is a graduate student working on her PhD in Chemistry(and quite possibly soon switching to chemical engineering). She works on instrumentation(building and application), biotech, microfab,nanotech, nanoparticles, drug delivery, cancer research, medical engineering(med instrumentation, better contrast agents, faux tissues etc)
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I was inspired by @scicurious on twitter. (her original post here http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2011/06/18/on-tattoos-and-personal-space/)
Those of you with tattoos please chime in. Why is it that people touch me when they see a tattoo on me? And why in the hell is it ever ok? I get it that in the summer months some of my tats are visible, and they are interesting and invite questions. But questions are precisely where it should start. I have had people yank my arm to get a look with no hello first. I understand that someone may want to touch the pictures; it’s interesting how the skin looks different and feels the same. But ask first. I sometimes dress a little warmer than I would like because I don’t want people touching me. And I hate the remarks like “Well, why did you get it where people can see if you didn’t want attention?” So that takes away my rights of personal space?! I am sorry - I don’t mind the questions, I get it, but not the touching. They are “hideable,” but that shouldn’t be something I need to think about everyday. In the end, I got them just for me.
This one moment really took the cake. I have vines tattooed across my hips, and they meet in the middle and go down to - ahem – places (not very far, but not appropriate either). So I was putting luggage away on an overhead bin, and my shirt bunched up and my belly was exposed. Someone went to town and started tracing the vines!!! I almost dropped my luggage right on them. WTF? And this may be a more extreme example, but what tends to happen a lot is that I will be sitting chatting with a friend, and next thing I know, I feel fingers on my arm and shoulder. I have one tattoo on my calf that someone touched in a restroom while I was washing my hands. (And this was at a scientific conference)
Now there is some debate about whether this happens more to men or to women. My opinion is that it happens a lot, but that people take more liberties with women and their bodies. My male friends have similar issues, but none of them has these stories of people forcibly yanking arms or touching certain areas. I could be wrong; things do happen, but it’s inappropriate either way. The closest thing I can equate it to is people touching pregnant women’s bellies (which drove a friend of mine insane). Had to get off that off my chest.
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“Well, why did you get it where people can see if you didn’t want attention?”
And that's precisely why girls get raped at night clubs, right? What a terrible argument! People shouldn't be touching you!
What the hell?! That is totally unacceptable behavior! Not the arm grabbing and most definitely not the vine following. Seriously, who does that!?
That's too bad you have to deal with this stuff. I had no idea this sorta thing was common place.
Wow, I've touched, but only after asking. And never an area so intimate as the hip. That's just...incredibly personal and creepy.
I'm tattooed, but most people don't notice. I can't say anything you haven't, but that behaviour is shocking.... what the hell is the reasoning?
@Brian yes exactly thats a great analogy.. apparently I am asking for it...
@Evie yeah its really common place grocery stores, bars... etc.. I have no idea why people seem to think its ok
@JaySee yeah exactly asking.. big key word here. For the most part if someone asks then I have no problem usually with it.. well like on my arm.. but the hips was weird unless you are naked with me you better not be touching me there (I should say volunatrily :))
@Psycasm I would love to know teh reasoning. I was on twitter and another girl brought up a good point I have had people also pull up my shirt to get a better look at my back tattoo. I don't know why its ok.. i can almost understand reaching out and touching my arm perhaps.. but thats it everywhere else is special people area only....
I totally identify. I've had people come up to me and start tracing my tattoo. Creepy beyond belief, especially since it's on my back and I can't see them coming. I've had people pull my shirt to get a better look as well. Makes me feel creeped out just talking about it.
It looks to me as if those people thought that just because you've got a tattoo, especially in "kinky places", then you must be more accesible (whory, so to speak) than those girls who don't own tattoos, and feel free to touch you like you'd happily accept it, because that's what you were looking for when getting them on.
Thanks for sharing this :) I'm thinking of getting one in my forearm in a few years, and never thought there were people who liked to touch that much! It's seriously weird :P
When my baby nephew did it was adorable. As soon as his eyes caught the tattoo he zoned in and immediately wanted to investigate it further. Children are curious and love bright colours. But surely anyone other the age of 7 realises this is inappropriate behaviour? Apparently not!
Dude? Seriously? WTF? That's just so wrong, on so many levels. My tat is in a place where only I decide who can see it, and touch it, but even if it was at a visbible place, that gives no one, not a single person should touch it, regardless of its position in my bod. That's just weird and sick. I get it, people are curious, no problem. But for heavens' sake, ask before you touch.
Wow! I can't believe that this happens to you. People are so rude. If that were me my gut reaction would be to call out, "Help! I'm being assaulted!" That would make them feel bad and it would make a point.
Like Scicurious, my tattoo is on my back so I can't see them coming. It drives me nuts. I have some vines on my upper back that peak out of the top of certain shirt collars and people will walk up to me and pull my shirt down without asking. My tattoo also contains celtic knotwork and they'll just start tracing it's outline with their fingers- it's especially common if I have on a shirt/dress/some type of clothing where it's really visible. The key part is that people do this without asking. I'm definitely not a touchy person either so it weirds me out. Questions totally aren't a big deal. Touching and pulling down my shirt? Weeeeeird. It happens in bars a lot, but other public places are also pretty common.
@Alchemystress @Brian Aaack. I hate the "Why did you get a tattoo if you didn't want people to look at it?" Looking at someone is way different than touching them.
@Dr.Girlfriend- Kids are totally excused- I used to teach swimming lessons and lifeguard during undergrad. But adults? Come on now people!
@CanadianGirl I've said a lot of "Excuse me..."
@sci thats teh worst when you don't know its about to happen and then just touching ug you poor thing... your post made me think about all my past experiences so much and finding its common
@wyzx what a good point.. maybe thats part of it. I had never thought of it in those terms... ug still not ok.. wow.. b/c I am kinky I can be touched.. good going society. The people touching have the problem.. they are voyeuristic or something.. thanks!
@Dr G yeah kids are totally ok they need to know its not a big deal some people are more colorful than others and it snot bad, i find that moment a little more educational and good but yeah aftera certain age you are disqualafied from acting like a toddler
@27 exactly please ask I will most likely let you and then also I have control where someone touches me..ug the hip area really shocked me
@Canadian PDG Thats a good idea... I usually have something good depending on where I am when it first started happening I was so shocked. My friend is a tattoo artist and covered.. at sunday brunch in a restaurant someone walked over to her table with her family and yanked her arm to look... ack assault I say
@SciencingSara I cannot believe teh audacity of people.. to pull down your shirt i mean c'mon.. that is not ok. Its teh asking that drive sme crazy if someone was supe disfigured would you reach hout and touch them?? Yeah and looking is fine i enjoy them i like looking at them they are art and I can cover when i don't want but the touching is never acceptable.