Anonymous asked/told: "You need to write a gentleman's blog over tattoos. Where do they fit in the mix?"
As with everything from Thai food to argyle, the modern gentleman always errors on the side of moderation. Just ask the late, great Ötzi the Iceman. Undoubtedly seen as the dapper hipster of the village back in his day (a day around 4000 years ago), Big O, as the ladies called him, was known to sport several simple and discreet tattoos at the base of his spine (the original Tramp Stamp) as well as additional artwork around his knees and ankles. Although history is unfortunately sparse on any indication of the previous generation's disapproval of such self expression, Ötzi's mummified remains suggest that he did, in fact, die; a coincidence the crime scene investigators at the time failed to link to the bad juju his revolutionary fashion statement may have caused among his fellow villagers.
However, I must inform you directly that if you've stumbled upon this post in an effort to discover the definitive answer to the morality, professionalism, or otherwise appropriateness of such epidermal markings, you will be regrettably disappointed. As a mere style blog, I shall leave such an argument to the thousands of households in which conservative parents and independent teenagers have been inhumanly forced to live with one another. Rather, I would merely like to present the three rules every gentleman should know and follow should he decide he absolutely MUST opt for the ink. And here they are in an easily remembered, yet oddly unrelated mnemonic--HAM!
1. Avoid the Head
2. Costs You an Arm
So, here's the deal, if you're thinking of sleeving it up, consider a half-sleeve or a simple arm tattoo. At least in that case, you can stay cool and professional simultaneously when the occasion calls for it. Unless you're Lil' Wayne or David Beckham, don't make the mistake of thinking establishments and gatherings will adjust their dress standards to meet your ill-considered youthful impulses.
3. What's That Mean?
How do tattoos fit in with the modern gentleman? With heavy consideration, purpose, and necessity. Never do something that could limit your ability to clean up sharp when the time calls for it. Yet never be afraid to claim a cause or purpose for your own. Standing for you beliefs and values in whatever form...now that's the mark of a gentleman.
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