Tattoos Stereotypes, Myths and Curiosities can be alarming but mostly they are funny.

Years go by, fashions change and tattoos still don’t have a good reputation.
Some are merely rumours, spread mainly by those people who despise both tattoos and tattooed people, and don’t particularly like tattooists.

Whether it is purely aesthetic, or a reminder of an important moment in one’s life, tattooing is finally freeing itself from the prejudices that have trapped it for decades.

1.Cannibals do not eat tattooed people.

It’s not true even if to say it was certainly a “referenced” cannibal like Jeffrey Dahmer, the famous monster of Milwaukee.

In Congo, for example, in 2003 the soldiers of the Liberation Army ate numerous Pygmies belonging to the Nande tribe despite having their faces tattooed.

Jeffrey Dahmer - Tattoo Stereotypes, Myths and Curiosities
Lombroso Study - Tattoo Stereotypes, Myths and Curiosities

Srudy of the tattoos on the body of the “criminal”. Cesare Lombroso

Tattoos Stereotypes Myths and Curiosities

2.The tattooed individual is a potential criminal.

This theory was formulated by the doctor and anthropologist Cesare Lombroso, according to whom one is a criminal by birth.

Among the functional evidence of the criminal:

  • less sensitivity to pain
  • faster healing
  • inability to perceive colours
  • in whole or in part
  • love for tattoos
  • a marked laziness

Lombroso describes the typical portrait of the thief: “Small skull, elusive forehead, shifty eyes, slim and nervous figure, low stature, with arms and chest marked by tattoos and scars …”.

Surely the gesture of tattooing is a sign of rebellion against conformity.

3.If you have a tattoo it will be more difficult to find a job.

This is related to the myth that tattooed people are potential criminals. In fact, many people who love tattoos prefer to have them in hidden places. In short, a kind of self-censorship that does not help to change the opinion of potential employers.

What matters most should be the skills.

4.The hair does not grow back on tattoos.

Of course they grow back! The hair follicles don’t get damaged by the process of tattooing.

5.Can waxing be done on the tattoo?

Yes, with the necessary precautions and a little patience: wait no less than two weeks after doing the tattoo before removing the unwanted hair with waxing.

The razor and electric epilator do not pose any risk to the integrity of the tattoo.

Instead, avoid the laser, which risks having deleterious effects, and the depilatory cream, due to the unidentified chemical content.

6.A tattoo hurts more if it is made with light colours rather than dark ones.

White ink is more painful than the other inks.

It’s not true. Light colours and especially white, are added to the tattoo at the end of the session, when the skin is inflamed. You could decide to colour your tattoo in several sessions to alleviate the pain, if you are particularly sensitive.

70s Fashion and Style

Tattoo Before and After Colour by Vokun Tattoo

7.If you know how to draw, you can tattoo.

Being a tattoo artist is a technical as well as artistic profession and it is not always true that those who know how to draw can tattoo.

Action is taken on the skin and to do this you need to know it thoroughly. Drawing on the skin is not like drawing on paper or canvas.

The great tattoo artists say that you never stop learning. Talent alone is not enough: it takes study and experience.

Blue Star Tattoo

Leaflet spread by the parent about the Blues Star Tattoo

Tattoos Stereotypes Myths and Curiosities

8.Drug laced transfer tattoos.

A few decades ago the word “tattoo” was taboo.

If it was then combined with “drugs” then mass panic broke out.

Between the 1970s and the 1980s the myth of the Blue Star tattoos that released drugs into the skin, particularly LSD, had spread.

Scary, and totally meaningless. A fake news.

9.Having a tattoo means that you will no longer be able to undergo an MRI scan.

There is no risk in having an MRI scan. Some people believe that the ink will react to the radiation and cause the skin to swell and burst. Don’t worry, this is only a myth, you will not “explode” during an MRI.

10.Chlorinated pool water discolours the tattoo.

Chlorine cannot get under the first layers of skin like a needle and, as a result, it cannot discolour or dissolve the tattoo. However, it is not a good idea to swim in the pool with a tattoo that has not yet healed.

11.Drinking alcohol or taking an aspirin before getting a tattoo will help ease the pain.

Both alcohol and aspirin fluidize the blood thus causing more bleeding during tattoo process, making healing even more complicated.

12.The red color for tattoos fades easily and causes an allergic reaction.

Some people may be allergic to certain types of inks; however the pigment used specifically in red inks has been updated over the years and now tends to work better in the skin.

Any tattoo that is not properly done and/or treated will fade regardless of the color chosen: this is the truth.

13.Tattoos are a feature of the poor classes.

Some say that tattoos are the investment of the poor in art: then they don’t know the rates of the great tattoo artists.

Tattoos are more expensive than most people know.

Furthermore, it is difficult to understand the connection between the two things even though they have a word in common that defines both. ART.

It is not the tattoo that makes a person bad

There are still many prejudices about tattoos and tattooed people, even though we are in the 21st century.

Often the most unsuspected people are covered in tattoos but, as we said earlier, they implement a form of self-censorship.
From this idea comes the Covered project (2015) by the British photographer Alan Powdrill that shows the secret identity of ordinary people.

Alan Powdrill Photo

What Urban Myths about Tattooing have you heard?

Let us know by commenting below.

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