Needles & Sins : We're Not Homewreckers | Haute Macabre

Needles & Sins : We’re Not Homewreckers

Although this isn’t directly fashion related, I’d like to share something with everyone that I feel very strongly about.

My friend Marissa, over at Needles and Sins Tattoo Blog, was in today’s issue of the New York Post discussing the recent media lash-out of heavily tattooed women being nothing more than home-wreckers and, well, trashy hos.  All of us ladies here at Haute Macabre are heavily tattooed women, and I can’t say that any of us fall into the home-wrecker category.  After reading both articles, I am still amazed and appalled at the reaction to heavily tattooed women from the general public.

“Who wants to marry that? Or have that be the mother of your children. The tattooed trash look is for a 1 night stand or at best she will date her look heroin dealer/junkie.”
“As my son once remarked: ‘tattoos make you look stained’.”
“Maybe that’s the new art, hang a tatooted [sic] person on your wall!”

Before I wind up writing out an incredibly long-winded, foot stamping post here about my reaction to this, everyone please check out Marissa’s article, and tell us your thoughts & experiences.

30 Comment

  1. And I know plenty of girls who are homewrecking slutbags that have zero tattoos and only ear piercings. Those types usually have fake tans, or real cancer causing tans. How’s that for judgement? I bet you lots of girls wouldn’t like that assumption. Even though with real life experience, that’s all I ever see.

  2. This is disgusting! I can’t wait to be heavily tattooed, waiting on money, and my boyfriend has not one tattoo. He loves my tattoos! We’ve been together for 4 years, and I have just a few tattoos as of right now. Everyone who knows me knows that I am far from a trashy ho home wrecker one night stand kind of person. I hate how medieval people’s minds are.

  3. To Em, I have one question if you judge people so easily based on appearance as to speculate about their SANITY if they have more tattoos than ‘a pretty flower on the shoulder’, and believe that everyone should do their best to blend into the masses, less they get some unwanted attention then why are you even a reader of this site?

    Clearly this blog promotes a more ‘macabre’ (hence the name) aesthetic, showcasing things that to a lot of people may look ‘weird’, ‘strange’ and ‘scary’. Certainly a lot of these things would stand out in a crowd when worn, be questioned and judged. Other more self-righteous individuals (such as yourself) may even question the sanity of individuals with such aesthetics that would wear these items. So again why are you on a site that promotes a dark and alternative aesthetic that might be questioned by many, yet you are so vocal about your own disgust and suspicion of a different type of alternative aesthetic (body-art)? Shouldn’t you just stick with viewing more ‘normal’, ‘sane’ and conventional fashion blogs?

    I am also confused as to why you are so extremely defensive and vocal about hating a group of people, with whom by your own admission you do not interact, you sure are a ‘strange’ one, I may just have to question YOUR sanity.

  4. AGH
    This shit pisses me off.
    And I’m someone who has no tattoos, and sadly did now a few tattooed-home-wrecker types 🙁

    In this day and age?!?!

  5. “Bombshell McGee” really fucked it up for all the upstanding awesome classy tattooed women around the world.

    I’m rather heavily inked. 2 half sleeves, wrist and neck tatts. My ears are stretched to 3/4″. My brother-in-law does all my ink. I’ve been married to my man for almost 7 years. I’ve been with my man since I was 19 years old. I have a gorgeous 4 year old daughter. I plan on volunteering in her class when she goes to school. I have no problem with being the PTA mama. Having ink does not mean you are a sleazy homewrecker.

    Body modification does NOT indicate that the adorned person is a whore, homewrecker or slut. It merely shows that the adorned person is willing to think outside of the constraints of society. I don’t need to rock khakis and a polo shirt to prove that I’m a good wife or mother.

  6. “I can’t quite see how an aesthetic choice about your body, whether you see it as a canvas for art or not, how that has any baring on your morals?”
    The mere act of body modification doesn’t change your morals. Your choice of design reflects your values and tastes. A hardcore Christian probably isn’t going to get a tattoo of Jesus smoking a jay with Richard Dawkins and Satan.

