Public Property?

Hey guys, I almost have a complete crew working on the site now- while we’re working out the kinks, I would like to introduce you all to Hannah Smith. She really rocks, and she’s already written something cool for us!


When you get your first tattoo in an obvious, very visible place, you become public property. Human beings are naturally curious creatures, and they like to investigate things they find interesting and unusual. When I got my first half sleeve, I regularly had people come up to me and literally grab my arm, twist it around and inspect it, without saying so much as a word to me first. Aside from perhaps pregnant women, who have to endure strangers trying to caress their bump as soon as it starts to show, I can’t think of another example of when this unwanted touching is socially acceptable. I wonder if tattooed folk who have ink in visible but more intimate places, such as on the neck, also have people touching them all the time. What about people with flesh tunnels or implants? Are they also the victim of wandering hands? In a weird way, it’s flattering that someone is so interested in your body art that they want to touch it but, my word, is it strange to be pawed by a complete stranger who has no qualms about feeling you up in public.

And then there are the questions. It is said that there is no such thing as a silly question, only a silly answer. Bearing this in mind, I try to answer enquiries such as ‘did that hurt?’, ‘is that real?’ or ‘don’t you think you’ll regret that when you’re old?’ with appropriately silly responses. For example: ‘No, having a needle inserted into my dermis a thousand times a second felt something akin to an angel’s wings fluttering gently against my face.’ ‘No, I spent hours this morning drawing it on with a load of coloured felt tip pens before I left the house. Convincing, isn’t it?’ And finally: ‘No. When I’m an old lady I will mainly be preoccupied with growing my chin whiskers long enough to braid them, shouting at hooligans, and trying not to pee my control knickers.’

People, it is awesome that you are fascinated with tattoos and body art of all kinds. It is great that you want to learn more about them by asking questions. But please, think before you open your mouth, and instead ask something that might get you a little bit of real insight. The chances are the person you are speaking to will have had to answer your ridiculous question about a gazillion times before. And remember, politeness costs nothing, and you can just as easily look with your eyes as your grimy fingers. That piece of artwork you are admiring is attached to an actual person, and there’s no need to treat them like public property just because they have a visible tattoo.

My name is Hannah Smith and I am a regular contributor to Tattoo Revolution Magazine, but this is my first blog for Tattoosday UK. Hopefully it will be the first of many, as long as you dear readers don’t run me out of town. I am on the hunt for ideas for future blog posts so please send me your pics, news, views, whatever to or hannah_fran_ink

2 Responses to “Public Property?”
  1. Steeley says:

    I’ve been getting people asking to poke my microdermal for years. i’ve started telling them to wash their hands first.

    • Mel Noir says:

      Something about that made me feel sick, haha. I don’t get why people feel the need to touch things like that in the first place. When we’re babies, we touch things and put them in our mouths- so, that means some of us have only slightly progressed past that stage? Shit, man.

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