Because if you put it in the wrong place, you might be a yucky slutty skank.
Some time back, I came across this article, stating what we all already know: that tattoos are becoming soo super trendy and blah blah. What was bothersome about the article though, was this lovely addition:
“… a popular placement for women’s tattoos has moved from the lower back to the rib area.
‘We call it the ‘skank flank,’ [the tattoo artist we interviewed] said. ‘Every week or two, I see another girl with another rib piece, and you have to tell them that.'”
So wanting to get a discrete tattoo that you can easily cover up makes you a skank? Since when are ribs considered a sexual body part?
Really, if nothing else this makes the fact that “tramp stamps” are body shaming that much more clear. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term body shaming, it’s a cultural phenomenon that essentially makes everything you do with your body wrong. You’re fat? Lazy and disgusting. You’re skinny? Eat a cheeseburger, you look anorexic. You’re fit? You look like a man. Yada yada yada. It’s designed to make women (and increasingly men) feel bad about their body, no matter what they do or how they look.
Here is how the same douchebags would like us to view tattoos:
- Lower back tattoos: you’re a tramp
- Rib tattoos: you’re a skank
- Wrist tattoos: you’re a dumb skank
- Arm tattoos: you’re a pretentious whore
- Leg tattoos: you’re a whore
- Feet tattoos: you’re a whore
- Shoulder tattoos: you’re a whore
- Tattoos anywhere: you’re a whore
- No tattoos: you’re still a whore.
There is no bit exaggeration in this. All of this language is used to control women. To make us judge each other’s bodies, feel self-conscious about our own, or dictate what we can or can’t do (with tattoos, weight gain/loss, or anything else.)
Really, the best way to nip this in the bud is by calling out anyone who uses the language of “tramp stamps.” The logic is the same in both, and by having conversations with people on why this sort of language hurts women (and men), we can start reclaiming our ability to tattoo whatever parts of our body we want.