edgy looks with a pop culture twist


Another week of ‘Divergent’ frenzy. This time you can read about Eric’s tattoos (he’s a villain in the book), who inspired the look of the Divergent tattoos and even upgrade your reading taste thanks to the Inked Magazine’s  input on the subject.

Human Rights Tattoo Project a few letters closer to completion thanks to their visit in Berlin.

Private piercing, serious sacrifice’ recalls the traditional Sun Dance.

Way less serious and interesting: a Polish tattoo artist selling his skin (after his death, of course), a Norwegian kid taking his *cough* love for McDonald’s further than anyone else and a very important question: ‘are women over 40 too old for body piercing?’ Everyone should read it! 😉

why be normal when you can be yourself?’ goes to Suicide Girls and tries to be affirmative about uniqueness and edgy look. What the author forgets to mention is that the edgy look sooner or later becomes just another kind of uniform and eventually has nothing to do with being ourselves. Another serious question to ponder 😀

book review: pastrix. the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner saint.


The very first word of this book is ‘shit’ which, in a way, sets a tone for the whole book. It’s not a blasphemy, mind you, it’s an expletive which aim is to show exasperation, desperation and countless other feelings the pastrix in question feels and is not afraid to show and talk about. In my world, solidly defined by the Catholic Church and mental chains it put on me, it certainly is a novelty but a very welcome one!

I’m not gonna lie and pretend that I reached out for this book to seek spirituality or as a means to get closer to God. I did it because Nadia Bolz-Weber is heavily tattooed and seems to be a strong, independent woman and I love this kind of women. I didn’t expect too much about tattoos in her book (which would be stupid – a lady pastor isn’t supposed to discuss her tattoos in her book about her faith and God, is she?), so I wasn’t disapppointed much. She mentions her tattoos in passing and shows that her ink doesn’t define her, though – she’s not a heavily tattooed woman, she’s just an interesting person, a female pastor and a caring member of her community who just happens to have some tattoos. Aren’t we all like this? Way more than our ink, scars, tongue splits and the likes? 

For Nadia God seems so real that He’s tangible, just within her reach, almost divine skin to her tattooed one. He’s down to earth and she never hesitates to call a spade a spade when she talks God. She doesn’t kneel in front of Him, she embraces Him and is bold enough to translate the Divine Scripture into an everyday language where prophanities go hand in hand with such words as love, forgiveness, care.

When you’re a Catholic, you are taught that so many things are wrong and many people who went off the righteous path are forbidden to take part in the Church’s rituals. Nadia’s church is open for everyone and her Christian God is open-minded enough to reach out to divorcees, LGBT folks, tattooed convicts and not so innocent teens. It’s totally fascinating and yet quite alien to me.

Catholic priests are always right, even if they are not. So many of them are neither ready nor open for any discussion and a confession is mainly about reciting a list of sins, symbolic knocking the wood and dismissing yet another sheep back to the herd. Nadia never hesitates to admit she often has doubts, she keeps looking for the right answer and it doesn’t always come. She’s ready to discuss with members of her Church things that bother them and she’s there for them. Just like the name of her Church says, she is both a saint and a sinner and it’s her readiness to both admit and regret her sins that makes her so convincing and interesting to me.

No tattoo adventures here but it’s a great read up all the same as it makes you think, revise your opinions about Christianity and Chirstians and wonder if God is out there for you, too. After all, if we all are both sinners and potential saints, why wouldn’t He reach out to us?

Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix. The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint, Jericho Books 2013;


# 600

the 600th post today! who’d have thought, eh? but I’m not gonna get all sentimental or teary-eyed. It’s been fun! 🙂

a short but broad range of topics tonight!


old Egyptian mummies discovered and examined; one of them with a tattoo with a Christian message. The title of the article above very clickable, isn’t it?

an American photographer Austin Tott juxtaposes tiny ‘tattoos’ with urban (and other) landcapes which makes for a very interesting artistic concept. His website is here!


kissin’ on my tattoos‘ song is not exactly my cup of tea but it’s interesting to see how tattoos are used to express tenderness. Another song along these lines is probably ‘tattoo’ by Jordin Sparks but YouTube offers way more: ‘snapbacks and tattoos‘ or ‘tattoo‘ to name just two.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t limit body art and body modification to just one level; it always escapes classifications and limitations imposed on it by those who don’t understand concepts behind it and that’s exactly why it’s so fascinating! 🙂


beautiful and banned


‘Divergent’ still going strong and since it’s a real pleasure to see interesting tattoos on fit bodies (no perv feelings here, mind you! Just pure aesthetics!), let’s play with it some more: behind the Four’s tattoos and a slide show from the movie.