    “And you know what they say: to ASSume makes a monochromatic ASS out of you and me.”
    Assumptions are the basis of most social interactions. It’s ridiculous to expect people not to make deductions based on appearance.

    As for monochromatic, life has mutilated me all sorts of colors without the aid of needle. Tattoos are for wusses. Cool kids fuck themselves up the old fashion way, by getting injured being awesome.

  7. I find it offensive that anyone is pigeon-holed as anything simply because of a choice in personal enhancement. It is a gross and ignorant generalization to say a tattooed woman (or man, for that matter) is anything subversive simply because of one person’s actions.

  8. I have no tattoos, however, my husband of 23 years is covered head to toe. I think they are beautiful, I just never wanted one myself. Also most of my friends have many tattoos, as most of my friends are in the industry.
    Having said that, isn’t part of the point of getting tattoos, especially many, to set yourself apart from the norm? I find it odd when heavily tattooed people complain that they are not treated like “regular” folk when they purposely went ahead and made them selves irregular.

    Now I’m not saying I agree that all heavily tattooed women are trashy hoes. And I’m not saying tattooed people don’t deserve respect. All I’m saying is tattoos have an element of danger and outlaw that is part of what attracts in the first place. To expect to be “different” and yet treated like you’re not is just plain naive. If you truly wanted to be treated like a normal person, you probably shouldn’t have gotten tattoos in the first place.

  9. “The difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is tattooed people don’t care if you have tattoos or not.”

    I own a rock n roll jewelry company and am quite inspired by americana tattoos, pinup, and the like – frequently I vend Ink conventions around the country and just about every single one of my friends is heavily tattooed. Hanging out with these gorgeous colorful gals sometimes makes me feel like a boring canvas, but they ALWAYS say the exact same thing: that they could care less if I’m tatted or not.

    Partially because I’m Jewish and partially because I’m just damn indecisive, I am a blank slate – and I feel that those of us without ink ASSUME that those with tats are judging us. It’s obviously not true – we’re just projecting our own insecurities; but when you group together the massive portion of American women without body art, this makes for a massive assumptive force.

    And you know what they say: to ASSume makes a monochromatic ASS out of you and me.

  10. First of all, before I post this gigantic post (sorry guys, I’m blocked from facebook at work, so you bear the brunt of my interwebz breaks), Em, I don’t want you to think i’m trying to change your opinion-which you are well entitled too!

    Em says: “Also, this is a prejudice people impose upon themselves.”

    To some degree yes and no:
    The Yes part: I find the people who make a tattoo into a prejudice are generally not people I want to know anyways. The people who are unafraid to just ASK about why, what, who in regards to tattoos or simply accept people for themselves including their tattoos as a visual extension of their personality (which I think for those who have a “serious” (meaning, you didn’t just go get drunk and get a tattoo, you genuinely enjoy, collect, and/or thought long and hard about it) are the people I DO want in my lives.

    Sally brings up the excellent point about relationships that people have regarding tattoos. My relationship is a very slow and meticulous relationship-I searched for years for the right artist, and knew that only memorial tattoos would be appropriate for me. I long admired all the beautiful art I saw, but could never commit to something as it is my full time job to critique (I Art Direct) art and attempt to ever improve it. What I knew I would never want to improve on was a sincere visual eulogy-so this is how I choose my tattoos. They have DEEP meaning to me. I don’t have body issues, though I must admit I’d love to get ink on the back of my legs where some stubborn cellulite continues to hang on for dear life to my size 4 body. But my entire upper arm has done nothing to damage my self esteem, infact quite the opposite-I got serious guns from years of riding, and now 5 days a week in a dojo training for 1hour plus. I got the tattoo after all this, I’m turning 30 this year (eep!) I’m quite confident in my work, and I know my direct tattoo is exempted from your point (“well-designed half-sleeve”) but I know I’m not the only one that feels this about her tattoo(s).

