Obama's family tattoo plan to deter his daughters from the needle may backfire, says a newly tattooed mom who has come to see it as art that may be more than skin deep in family meaning.
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
I started the clock on the first presidential "tramp stamp" when the president told the Today Show that he and first lady Michelle Obama had an immediate counterstrike to prevent his daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, from getting tattoos. They would get identically placed and matching tattoos. This is one campaign promise requiring a term limit because lower lumbar tats are super painful — I should know, I got one two years ago.
In the interview, the president explained that he hoped the threat of a "family tattoo" would completely deter his daughters from inking their bodies during their teenage years. Yes, well, having a Secret Service detail on your teens is really the actual ink deterrent the Obamas have as a first line of defense.
However, as a mom who got a tattoo two years ago — a lower back/lumbar bit of ink that is often pejoratively tagged a “tramp stamp” — I am less inclined to see tattoos as the end of the world. Also, seeing things from the lawyerly perspective inherent in teenagers, I think the president left a loophole that can be artfully used to dodge the negatives currently associated with body art.
My tattoo is a “tribal” design that’s all black with no words. It’s a set of sharp-edged, interlocking strokes depicting, in a very broad sense, the elements of water and femininity I want to hold sacred as I age.