Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Would you buy a tattoo from this man?

The hot debate over at the Mail online is whether you could fall asleep while being tattooed. More specifically, whether a Belgian girl could, as she insists, have slept peacefully while the gentleman pictured embellished her face with 56 stars instead of the three she allegedly asked for.

Not being one of the inked fraternity, I'm in no position to judge the possibility of this, but I've always understood the process to involve what doctors refer to as 'some discomfort', particularly in sensitive areas. Either this young woman has the hide of a rhinoceros or she was well fortified with some pretty effective pain relief (if so, what? And please can I have some?)

In any case, was it really wise to entrust an aesthetic decision to someone who decorates himself to such an extent, then puts on the most boring pair of glasses imaginable? Although, to be fair, Mlle Vlaminck too seems to have somewhat unconventional ideas about sartorial taste.

He claims she asked for the stars tattoo covering half of her face, only to change her mind when her family reacted badly.
The fact that she seems to have paid the £55 bill is in his favour, as is the assertion in some comments that tattoo artists always ink on a guide pattern in advance.

Still, haven't you ever started doodling and just gone on and on until you filled the page, even though you never meant to?
(Update:this from Graze: Kimberley Vlaminck, 18, claimed that she asked for only three stars to be tattooed near her left eye as a present from her father, Diego, who was upholding a family tradition of tattoos."My father wanted to pay because in our family everyone has a tattoo," she said. )


  1. Gah!! There was no photo of the tattoist in my paper this morning, just the girl...

    I bet his passport photo doesn't look like him either!

  2. A wonderful example of 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should'.

    As for passports; I don't expect he travels abroad much. Think of all the metal detectors!

  3. Tattoo customers usually only complain if they are not happy with the tattoo design after it has been applied. In this case it probably was the mother who was not happy.

  4. Neil, from what I read, the boyfriend had something to say about it too.

    I wonder how often this happens - I remember the BBC reporting the case of a man suing a tattooist for inscribing an obscenity in chinese on his arm.

    It emerged in the court case that the tatto was done after closing time, when the plaintiff and a large group of friends 'persuaded' the artist to re-open his shop.

    Such a lot to read between the lines!


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