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April 16, 2018 | by  | in Opinion Shit Chat | [ssba]

Shit Tats and Other Shit Chat

Rosemary McLeod, a delightful columnist for Stuff, recently wrote: “The talking-point tattoo is a tricky thing. A waitress will have a whole arm sleeve done, but you feel it would be rude to ask what it means. You shouldn’t stare at it, but why else is it exposed?”

I’ve got a couple tattoos. 35, I’m pretty sure. Some people love them, some people think they’re shit. Some people on the internet have described them as “feminazi tattoos”, but those people are fascists.

Most people want to know what they mean. Which is fine, in theory. In reality, if you’re assuming I have a story to accompany every tattoo, you’re asking me to present an on-the-spot seminar about 35 things that are important enough to me to have on my body forever.

While I firmly believe that my tattoos are none of your fucking business, I tried to write down the tattoos I have that mean something, and I guess I proved my own point because by number 11 I was fucking exhausted, so here’s the highlight reel:

  1. I have “SUZY CATO” in a love heart on my shoulder. Suzy is a heroine, a goddess among mere mortals. Do you remember that episode of Suzy’s World where she recreated the human digestive system and for the grand finale it produced a shit?? Iconic.
  2. After old mate Winnie announced that Jacinda would be our next Prime Minister, I got tipsy and tattooed “LET’S DO THIS” on my left foot.
  3. One of my best friends and I have matching “NO WORRIES” tattoos, mine is on my left knee. The joke is we worry about everything.
  4. On the other knee is “DO IT TOMORROW”. I got that one to procrastinate writing an essay that was two weeks overdue.
  5. I have the Venus symbol on my shin, below “STRONG FEMALE LEAD”. On the other shin there’s a crown, below “IS IT TIME TO DIE YET”, an upside down cross, and “DOG BLESS”. I essentially copied this second one off an Instagram account before I realised how fucking bad it is to do that. Moving on.
  6. The first stick and poke I did on myself is a lil dog just above my left knee. He gets fat when my leg is straight, and long when it’s bent. Originally he was meant to have a speech bubble saying “THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT, KAREN?” but I rethought that one at the last minute.
  7. There’s a lil plant on the side of my right calf. A friend of mine came to a party at my old flat and said her tattoo gun was in the car if I wanted one. I wasn’t overly sober and said yes. I regret nothing.
  8. I have “ME” in a lil candy love heart on my left shoulder. It’s mostly ironic.
  9. On my left forearm there’s a mermaid with her titties out pulling the fingers, with the inscription “MERMAIDS HATE MISOGYNY” (ask any mermaid, I’m sure they’ll agree) because it’s imperative that everyone who meets me is immediately aware that I am a rabid SJW.
  10. I got my very first tattoo on my right foot. There’s a girl with long hair holding a coffee cup, adorned with cherry blossoms and a card with the Queen of Hearts on it, and she’s in front of this Native American symbol for choices and change. It took three and a half hours and it hurt like a motherfucker. I got it when I was 17; it’s your classic “I’m feeling emotional about finishing high school so I’m gonna get a melodramatic tattoo” gag. But instead of getting an infinity symbol on my wrist and being done with it, I did the absolute most. The coffee cup is about my first job, the cherry blossoms are about my first overseas trip, and the Queen of Hearts is about my first relationship. The Native American symbol I decided on long before I even heard the phrase “cultural appropriation”. Moving on.
  11. My most recent tattoo is just below my sternum. It’s a portrait a friend of mine drew for me. She moved to Australia, and I got it to feel close to her during a time where I was struggling with my mental health and missing her guidance dearly.
  12. I have Matisse’s Le Platane on my right thigh. It’s beautiful, that’s all there is to it.
  13. I have two stick and poke wine glasses on my left ankle, crossed at the stem. I just fucking love wine okay?
  14. When I was in South Africa, a friend of mine made me a single line drawing of an elephant, so I got it tattooed on my right elbow that same week.
  15. I have “CUNT” tattooed on my right ass cheek. Because fuck you, that’s why.

My tattoos document the last six years of my life, in a disjointed kinda narrative, so forgive me if I’m unwilling to relay that to you as I serve you your half-strength decaf dirty chai latte, Rosemary.

Love you, xoxo


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