I think that many people who get tattoos don’t take into consideration how styles and tastes change. I took the photo below in 1974 at the Sunbury pop festival in Victoria Australia. I’m sure that when the woman in the photo first got the tattoos she probably thought they were so cool. I bet they were the latest designs of their day and I also bet her friends egged her on with praise to get them. The trouble is, is that time moves on and style changes and flesh sags.
I’ve shown this photo to various friends’ teenage children who said that they wanted to get a tat, in the hope they will see how ridiculous some things can look over time. On the same line, I can remember back in late sixties, as a young teenager, thinking to myself when I bought my first pair of Levi flared jeans that they were so classically cool that they’d never go out of fashion. The thing with flairs though, is they can be taken off easily.
I also remember back in 1980 when I was working in the carnival, one of my friends got himself drunk and a tattoo on the same night. It was a Pegasus complete with a unicorn’s horn. To make matters even lamer, the horn was crooked. When he showed it to me in the morning I offered him $200 (my weeks wage at the time), to compensate him for what he’d spent on the tat, if he’d let me scrub it out before the scab got too thick and the tattoo set. He said he liked it (he probably hadn’t even looked at it closeiy in a mirror by then) and that he wanted to keep it.
Let’s wind the years forward to 2007. I wonder if the woman in the photo (most likely in her late sixties or early seventies if she’s still alive) and the Carney still think that the indelible blurry kitsch in their skin is still so cool.