Tattoo Tidbits

First, an ever-so-vaguely tattoo-related entertainment tidbit: Prison Break makes its comeback tonight!

The return of ''Prison Break" after almost four months is a welcome event, and the next three episodes are good enough, if not great. The hour due on April 3, which flashes back to the pre-prison life of a few of the convicts, is the best of the trio, as it provides a much-needed sense of history and breadth.

I watched a large portion of the FX marathon yesterday, so I'm all jazzed for it. Especially since it's now the lead-off hitter for 24, the best damned show on the tele right now.

For the juicy bits, Marisa has been giving us lots of good tattoo love at Needled lately...

  • First, two posts illustrate conflicting attitudes regarding inkwork in the workplace:
    • On one hand, we have's "Visible Ink", which paints a fairly positive picture of acceptance in the white collar world.

      It is part of an ever-increasing openness toward ink that has exploded over the past 15 years. When Dr. Myrna Armstrong at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center began studying tattoos in the late 1980s, attitudes toward them were wound tightly around stereotypes of convicts, sailors, and carny folk. More recently, however, she's found that tattoos have crossed firmly into popular culture. The studies she has conducted have found that nearly 25 percent of subjects are sporting some kind of tattoo, and those numbers are not restricted to bike messengers and indie rockers.

    • But maybe that's just a coastal point of view. Closer to the Heartland, things seem slightly different, as the Daily Herald's "Tattoos in the modern workplace pose culture clash" article shows.

      In a 2001 study done by, a research and employment information services company that profiles U.S. companies, almost 60 percent of employers said they would be less likely to hire someone with visible tattoos or piercings. Almost half of those surveyed said they would have a lower opinion of someone they work with or meet who has visible body art.

      The key word in the tattoo issue seems to be "visible." Forty-five percent of the same employers said they had a tattoo or piercing other than pierced ears. When body art is concealed, only 11 percent of employers said it would affect their decision to hire someone.

    This is something I've considered fairly carefully. Currently, the majority of my inkwork falls into the "visible" category -- I have large tattoos on both forearms, with only two others that generally get covered up by everyday clothing. When it first occurred to me to get ink below short-sleeve level (I'm kind of building my sleeves in the opposite direction of most people...) I took a moment to consider the impact it might have in the workplace. Ultimately I decided I'd be willing to wear long-sleeved shirts if I ended up working someplace that had an issue with it. At the same time though, I was making an implicit statement that I'd rather not work for that kind of employer. I've decided to make tattoos a significant part of my life and who I am. I'd much rather work for someone who understands that.

  • Marisa also points us to this article about the Sailor Jerry brand and the trend of tattoo imagery in fashion.

    Until now, Sailor Jerry has sold largely through word of mouth in the fashion community. But with the trend on the upsurge, Grasse says he has turned down licensing agreements with Nokia and a company that wanted to make Sailor Jerry temporary tattoos because, he says, those could never be authentic Sailor Jerry items.

    You all know I love me some Sailor Jerry schwag.