Erasing the Hate

A tattoo studio in Mississippi has been offering free cover-ups to people with former gangster or white supremacist pasts to help them make a fresh start. TM Garret works at Seasick Tattoo Studio and is a former member of the KKK who turned his life around and severed all ties with the hate group. He started up the ‘Erase the Hate’ campaign to help other people move their lives forward by fixing the permanent reminders of hate or gang life they’ve had inked on their bodies. In 2018, Garret estimates that the studio covered 100 tattoos.

Prosecution calls for ban on drink and ink artists

A doctor from the Australasian School of Cosmetic Surgery has called for artists who tattoo intoxicated persons to be charged with assault and serve up to seven years in prison. A rise in drunk tattoos has spurred Dr John Flynn to convey his opinion that tattooing a drunken person often means that consent is not obtained, classifying it as assault. Dr Flynn says: “Policing of every tattoo parlour is not always feasible, so people need to start taking action.” Whilst South Australia introduced a law in 2012 making it illegal to tattoo a drunk person, in Queensland it is currently not illegal.

Tehran’s secret tattoo parlours

Tehran’s secret tattoo parlours have hit the news this week. Tattoos are a growing passion in Iran, particularly amongst young adults, but there’s still a heavy risk associated with them. In Iran, tattoo artists are often arrested and sentenced with fines, lashes or even imprisonment. Whilst tattooing is not illegal in Iran, it is heavily frowned upon and there are heavy connotations between tattoos and criminals (in fact, photographs of criminals are often published with their tattoos on display to reinforce this ideology). There is no law against tattoos, nor are they strictly forbidden in Shia Islam, however, authorities reject them as a Western phenomenon that is detrimental to Iranian values. One tattoo artist based in Tehran, known as ‘Mohammad’, said: “It’s my art that’s important to me and nothing else… a tattoo functions as an ‘identity maker’. It’s a way to create a unique personality. I think that’s important for young people in a country like Iran.”

‘Under eye’ tattoos causing permanent damage

Nobody likes waking up with dark circles under their eyes, but a new trend in cosmetic surgery is causing concern. In some practices, tattoo guns are being used to microinject ink that’s paler than the individual’s skin tone into the under eye area to create a kind of permanent concealer. Tracie Giles, the founder of her own bespoke permanent makeup company, says: “It would be a major long term regret because it is really difficult if not impossible to remove. The laser makes it go black and it would be extremely high risk to even attempt removal so close to the eyes in case of blinding the patient.”

Go big or go home

Brett Cross (42) from Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia has spent £50,000 tattooing 99% of his body. The father of two says the only part of his body he’s left out is his penis as he is worried that exposing his privates to his tattoo artist might ruin their relationship. Brett’s first tattoo was a tribute to his late wife Dorothy, but he soon realised he wanted more. He says: “The tattoo artist said if you’re going to keep getting tattoos, ‘go big or go home because you’ll look a bit silly with little tattoos on you’.”