    On the complete opposite side is my boyfriend, who is covered in tattoos and continues to fill space. Why? because I thinks it’s a beautiful art and that’s really it. I doesn’t feel his skin should be one way his entire life, or that he shouldn’t “mar” it. It’s more like the scars we accumulate from going out and living life, rather than sitting on the couch and remaining pristine until we die and it all just decomposes anyways.

    The No part. I have long dressed the way I do because I felt like dressing very “normal” was a betrayal to my self- I think there is an element of expression the way man feels like a woman inside, I don’t feel like everyone else inside. There’s a fun interview with Kate Lanphear (<3) here:
    and a great quote from that is "I wanted to see what would happen if I was real." I feel like for some people having tattoos and dressing outside the norm IS their real self. THAT'S when they feel comfortable and confident. It might be unoriginal, but it's them, and they feel better for it. I feel like an absolute spy/actor/insincere person when I dress like someone else, and I could never do it for the rest of my life and feel good about myself.
    In no way am I saying this is a struggle greater than civil rights, or equality for gay and transgender persons, etc etc, but I do think there is a component of uncontrolled differentness for some people. I certainly didn't WANT the teasing and jeers from classmates and people through the years, but I didn't have low enough self esteem to fake being someone I wasn't.

    One thing to note, people who are "creative" with their appearance tend to work in creative fields, and I can tell you that the most corporate of places tends not to be judgmental with the appearance of their creatives-they expect it many times. Having strange or colored hair and tattoos, dressing different, all of this is almost unquestioned when you are a artist of some sort… In that context we don't get railed with prejudicial comments and thoughts, there is simply acceptance. I find this completely interesting.

    Ultimately if you tattoo a swastika in the Nazi context, then yes, you are saying something loud and clear. If you have a tattoo that's just plain awful and it's available to see for everyone, I'd question your taste-but not you're person. And I agree with you Em, that the Lizard man might be nuts—in comparison with the rest of our society—and to expect him to be accepted any time soon is delusional. Whoever got "dick sucka" tattooed on their chest is, most likely, NOT someone I want to hang out with, but THANK GOD they got that tattooed on them, cuz now I know ahead of time, lol.

    I think, fundamentally, the issue of lumping all ladies who are easily identified (meaning heavily tattooed) into one category because one ho in the news got together with an equally ho'y dood sucks, and just shouldn't happen.

    (Dontcha love how no one is railing against him, it's all on her? Even though he's got all these mistresses now…)

  11. marissa…WAITAMINUTE! i know her! her and brian are awesome! i love her new book! they came into the bar i worked at in fort green all the time!

    but yeah lots of good points here. aside from general aesthetic and musical tastes etc, i’ve always found that the punk, metal or alternative or whatever “community” [certain sects of fundamentalist limitation aside…] tends to be far more open minded than the general populous. some of the most down to earth truly homey people i know have dozens of facial piercings. sure we don’t all have tattoos or whatever, i don’t, but that doesn’t mean i’m condescended to or vice versa. to each his, or her, own.

    some old adages never die. “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. sure lots of us do it, just apparently most of us are illiterate and don’t even open it up.

    and here’s a thought, why hasn’t anyone taken the opposing stance to the homewrecker? don’t tattoos SCREAM “commitment”? haha!

    i tend to agree with the second half of nixon’s comment too. i think the people need to be accepted, but i don’t mind certain parts of subculture…staying in the subculture/on the fringes.

    maybe even if we could get past the all encompassing “she has tattoos” and temper the judgments to “she has good tattoos!” or “she has a tattoo of the dave matthews band logo riding a dolphin in a sunburst on the small of her back surrounded by chinese characters and a circlet tweety birds…” hm.

  12. You know, the upright, bible loving tattoo-free Bitch-On-Wheels who ran off with my Mum’s ex-husband? Well, She used to spout this kind of trash all the time too!

