There was a recent news item about people getting shot at a tattoo party in a hotel room. It’s tragic to think of people’s lives being jeopardized because they were in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time… which led me to think about whether a tattoo party is ever the “right place” to be.
Let’s face it, folks, getting a tattoo is not in the same league as buying cosmetics or plastic containers. You are asking someone to create an open wound on your body and fill it full of ink. You take enough risks having this done in a clean environment with properly sterilized equipment. Do you really want to take a chance on getting inked in a room full of who-knows-what kind of germs, with an artist whose equipment can’t be properly sterilized? Do you want to be the tenth person in a row, when the artist is getting tired? Do you want your ink to be some kind of quickie job because there are ten other people waiting in line?
Excuse me while I shudder.
Now, people who have read through this blog so far will, I’m sure, point out that I personally got an unplanned tattoo at a big tattoo show in the bowels of the Queen Mary, which is hardly a hospital suite. And that’s a legitimate objection. At least the artists at the show had to go to mandatory classes on hygiene and safety, and they had their autoclaves and other sterilization tools there with them. But yes, I took a risk, the more so because the artist was from out of town and if something went wrong, all I had was a long-distance call.
Do a Google search on “tattoo party” and take a look at what turns up. The emphasis is on fun and doing the latest in thing. No one seems to think about the germs in the surroundings, or the ethical integrity of an artist who’d be willing to go along with the idea of a tattoo party, or whether he or she is playing hooky from a legitimate shop to get paid under the table.
I read about.com’s body-art boards (see the link under “Resources”) on a regular basis, and their host Karen Hudson has wise advice for everyone. Do yourself a favor and check it out.