Re: Back to a frequent confrontation: Mine's Real

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Posted by Nick on August 11, 2002 at 13:16:38:

In reply to: Back to a frequent confrontation: Mine's Real posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 10, 2002 at 22:24:09:

^ My "office" ;-) ^

I work in a tattoo parlor doing henna, and i have to say, i've had
minimal trouble with the "mine's real" attitude. It *is* a very
progressive shop, so that may have contributed to it. But mostly,
people see my books and my portfolio, and once they've asked a few
questions, they see henna as henna, not a temp-tattoo. The shop is in
a college town (Harvard University) so there are a lot of henna-savvy
college girls, some of whom are my best return customers.
My boss has emphasized making henna available as an alternative to
tattooing, but i've found that more often, people just like it for
what it is. I also get people who like to support their local henna
artist, so they come have some work done. Rupal has also given me
some of her past clients, since she's no longer in the area. I've
done work on a lot of the tattoo artists, and they all realize that
there is talent involved. I always freehand all my designs, and that
impresses people too, especially since the tattoo artists use
transfers in all of their work as a matter of course.

: Many times on the past on the forum, and more times when henna
: are on the street, people with tattoos present hennaed people with a
: confrontational attitude, insisting that permanent needle work body
: art is somehow more "real" than henna.
: If one sets aside permanence for a moment (70% of all needle and ink
: tattoos are eventually regretted, and tattoo removal is the blue
: growth industry of the medical profession) ....then perhaps the
: vs henna confrontation is "Tattoos HURT and BLEED, therefore tattoos
: have greater validity than body art which did NOT hurt and bleed".
: Certainly, the larger, darker tattoos, on more painful places seem
: support greater bravado and bragging than smaller, less painful
: The discussion certainly extends to other bodmod practices where
: again, pain and bloodshed is embraced.
: To this end ... see "Sacred Pain, Hurting the Body for the Sake of
: Soul" by Ariel Glucklich, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-513254-
: Complex book on ritual pain, religious pain, torture, guilt, ...
: our old friend .... why people considered it "cheating" to have
: anaesthesia during childbirth! So .... why indeed do some women
: "one up" about difficult labor and men brag about tattoos and
: piercings etc, etc? What does pain mean to people ... and what does
: the lack of pain imply about how people conceptualize henna?
: Helluva book! (Foucault me baby, harder, harder!


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