    I don’t have a tattoo or a piercing and never want one, but some of my friends do and I can’t quite see how an aesthetic choice about your body, whether you see it as a canvas for art or not, how that has any baring on your morals? Life is so simple for some people, whatever happened to live and let live?

  13. I feel like the proliferation of “alt porn” has also heavily contributed to this perception in the past decade. My guess is that the main consumers of this genre are probably men who don’t really get to interact with many pierced, tattooed women in real life. They don’t know subculture. They know only the pornographic/fetishistic commodification of it. When those guys see a girl with tattoos on the street, they immediately assume that she’s into kinky shit, because they saw a girl just LIKE her on Vivid Alt, Burning Angel, et al, net last night, and that’s their only frame of reference. By the same token, when their “normal” girlfriends catch them looking at that type of porn, they hate girls with that kind of look forever. This comment is not necessarily my critique of alt porn, just a theory on where that specific strain of misogyny in comments you posted comes from.

  14. “What else am I supposed to think about someone whose chosen to cover themselves permanently with a typically gaudy hodgepodge of appropriated symbols and co-opted culture? Anyone who is that committed to tackiness is not someone I want to associate with.”

    Em, while I empathize with your later posts regarding personal responsibility in relation to optional adornments like tattoos I have to disagree with this segment of your post.

    Something I’ve noticed over time is that people have different relationships to body modification. Some people get tattoos after a long process of thinking, collaboration with the artist and debate. Others get tattoos to commemorate a moment–a significant emotion, event or experience. This may or may not involve a carefully planned design because the final result is not always the most important part. Most people can point to their tattoos and recall the location, time of their lives, and emotions associated with the artwork–almost like a physical scrapbook of memories. Neither is an “incorrect” way to relate to your body, they’re just different. I think of the former as an oil painting, the latter a Pollock-esque inspirational burst. Without stepping off the conceptual deep end here I always thought the videos of Pollock were more interesting than his paintings–ie, the process, the experience.

    I personally do not have any ink but I don’t have any especially harsh judgments about those who do, other than I may or may not find the artwork to be all that interesting. The 5 piercings I have (while important to me) are most certainly unoriginal in placement and jewelry choice. And you know what? It doesn’t deaden my enjoyment of them in any way. I probably won’t get a tattoo any time in the near future because my taste in art is still evolving, but I don’t have a problem with people decorating themselves with a timeline of evolving taste if it makes them happy.

  15. “People dye their hair and no one gets all messed up about that, they accept thats what you want either because you dont like your hair color or you like that color better and feels it suits/ expresses you better”

    Dyed hair isn’t permanent and isn’t typically as noticeable as heavily tattooed skin. Additionally, try dying your hair neon green in schools and corporations across America and tell me “no one gets all messed up about that.”

  16. “So why cant you dye your skin so most/all of it expresses you without people judging you?”

    People will judge you regardless of what you do because they have to. If you didn’t assess and form basic opinions about strangers, you would have no clue how to interact with them. If I see a woman wearing a police uniform, I judge her to be a police officer and I make sure not to jay-walk. If I see man wearing a dirty trench-coat and hiding in an alley, I don’t go and ask him for directions. Obviously, those are ridiculously black-and-white examples, but the point remains; in order to function, you must judge on some level. You judge and then you revise your opinions if facts disagree with them.

    When you cover yourself in attention getting designs permanently, it’s going to affect how people judge you both superficially and personally. You’ve chosen to display your tastes publicly and to draw attention to yourself in such a manner. You wouldn’t paint a mural on a building and expect people to stare at it blankly and form no opinion. The same goes for your body. If you didn’t want to be judged more frequently and critically, you shouldn’t have gone out of your way to make yourself more noticeable.

    Additionally, if you choose to make yourself permanently conspicuous, it makes me suspect your sanity. I’m not talking about a well-designed half-sleeve here or a flower on your shoulder. I’m talking about two full sleeves, hands, knuckles and a full back piece along with more piercings than a tin can luminary.

