, remaining for 17 years. One on my back runs from my neck to the top of my arse, and I’ve got one the length of each arm, one on each foot and lower leg, and a gekko that circles my belly button.
Even the tattoo artist warned me that the skin was delicate there and the ink might not stand the test of time. By some people’s standards, this is a mangled piece of body art, not pretty and not sexy. Why are women’s tattoos often viewed in terms of their sexual attractiveness, or the indicator they are perceived to give about her availability? Some women friends consider any form of body modification, from bra-wearing to eyebrow-plucking, to be a betrayal of deeply felt feminist principles.
It was during this period, says photographer Christina Theisen, that she started acquiring tattoos. Zebras are beautiful, and as their name starts with the same letter as my name, they had an extra significance for me as a kid. We bought books, clothes and tattoos: I got a star on my back, he got something similar, but not matching, on his upper arm. The most striking tattoo I’ve seen is a full back piece depicting a Japanese woman wearing a red, richly patterned kimono, falling open to show her breastfeeding a standing toddler.
My grandad died over 15 years ago and I’d have to look at a photograph to remember the details of his face, but I can always remember that tattoo. The woman has the back of her hand over her eyes – bored, perhaps, or frustrated by demands this particular task of motherhood is placing upon her. I wouldn’t dream of having it altered to cover up the record written on my body of what motherhood means. Apparently, these marks of mine are a waste of money and they’re just going to fade, blur and sag. I’m from a working-class immigrant background, and for the first time I felt sure about my identity. The artwork must have taken hours and cost hundreds, if not thousands – the folds of the kimono look like a breeze would lift and ripple them. It felt empowering to create something irreversible and visible, and not to be afraid of what others might think. I’m not frightened of being judged – and women with tattoos are often judged, more than men.



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