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Tattoo stigmas? Do they still exist? Do you have one or some? Have you been on the other side of a stigma? If so, where (city) and what was the stigma?

Edited by Lochlan

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Just saw this thread.. I'll share two quick experiences.

The first, my lady and I tried a restaurant in the neighborhood we'd never been to. Our area is half young white kids, half old school Italian/families. This restaurant was an Italian spot and not one we knew anything about, just figured we'd try it. We sit down and our waiter had a pretty bad 'tude.. wasn't looking at us when we ordered drinks, came back for the food order and that was that. He ran the food and barely said a word to us. This was summertime, and we both had on short sleeves but in New York you don't even think twice about visible tattoos.. it's only when you go somewhere else (like when I go home to rural MD) when you notice people kind of staring. Anyway, a couple sat down next to us, kind of yuppie, dressed in khakis or whatever, not tattooed. Our waiter comes back out and gives them a whole introduction, talks about the specials, makes jokes and is all smiles, talking with hands and being the kind of affable that feels like he's making a point. Then he brings them bread! We were amazed.. We got no specials, no bread, no water refills... we flagged him down to get the check and our only conclusion was that he saw us and instantly figured we'd be bad customers.. so we were sure to actually leave a good tip. Still don't know what the deal was but we never went back.

Second, is I was recently in small claims court and it was one of the few times I thought to myself, Man, am I glad I don't have any hand/neck tattoos. You can't control other peoples' snap judgments.. and when that person is a judge (ok, arbitrator) it seemed in my benefit to look as "normal" as possible. Hopefully, one day I'll be able to seriously consider some Everlasting Jobstopper tattoos... but for now, I just want bread and water refills like the rest of society.

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Just saw this thread.. I'll share two quick experiences.

The first, my lady and I tried a restaurant in the neighborhood we'd never been to. Our area is half young white kids, half old school Italian/families. This restaurant was an Italian spot and not one we knew anything about, just figured we'd try it. We sit down and our waiter had a pretty bad 'tude.. wasn't looking at us when we ordered drinks, came back for the food order and that was that. He ran the food and barely said a word to us. This was summertime, and we both had on short sleeves but in New York you don't even think twice about visible tattoos.. it's only when you go somewhere else (like when I go home to rural MD) when you notice people kind of staring. Anyway, a couple sat down next to us, kind of yuppie, dressed in khakis or whatever, not tattooed. Our waiter comes back out and gives them a whole introduction, talks about the specials, makes jokes and is all smiles, talking with hands and being the kind of affable that feels like he's making a point. Then he brings them bread! We were amazed.. We got no specials, no bread, no water refills... we flagged him down to get the check and our only conclusion was that he saw us and instantly figured we'd be bad customers.. so we were sure to actually leave a good tip. Still don't know what the deal was but we never went back.

Second, is I was recently in small claims court and it was one of the few times I thought to myself, Man, am I glad I don't have any hand/neck tattoos. You can't control other peoples' snap judgments.. and when that person is a judge (ok, arbitrator) it seemed in my benefit to look as "normal" as possible. Hopefully, one day I'll be able to seriously consider some Everlasting Jobstopper tattoos... but for now, I just want bread and water refills like the rest of society.

I had something similar happen to my friends and I a few years ago. Most of them are very heavily covered (hand, fingers, neck) and the waitress kept blowing us off. She messed up our order and got mad when we corrected her. Sucks that people judge, as most of us make pretty good money and are very pleasant people.

I have had a recent run-in with both sides of the coin. A shop near me that I usually go to to fix my "beer getting car". The previous times I dropped my car off to them I was wearing my non-work attire (Cannibal Corpse shirt, shorts, tattoo showing etc) and they always treated me well, called before doing work as I ask since the car is not really needed. The last time I dropped my car off I was in full work attire (nice suit 3-piece suit, nice watch, etc). They were a bit rude to me and ignored me for the most part. When it came time to pick up the car they said they "had" to do $1300 in work (not true!) and "you can afford it, why are you arguing?". So I can say in this particular situation I feel that not having a tattoo/dressing up hurt me.

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My best friend was waiting at a bus stop when a car of young guys drove by and threw full take out cups of soda at her. They also yelled things like slut and whore. The only difference between her and other people at the bus stop was her tattoos.

My fiancé and I have a running joke (even though it's not funny and ends up wasting our money) that we have to worst restaurant luck in history. We've been ignored, experienced very rude service, had out orders wrong, received cold or just disgusting food at countless places in different cities that other people seem to enjoy eating at. So either we really do have horrible food karma, or wait staff in general don't like tattooed people. It's stupid because in my experience tattooers leave way better tips than rich old people.

I've been followed around like a thief in many stores, too bad it's almost always when I'm wearing short sleeves. I guess tattooed people steal.

When I'm in Jacksonville FL I can no longer take the bus anywhere after having men say things to me like "if I asked to see all your tattoos would you get naked right now". I can't even wait for a bus there without having people yell things out their car windows. I've even had people around the block multiple times just so they can keep driving by me. I actually can't even take my dogs for a walk there because of people yelling out their car windows. I know it's because of my tattoos as I've sat at many bus stations there and never saw any 'normal' person treated that way. I actually had one guy drive by a couple times, then go park his car, walk over to the bus stop and say "oh do you know when the bus is coming i'm waiting for a friend" me "I'm not sure probable within the next half hour" him "oh o.k.... well do you need a ride somewhere" me "no." and the he got in his car and left never to return.. hmmm wonder what ever happened to that 'friend' he was waiting for. Apparently tattooed women are sluts and whores who deserve to be treated as such.

My own mother has the attitude of "you did it to yourself so you can't really complain."

