Day 228: Girl Ink

My wife wants to get a new tattoo. Fortunately, it’s of musical notes from a song she finds meaningful. Unfortunately, she wants to get it on her upper arm like she has a mullett and works at a custom chopper shop. I could understand if she was a militant lesbian trying to prove a point about gender roles, but she’s a beautiful heterosexual mother of two who just wants a little permanent musical tribute on her skin. She only has one other tattoo on her ankle, so there’s plenty of real estate.  The upper arm is a place for dudes to have bucking broncos, flaming skulls and tribal shit they don’t understand. No one would get a face tattoo of a flower. The face is for mean messages to your mom and numbers of the beast, just like the neck is for barbed wire and GED cheat sheets. The content needs to match the location. That being said, even if my wife wanted a tattoo of Ozzy biting the head off a bat, or a wolf howling at a crescent moon, I would still encourage her to get it somewhere feminine.

Here’s the big problem with it. There’s a motion you have to make when showing someone a new tattoo. If it’s on the back of your neck, you can gently move your hair aside to show it off. If it’s on the inside of your wrist, you can demurely turn your arm over. When it’s on your upper arm, you have to lift up your sleeve like you’re getting a vaccination or you’re a a vapid gym rat showing off his tricep muscle. That’s why face tattoos suck; there’s no reveal; hey, if you’d like to converse with me,  you’ll also be speaking to the tarantula I had etched on my forehead by a prison inmate during a difficult time with methamphetamine addiction.

I know some dudes dig a chick with a lot of tattoos. And I agree, a sleeve of tattoos is useful on a woman with a serious skin condition to cover up. I, however, enjoy the natural color and feel of a woman’s skin. I don’t want to look her up and down and be reading a story of her life’s mistakes. I understand there are some people out there who really enjoy the art of tattoos, and I totally respect that. Do whatever you want to your body if it makes you feel interesting, beautiful or confident. However, if you’re my wife, please try to keep it to feminine looking things in feminine places. In return, I’ll reconsider getting that kitten inked on my lower back.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

27 comments On Day 228: Girl Ink

  • Just a little comedy, Bird. No ownership here. Cheers

  • She's your wife, not your property. Encourage her to follow her dreams and pursue her self-expression. Encourage her to be herself.

    • He can certainly give his opinion to his wife. He is not forcing her to do anything. He is simply stating his view on the subject. Arm tattoos are not for everyone.

  • Kitten tattoo…plz post pics ASAP. :)

  • I have one tattoo, want more. Yet I agree that too many is not cool and they do have to be tastefully done and put in places you can hide them if needed.

    You shouldn't hold your wife back though, whats a few musical notes? And please refrain from the kitten tattoo, bad idea all around ;)

  • I happen to think that a tattoo on a pretty girl is like slapping a bumper sticker on a Rolls Royce. Encourage her to explore the art of henna tattoos, or at least wait until the technology exists to get "semi-permanent digital tattoos." It's probably not that far down the road.

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