    “I think it is very important for people in the community to stand up and speak out against ***unwarranted*** bias, and blatant lies, I openly admit that it is certainly not my place to do so. I am far too much of an abrasive personality (aka asshole) to do so myself.”

    How is this bias unwarranted if you yourself are willing to admit you’re a poorly adjusted? It seems to me you illustrate my point perfectly; someone who mutilates themselves for attention tends to be someone with a lot of other issues as well.

    Also, this is a prejudice people impose upon themselves. I wouldn’t wear a Grateful Dead shirt if I didn’t want people to think I liked the Grateful Dead. It’s not like sexuality, race, disability or other involuntary attributes/conditions.

    “people are gonna say whatever they want & they’re probably full of shit, but as long as you know who you are & live the life you want to, the rest doesn’t matter.”

    But the rest does matter. You’re living in a community, not a vacuum. Your life depends on how you interact with other people. Their opinions matter because they are your potential employers, your potential colleagues, your potential neighbors, your potential friends and your potential enemies. It’s absurd, selfish and juvenile to claim that others don’t matter.

  17. depending on what part of the world you’re at, tattoos can be associated mainly with criminals & low lifes. but then again, people in general look for easy excuses to write someone or entire groups of people off for minor differences. but at the end of the day, anyone tattooed or not, can cheat & lie & be an asshole. it’s especially easy to write off girls for any reason at all. men cheat, women cheat, & frankly there just aren’t that many people in the world who are squeaky clean & haven’t done anything regretful.

    i have lots of tattoos & i think it looks great to dress posh. i like the mix of subculture & high culture. it’s not for everyone though, & really, who gives a fuck what others think? just cuz something’s written in a newspaper or blog doesn’t mean you have to care. people are gonna say whatever they want & they’re probably full of shit, but as long as you know who you are & live the life you want to, the rest doesn’t matter. (trite, but true)

  18. You know, I’m so divided on this.. part of me says “God, people suck. One tattoed chick has an affair and it’s on all of us, when Hollywood types are eternally having affairs with non-tattoed people and noone gives a fuck”.

    And then there is this other part of me that says “Douchebags are railing against tattoos? FINALLY! Perhaps the world is returning to normal”….

  19. Ink, and some body mods, have become very prevalent in society. Both my wife and I have ink and so do most of the people we know. It is unfortunate that [most, many, some?] people have a need to degrade for being different. I always thought that those are the people with the most personal issues.

    I am glad to see that Needles and Sins Tattoo Blog and Haute Macabre shining a light on bullshit and calling it out as such.

    I think it is very important for people in the community to stand up and speak out against unwarranted bias, and blatant lies, I openly admit that it is certainly not my place to do so. I am far too much of an abrasive personality (aka asshole) to do so myself.

  20. @Em:
    “They may look ok with a tank top and jeans, but they look absurd with anything remotely formal. ”

    I completely agree that if you have intense tattoos and stuff yourself into a J. Crew or Newport News or Jessica McClintock formal article(s) of clothing you might look a bit strange, but I do think that a heavily tattooed person who knows how to also dress for their personality, along with adorning their body can look anything but absurd. I like when people push their “formal” look artistically and creatively outside the bounds of the norm-THAT’S fashion to me…

  21. I dont have any tattoos and dont plan on ever getting one cause there is no way I would ever choose something I would like forever and Im not willing to deal with people judging me on them, but I dont see whats wong with having a ton of tattoos. For some people they are just trashy designs but for a lot of people they are well thought out pieces of art and expression and I admire them for being brave enough to get them knowing they are permanant and everyone can see them. When I see a person with a ton of tatoos it doesn’t equate to trouble its more like how that person is acting/ dressed (yea I judge on how people are dressed shouldn’t but I do and almost everyone does). So if the person is dressed like ho then I think they are a ho but not because they are heavily tatooed, they just happen to be heavily tatooed sometimes. People get all freaked out about having them visible in a work place, but honestly most people wear them like people wear hair – its just part of them and I don’t find it distracting. People dye their hair and no one gets all messed up about that, they accept thats what you want either because you dont like your hair color or you like that color better and feels it suits/ expresses you better. So why cant you dye your skin so most/all of it expresses you without people judging you?