I also find there is stigma even in the tattooed community. I've noticed many tattooed men treated all tattooed women as if they are the same. Yes, there are thousands of 'tat whores' out there, who only get tattooed to look cool and who only go to conventions to try and fuck known tattooers. There are also the rest of us who don't go around wearing whore clothes and fucking every tattooer we meet. There's some of us who aren't cheating on our men, who aren't getting trendy tattoos to look cool, who don't show up at a convention with 6 inch stilettos to wear all weekend. There's no one here than can deny female tattooers get shit on by their male counterparts all the time. Yes there are some awful female tattooers but there's even more awful male tattooers out there.

In the end, I try to wear long sleeves and pants as much as possible. I haven't worn a bathing suit to the beach the entire time I was in Florida except once, that went horribly. Hopefully one day this won't be such a problem for us all.

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For every girl with six inch stilettos and her boobs falling out there is some guy with little or no tattoos walking around the tattoo convention with his shirt off for some unknown reason.

A group of young black kids tried to taunt me calling me Lil Wayne near the Loyola Campus in Chicago. I just shooked my head and smiled.

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Different perspective, I may have mentioned before(?), but I won't get lots of black and gray/fine line work because of the Hispanic gang thing. My first tattoo was black and gray, but after that, I went with as much color as I could get with all my other tattoos. When I was in "Machete", I was cast because of my tattoos; it's another thing to look "the role" everyday ;)

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There was one rare occasion where I guess being tattooed worked in my favour in terms of the assumptions people make.

A few years ago I was in the toilet of a nightclub I had never been to before, in a part of the city I would rarely visit. I was at a urinal at the far end of the room and it was about 3am. I turned around to head over to the sinks and then back out and found that about five guys had gathered, looking pretty pissed off with me. The guy in front said something to the effect of 'Yep, that's the guy - he arrested my brother, he's _____' and generally suggested I get a beating.

I spread my hands and indicated my half sleeves (which is probably still a reasonable amount of coverage on show in Dublin- then at least), shook my head, and said 'Sure, I really look like a cop.' And rolled my eyes.

They looked at each other and it was enough of a doubt placed in their minds that I was able to walk out of there while they were deciding.

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Different perspective, I may have mentioned before(?), but I won't get lots of black and gray/fine line work because of the Hispanic gang thing. My first tattoo was black and gray, but after that, I went with as much color as I could get with all my other tattoos. When I was in "Machete", I was cast because of my tattoos; it's another thing to look "the role" everyday ;)

You were in Machete??? Youtubelink please! ;) Either that or tell me where I can spot you.

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@Ursula

It's weird, but I went backpacking in Turkey once, and the few 'western' females backpacking got the same treatment, by virtue of not wearing an hajib or have blonde hair, etc. Thinks once a certain kind of person/personality can slap the label of 'Other' on you, somehow they think they don't have act like 'ladies or gentleman' anymore, glimpse of the 'wild beast' of history.

It's honestly fucking creepy to see.

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You were in Machete??? Youtubelink please! ;) Either that or tell me where I can spot you.

Seconded, but I'm going to guess in the Machete chop shop. What was your role?

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For every girl with six inch stilettos and her boobs falling out there is some guy with little or no tattoos walking around the tattoo convention with his shirt off for some unknown reason.

A group of young black kids tried to taunt me calling me Lil Wayne near the Loyola Campus in Chicago. I just shooked my head and smiled.

first point - totally agree.

second point - a couple months ago on the train this probably 10 year old black kid and his approx. 12 year old sister were having an argument two seats away from me about weather I looked hot or freaky. The boy thought I was hot and had been whistling at me which I thought was pretty funny. His sister was very adamant about thinking I looked freaky and that he was weird for liking someone like that. It was pretty damn amusing. It had nothing to do with their race, your comment just reminded me of it. Also, I thought Lil' Wayne was cool? I guess he's dropping in popularity these days? Either way his 'rebirth' album is awful.

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I've noticed I get harassed by charity collectors a lot less now ^.^

If people disapprove, they seem to keep it to themselves. I get weird looks occasionally (I'm hardly "heavily tattooed", but they are visible at most times, especially now heading into summer), but if strangers approach me it's usually to ask questions or tell me how much they like them. Haven't noticed any difference from waiters/counterstaff, people in retail are always suspicious but that was the way even before I was tattooed (I must look poor?).

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I'm still in the beginning of my tattoo collection, but I've been stigmatized for years, due to the fact that I am a very large man with facial hair and frequently very long hair (I had no hair cuts at all during the 90's) who tends to wear rock t-shirts whenever I'm not at work. So, I know the glares, and the avoidance, and older women fleeing when I approach an ATM.

That having been said, I had a very different and amusing experience this weekend now that I have my Perry the Platypus tattoo. We went to King's Island, an amusement park just north of Cincinnati, and it was warm enough that I was wearing shorts. I overheard several parents pointedly telling their kids to look at my tattoo, and telling them how cool it was. I had a couple of them approach me and ask "Is that a real tattoo of Perry?" and answer with "That's so awesome" when I told them yes.

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We went to King's Island, an amusement park just north of Cincinnati, and it was warm enough that I was wearing shorts. I overheard several parents pointedly telling their kids to look at my tattoo, and telling them how cool it was. I had a couple of them approach me and ask "Is that a real tattoo of Perry?" and answer with "That's so awesome" when I told them yes.

That is flippin' adorable!

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i noticed that after 12 years of living in ohio and seeing tattoos on a regular basis, when i went back to atlanta to visit earlier this year i noticed very few people with visible tattoos. i know there are plenty of people in the metro area and wouldve expected to see more. i did notice i got a lot more weird looks and people starring down there. it was kinda comforting actually. i think in general there is a larger working class population in this part of ohio, so tattoos have been alot more socially acceptable.

i also just noticed that i said notice or some variation of it several times...

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