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.
I liked the description of this style that I found on the website for Captain Brett’s Tattoo Shop in Newport, R.I., “Some Tattoos are self-motivated expressions of personal freedom and uniqueness. Most, however, have to do with traditions that mark a person as a member or nonmember of the local group, or express religious, magical, or spiritual beliefs and personal convictions. We all have a undeniable need to belong, this is the most basic Tribal need, and the reason for the Tribal Tattoos renewed power.”
Hmmmm, now if I wanted to belong to a group that shared my values, religious and social, I’d sure hope it was my family.
After all, what is a tribe but a family? By telling his daughters he and the first lady would make tattooing a family affair they were not being original and perhaps were actually making an excellent case for the girls to get inked.
Oh, Mr. President, you just blew that door wide open and believe me, I feel your pain. My tribal took about four hours at Fuzion Ink, Norfolk, Va.
If it makes you feel better, tattoos are steeped in tradition, religion, and history since the tribal styles of today originate with ancient tribes from Borneo, the Haida, the Native Americans, Celtic tribes, the Maori, and other Polynesian groups.
Think of all the Olympians who get tattoos of the Olympic rings with the year of their Olympic experience. It’s just a big, inclusive, strong, happy, healthy, fit, all-American family — a large, sport tribe.
By sheer coincidence, I just watched an episode of "Preachers’ Daughters" two nights ago on the Lifetime Channel wherein a preacher’s three daughters go together as one of them gets a tattoo on her forearm. Her mother Victoria Koloff, a Christian preacher who hosts a faith-based radio show, just about loses her mind over the tattoo, despite the fact that the daughter already had one and is well over 18. Understandably, part of the upset is that the older daughter has taken her 16-year-old sister Kolby to witness the event and in so doing made her a convert to body art.