New York Times columnist, David Brooks, published a column this weekend commenting on how tattoos have "jumped the shark" in pop culture. There's already some grumbling in the blogosphere here & here (among other places) painting Brooks as both 1) an old fuddy-dutty & 2) a little late to the party with his column.
Tattoo removal is a small part of a lot of plastic surgery
and dermatology practices that do a lot of laser surgery. Different color inks are best treated with different types of lasers (eg. CO2, Erbium, Argon, etc..) which react with characteristics of the different pigments. By and large, a lot of the treatments are unsatisfactory to me. They're both painful & often incomplete. In addition, many of the colors being added to modern tattoos are poorly treated with current laser & intense pulsed light technologies.
The popularity of tattoos in recent years has bothered me a little as most people who've ever worked in a Veteran's Administration (VA) hospital can tell you the fate of many of these after several decades from treating WWII & Korean war vets, peer groups in whom tattoos seem to have been popular.
What exactly are people expecting to look like with barbed-wire or large tribal designs 20-30 years from now? They're going to look ridiculous. An amusing associated issue are a large number of Asian alphabet tattoos with gibberish or mistranslations coming in for removal. Story on this here.
Perhaps the one I think most will regret are the lower back tattoos on many young ladies. Alternately known as the "tramp stamp", ass antlers, California/Santa Cruz/Tijuana license tags, the "Hag Tag", or the "Panama City bumper sticker" this kind of 'ink has already been the butt (I could not resist that one) of a lot of jokes.
Bill Maher's New Rule from Real Time with Bill Maher:
Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.In the film, Wedding Crashers, the character Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn), upon seeing a lower back tattoo, exclaims, "Tattoo on the lower back... might as well be a bullseye."
There's a hilarious commercial skit from SNL a few years ago about a home treatment product, Turlington's Lower Back Tattoo Remover, for suburban moms with racy tattoos back tatoos. A product that promised "when applied once, every hour, for 72 straight hours," slowly burns away unwanted lower back tattoos. "That tingling means it's working!Turlington's Lower Back Tattoo Remover - Because it won't be cool forever..."
Here's a link for your viewing pleasure