Quite an interesting interview with an editor-in-chief of the German tattoo magazine on tatoos in movies and how they usually appear on negative characters (worth noting, however, how it changes, too – who doesn’t like Lisbeth Salander after all? The Divergent/ Dauntless pack will also help with the image).


Some more on ‘Bled for Boston.’

Also, more articles on the Perseverance exhibit in Los Angeles! One of the artists quoted in here noticed: ‘There is pain, but then you heal and the art remains’ which is both simple and profound 😉

Modified charity: helping raise awareness of kidney diseases and autism awareness.

Dress code: ‘can a company ban tattoos at work?’ and new U.S. Army groom rules – tattoos are a big no-no now!

Do parents with tattoos make for bad role models?’ some food for thought although do not expect intellectual fireworks from this one. Also thought-provoking is this one called ‘tattoos are corny and degrading’ (and it’s not as bad as it sounds ;))

Very interesting: a new academic book on tattooing traditions in North America and a Russian inventor who is able to read tattoos as sheet music.

times change, and so do the tattoos

Interesting articles about a book called1000 Tattoos’ by Henk Schiffmacher and Burkhard Riemschneider. Originally published 25 years ago, it’s been in print ever since.

My tattoo artist has his own, very dog-eared copy of this book and I managed to secure a copy for myself back in 2008 during my stay in Oslo, Norway. My edition is abridged and in German but it’s still interesting and a nice souvenir!


a table of contents:


a few pictures from the book:


It’s a good starter for everyone interested in tattoos and their fascinating history through time and space! 🙂

tattoos: making a difference!


I just love coming across articles showing how tattoos and people in the industry can change the negative image attached to them and how tattooed people change things for better. Here ‘Break the Silencecampaign against domestic abuse and ‘Semicolon Tattoo Project’ focused on preventing depression and suicide!

More about ‘Perseverance: an evolution of Japanese tattoos’ exhibition!


Not a very nice topic but it’s history and exactly the events that should not be forgotten: metal stamps used for tattooing prisoners in Auschwitz (a big German concentration camp in occupied Poland during WWII) are going to be shown in a new museum exhibition.

Since it’s going to get warmer quite soon, I start feeling for these guys: dress code for Honolulu police force and firefighters in Florida!

People: Norm Will Rise (an expert on writing graffiti and lettering tattoos) and a video from a tattoo convention in Australia with Luna Cobra heavily featured in. Also, a slide show from NYC tattoo convention focused on reasons behind facial tattoos.


I’ve never been good at dates and keeping track of time flow, so it was Bastian’s post that reminded me that yesterday was the first anniversary of Shannon’s passing away!

I was thinking about him a lot during the last few weeks that were quite rough to me. He is one of the few people that I will always look up to and I’m glad BME happened to me! Without Shannon and his creations I would have been half (if not less) of a woman I am now.


book review: playing with identity. tattooing in individualizing polish society


Sadly I don’t have enough time and will to write up a decent review of this book, so it’s going to be just a very short review instead, just to say how interesting I found it.

The author is a sociologist and she looks at tattoos from this perspective. She puts them in context and shows how differently they can be interpreted depending on time, place and people involved. I found the first chapter, focused specifically on various sociological concepts of modernity, quite hard to read – it’s dense with theories, approaches and concepts but it’s important not to skip it as it defines modernity and what comes after it which helps understand how people and societies they live(d) in change over time.

The following chapters, 5 to be exact, focus on tattoos as they were seen in traditional societies and how they could be both inclusive and exclusive, tools of self-expression, a way to deal with one’s emotions etc. The author extensively quoted people she talked to while doing research during her work on this book and these conversations/ interviews are actually very interesting to read as they show how different people approach the same thing in many different ways.

I got to read this book in a very weird moment of my life, when suddenly I had to confront my own choices regarding body modifications (tattoos included) and face people’s reactions that changed me from a person they thought they knew into one of the freakish Others. This book is an academic work presenting the subject in an objective (as much as possible, of course) way but for me it was also comforting as it showed me I am not alone.

A photography essay at the end of the book called ‘the colors of identity’ is a very nice touch!


There’s quite extensive bibliography here and I think this book is a very important work on the subject of tattoos in Poland. Maybe the group of people interviewed for it could have been bigger, maybe the book could have been more accessible as far as the language it’s written is in but it doesn’t change the fact that for now it’s one of the very few good books on tattoos in Polish. Hope there will be more of them in the future.

Agata Dziuban, Gry z tożsamością. Tatuowanie ciała w inydiwudalizującym się społeczeństwie polskim, Toruń 2013