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If anyone thinks that the fairer sex is the fainter of heart, this tidbit will chap their hide: When it comes to getting inked, 59 percent of women have tattoos compared to 41 percent of men, according to a new poll released by the Oxygen Network and Lightspeed Research. What’s more, 40 percent of women made their tattoo experience a shared one, often getting inked with friends and loved ones. Apparently women use the “bring-a-buddy” approach to tattoo parlors just like they do with public bathrooms.
Once only associated with bikers, sailors and military men, tattoos have become more mainstream over the past two decades. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie have proudly flaunted their body art, and the younger Hollywood is following in her edgy footsteps -- Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry have all debuted fresh ink on Twitter.
But listen up rebels, Joe Capobianco, head judge on Oxygen’s new reality-competition show, Best Ink, has this sage tattoo advice: “If you’re going to do it, do it. But be smart about it. Make an educated decision.” Just like any dude in the ‘80s with a Calvin & Hobbes or Tweety tattoo, some women’s choices in tattoos are highly questionable. You do realize that it’s permanent, right? As in, not temporary? This isn’t a Hello Kitty sticker that washes off after a birthday party. Tattoos are body art that takes hours to get etched with an ink-filled needle that jackhammers under your epidermis. As Eva Longoria found out the hard way when she divorced Tony Parker, removing a tattoo hurts -- way more than the original tattoo; maybe even the break-up itself.
Personally, I’m proud of my tattoo on my lower back, but it took years before I found the right symbol that represented a personal metamorphosis in a foreign land. I’ve been plotting where and what to get as my second tat to represent my Pisces daughter, without echoing cheesy Ed Hardy koi worship. These days, I’m more mad at the rash of Girls Gone Wild who, in concert with early-Aughts fashion trend of low-rise jeans and thong underwear, coined the awful term “tramp stamp.” But I also side-eye Chinese and tribal symbols that may or may not be culturally accurate, misspelled maxims or ubiquitous rose anklets. C’mon! Be original! And Miley, here’s a tip from the wiser-but-less-supple future of middle-age: You will regret that triceps tat -- the same body part that my daughter lovingly refers to as “mommy’s squishy part.”
So, ladies, love yourselves, love your tats. But please, think before you ink!