  22. Tattoos have a long and complex history, but in western culture, they have traditionally been associated with criminals, rowdy sailors and prostitutes. That’s where the animosity began.

    Personally, I have nothing against the idea of tattooing per se, but the fact is the majority of tattoos I have seen are poorly thought out and poorly executed. Adding more just exacerbates the issue. They may look ok with a tank top and jeans, but they look absurd with anything remotely formal. More than anything else though, they’re trendy now, but who knows what kind of mutilation will be fashionable next?

    When I see your average heavily tattooed person, I can’t help but question their intelligence and mental health. What else am I supposed to think about someone whose chosen to cover themselves permanently with a typically gaudy hodgepodge of appropriated symbols and co-opted culture? Anyone who is that committed to tackiness is not someone I want to associate with.

  23. It’s so weird to me that this is even a question anymore. I guess I’ve been living in Portland too long- everyone’s covered in tattoos here (except me, I’ve only got one, but only because I can’t afford more.) Oh well, at least it lets your company self-select. Why would anyone WANT to marry someone who wouldn’t marry them if they were covered in tattoos?

  24. I am not now, nor have I ever been a home wrecker. I am a heavily tattooed, business owner and member of my daughter’s PTA. My backpiece was designed and created by my tattoo artist and myself after a life altering experience. It offends me that so many people think poorly of women or men with tattoos. How narrow minded of them. Do I think poorly of them because of the shoes they wear? Or the fact that they may be short/tall/slim/fat? Its a bias based on looks. Which I absolutely abhor.

    So I am glad that someone is trying to debunk that stereotype. But seriously, who came up with that stereotype to begin with? They can kiss my lily white @ss.

  25. Thank you for pointing me towards her article! Going to leave a comment there (because I have no doubt I will ramble and would hate to take up lots of comment space on two sites 😉 )

  26. Well, while tattooed, I’m far from heavily tattooed. But I don’t plan on stopping where I am, it’s just time and money, and the fact that I like big pieces keeping me from getting more. This sunday my boyfriend (who is covered in tattoos, including neck, hands, fingers) and I will be celebrating our 9th year together. Nine years is a long time-longer than some of our friends have been married, longer than some people’s “home” they’ve made together.

    I can’t say I’m surprised at this response. I honestly was waiting for it to happen. It’s not the first time the public has reacted as all knowing supreme beings because they caught a segment on Inside Edition, read some article in a news paper or had some friend’s “cousin who’s friend had that happen to them”. Standing in line waiting to order a coffee at a local shop, I once had a couple come in, eye me up and down and then leave. This was a few days after Columbine, and I fit the bill in my completely head to toe black and painted up motorcycle jacket. To them, getting a coffee there wasn’t worth the potential threat I posed, because at any moment I might start shooting and rage against the line! There are people who are outright terrified of my dog because of his breed. Recently a man LEAPT across a stroller to cover it completely with his body and stared us down. They admit they have no direct experience with my dog, or even the breed, but OH oh, they know. Just like they KNOW my boyfriend is a criminal and selling drugs because he has tattoos. Meanwhile, he teaches Law Enforcement personnel, SEAL teams and security guards things they HAVE to know to certify them for various clearances.

    A heavily tattooed woman is going to be long looked at as an oddity – to be completely accepted is going to take longer for the whole country, but this is definitely a setback. This will blow over as soon as the next big scandal will come along, and thankfully, the attention span of this country is half a millisecond. But none of this is news to anyone here…

    In the meantime, maybe we’ll get more ink for our anniversary.

  27. i get worried if someone doesn’t have a tattoo. to me it was always that people with tattoos are about commitments, after all we have near permanent images on us that we live wive daily.