Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This movie, based on the book by Steig Larsson, is one of my new favourite series. The late Swedish author created a novel centered around an unusual heroine, Lisbeth Salander – a tattooed, pierced and anti-social personality that has a photographic memory and incredible hacking abilities. The Millennium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) is an action packed, suspense, mystery and romance genre all rolled into one. Lisbeth Salander (the aforementioned girl with the dragon tattoo) is described as having multiple body modifications which renders her even more of an outsider by her peers and co-workers. In the book she is said to have a large dragon tattoo tracing down her back, a tattoo of a wasp (after her nickname on the internet) on her neck, an eyebrow piercing, and nose ring just to name a few.

Body modification has been happening for centuries, and is for aesthetic, affiliation, or religious reasons. The most common type of body modification include piercings and tattoos. Ears, noses, and navels are very common areas to have pierced in today’s society. Other areas one can have pierced are extensive: tongue, lip, genitals, nipples, etc. One of the newer types of body modification are microdermals and transdermals which are placed under the skin and held in place by a type of anchor so that they don’t come out/ move. More bizarre types of body modification include tongue splitting, foot binding, tooth filing and ear gauging. I’m all for the freedom of expression and we live in a free country, but for those people who have extensive body modification when they are young probably aren’t thinking what they’re going to look like in 30 years.

I, like thousands of other people, have piercings and tattoos. I have 6 piercings: 4 in my ear lobes, my helix and my nose done. I also have 3 tattoos: my zodiac sign with 3 stars (representing me, my brother and my sister on my left shoulder), a French quote on my foot that reads: “La vie est un défi à relever, un bonheur a mériter, une aventure à tenter.” French is super important to me – I did my university degree in French and when I become a teacher, it will forever be a part of my life. My last tattoo is a Stephen King quote: “Be brave. Be true. Stand,” between my shoulder blades. King is my favourite author, but the quote also has special meaning to me as it is my motto as part of my recovery from G.A.D. (generalized anxiety disorder). There are 3 more tattoos that I would like to get eventually, but gosh darn they are expensive so I’ll have to be waiting (and saving my money) for a while yet.

I am very supportive of those who wish to get piercings and tattoos, permitted that doing these things won’t prevent future job prospects and that they have meaning (more so the tattoos in this case.) I love the TV series LA Ink, Miami Ink and NY Ink. Kat von D is absolutely incredible. She is a wonderful artist and if I could afford it, I would love if she did one of my tattoos. I’m not a great artist, so I have the utmost respect for artists that are able to transfer artwork onto the skin with only one attempt to get it right. That being said, some of the things that people decide to have permanently put on their skin astounds me. Even Kat von D, as gorgeous as she is – I can’t help but think about what’s she’s going to look like when she’s older. Tattoos that are done in memory of someone I think are a wonderful display of your love for that person, and that is something that is never going to change. Getting the name of your girlfriend on your wrist is not a terribly bright idea. Those people who get Chinese characters don’t strike me as very smart either.

While tattoos are removable by laser, it is an expensive and painful process, so before you get inked you should consider a few things.

a) Check out the prices and shops in your area, look through artists portfolio’s to make sure you feel good about your choice.

b) Colour or black and white? Colour tattoos are more expensive and some tattoos look better in greyscale.

c) Bring a friend with you if it’s your first tattoo (and make it smallish if this is the case). Everyone has a different pain tolerance and it’s always more comforting to have someone there to hold your hand and support you.

d) Think about what you want to have tattooed for a couple of months. Don’t get an impulsive tattoo – you will likely regret it.

e) Placement on your body. Where do you want your tattoo? Will it affect you getting a job if you plan to work in a professional environment? If this is the case, make sure that you get tattooed in a place that is coverable. While not all workplaces discriminate against those with tattoos, take it into consideration.

Happy Inking!

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