Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paper Dolls, Barbie, and the Pin Up

Did you know I own a tattoo shop?  I do.  Deluxe Tattoo Parlor.  Truth is I have very little to do with it, my husband, Mav, is the one who runs it.  When I was in high school I wanted to become a tattooer.  The problem is I don't like touching people, or having a job.  So instead I married one.

Our girls do not think of tattoos as anything odd or different.  They spend a fair amount of time at the shop and they always pick out a tattoo.  They choose from the flash, find the tracing, make a stencil and put it on.  Often times they go over it with a tattoo machine-sans needle.  Sometimes one of the guys at the shop "tattoo" them in this way.  Cartoon characters are the top choice followed closely by mermaids.

 A lot of people ask if we are going to let our children get tattooed.  No,  I will not let my children be tattooed,  not as "children." Once they are grown of course they can make their own decisions.  I have the hope they will rebel against us-the establishment, and not get tattooed.

 This has given the girls a unique perspective in imagery.  Lots of dragons, swallows, skulls, pinups, daggers, koi fish etc... and I often wonder how it will play out in their lives.   I have a hint of what it might look like with my niece.  She also had a lot of exposure to tattoo arts beginning at a very young age..  Here she is photographed by my daughter Ruth.  See a correlation?

Are pinups my children's version of Barbie dolls?  I think maybe.  We do try to counter this and create healthy body image.  Raising young girls I can tell you it isn't easy.  I also know if we looked at Mav's art since having his first little girl we would notice a more modest approach to pinups.


  1. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog while reading vixen vintage :). I'm also a mom (of two little girls) and my husband is a tattooist as well. Our girls like to draw when their daddy is drawing and I feel the same way about them getting tattoos, it's their choice -when they're old enough-... It's nice to read your blog! Have a nice day!

  2. I also found you through your niece's blog. I love your approach to life with children. Your blog seems to reflect a sensibility that is lacking where I live. Seems I'm the odd one wanting to stay at home and raise our child.

    My husband and I are both tattooed and our son views tattoos as artwork to be collected! He likes tracing the lines and notices details adults miss in the work. Washable markers are great fun for him to "give tattoos" for the time being since we have no access to a studio for more realistic play.

    Do you think your husband's pin-up work would have changed if you had sons? I know that in our home, the car and truck magazines featuring the ladies were less likely to be left out once our son started walking around. He would see skin and automatically decide it was time to nurse. Same with Victoria's Secret and most music videos featuring dancers. Boys!

  3. Love your blog. Since I'm a SAHM of 3 with one on the way, who is also very into fashion of the retro/vintage variety it hits just the right spot for me :)
    I adore tattoos. However, I don't have one...isn't that funny? Someday I have my sights set on a large art deco inspired piece somehow honoring my family...the problem is deciding on a design and finding an artist I trust. Hopefully "someday" is sooner rather than later. Until then, I have to admire the gorgeous ones that others have and dream about mine. I adore the bow on your wrist that I've noticed in a few photos. It's so delicate and cool at the same time.
    Anyhow, this was a very interesting post...keep it up. You've got a great blog here!

  4. "The problem is I don't like touching people, or having a job."

    HILARIOUS! My kid is still asleep and I'm enjoying the quiet, having a cup of coffee and loving your blog. Thank you!

  5. Hello lovely, just thought I'd stop by and say hi. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I just browsed through a few of your posts and really dig your style... ;) Look forward to reading more...

  6. Thanks so much for your comments. It's so fun to get them.
    Jennifer: I had to think about the question regarding sons. I think it would be harder to have a son exposed to a lot of pin up style art and still teach him to view women with respect. Although I still would prefer that exposure over much of what society deems acceptable as far as Hollywood and print media.
    It's funny that Victoria's Secret makes you son want to nurse.

  7. Hi Coedith, thanks for your comment on my blog. And I know...I have every intention of translating my posts in English, just need to find the time to actually do it:D. But I will do in the future, so don't hesitate if you want to stop by!

  8. I found your blog through Twila Jean. Good stuff. My daughter loves our dress up Betty Page magnets and I just found two of my sexy lady action figures buried in the dirt (poor Sinthia!). no barbies around here heh heh.

  9. This post made me laugh Nichole! You are a great writer-glad you are getting so many visitors to your blog:)


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