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'Did the head tattoo hurt?' 'Yes, it was really painful'

Talking tigers and other tattoos

Tattoos have been quite a source of dinner-table conversation recently, sparked by anything from beautifully inked waiting staff ('Did the head tattoo hurt?' 'Yes, it was really painful') at a London creative club to a Budweiser beer ad showing Sergio Ramos, the captain of Spain's national football squad and Real Madrid, ink-free.

His tattoos gradually emerge across his neck and shoulders, illustrating aspects of the life of a footballer who now even commands his own story - not to mention bus-stop billboards across Madrid - on Amazon in the 2019 series 'El Corazón de Sergio Ramos'.

Ramos' methods on-pitch have often been called into question but now there's another point of controversy around this 33-year-old as the question of whether tattoos decrease athletic performance gains momentum. Some call it all nonsense, others are convinced that inflicting micro-wounds on our largest organ cannot be good for health, let alone performance.

Ramos is far from being the only footballer covered in tattoos - David Beckham was among the first to boost the trend - and now mega-star Cristiano Ronaldo, 'Mr Smooth' himself, stands out as a household football name who's ink-free. Do you think this kind of ad by Budweiser is glamorising what might prove to be a health hazard? Or are you thinking, 'Oh ffs, it's a cool beer ad with some tech tricks, get a life'?  

Britain's most heavily tattooed man, King Of Ink Land King Body Art, has 90% of his body covered in ink. “You can’t have a favourite," he once said of his tattoos. "It's like asking a parent their favourite son or daughter. It’s my body. It’s everything about me so I can’t be specific on that.” 

He's campaigned relentlessly for 'modified' people not to be discriminated against, even winning a claim against the British government when the Passport Office refused to issue him a passport because his unusual name - changed by deed poll - did not fit their policies.

With tattoo removal techniques improving all the time, getting inked is neither such a taboo nor such a long-term commitment as it used to be. But you still need to take into account that they need to be taken care of, especially as you age: they fade and blur as your skin alters over the years; you need to keep them moisturised; and there have even been cases of skin cancer symptoms such as the wrong kind of moles being hidden by the inks.

As they've become increasingly mainstream, tats are much more in our faces now than they used to be, with all kinds of celebrities male and female flaunting them.

The UNICEF campaign to help end violence against children uses footballer David Beckham's famous tattoos to show how children can be marked by their experiences. Clever animation produces harrowing images that play across his skin.

On a lighter note, the main image at the top of this blog is from a 21-second love story featuring a talking tiger, by men's grooming products Lynx. 

Posted by Tree Elven on 18/10/2019


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