Friday, April 15, 2011

It's April 15 and you know what that means...

Precisely. It's the day in 1632 that Gustavus Adolphus* of Sweden defeated the German Catholic peoples of the Holy Roman Empire. (Frigid blond bastards... I would have made such an excellent Empress... My head is the perfect shape for a tiara...)

Anyway... Today's post actually has nothing to do with the date or Tax Day in the US, which is actually Monday, April 18 this year. I just figured the title would scare off those fearing another ode to the glory of democratic socialism. With those uptight buzz-kills gone I thought we could get down to the really fun stuff.

Pimp My Hide: the Yum of Body Art

Gauntlet, The Castro, San Francisco, CA
As we've discussed in a previous post, the grand majority of people will not end their fleshly days unscarred. Life has it's way of taking a bite out of us time and again along the way and we know that the external marks left behind are signs of our internal strength.

For many of us, though, body modifications – tattooing, piercing, etc. – serve a similar purpose. They are outward signs of our inner self. Rather than intended to be off-putting to others, wearing body art is an act of self-revelation, an invitation to be looked at and truly seen. Having body art is like wearing your heart (indelibly) on your sleeve. The symbols, images or words, the placement on the body, the colors of the ink, the materials of the jewelry: each of these choices has significance to the bearer. They were chosen for a reason, even if that reason was that it tickled their fancy.
Electric Expressions, Kenner, LA
Body art is an externalization of a person's inner aesthetic or Yum.

Often misunderstood as a desire for self-destruction, (when done right) body art is a positive, enriching experience. For some people it is a way of very deeply and personally memorializing important events, both good and bad, in their lives. For others, it is a way of making their body look or feel more pleasant to inhabit.  

Sacred Rose Tattoo, Berkeley, CA
We've each been given a vehicle of carnal sensuality through which to experience this grand game of life. Why that may be is best left to philosophers more gifted/less drunkardly than yours truly. (Though I can, at least, promise not to recant on my deathbed.) What is certain is that we are here (merci, M. Descartes), a corporeal collection of senses, bouncing about for an undetermined length of time and unclear purpose. You might as well get comfortable.

Today's exercise: Make the outside match the inside, follow your Yum, and pimp your hide.

Next: Something not involving embarrassing pictures of middle-aged-lady belly.

*Bless you, good nerds of Wikipedia.


  1. Your head IS perfectly shaped for a tiara. Damn you Gustavus!
    Is that your stomach?? If so, I'm afraid we can no longer be friends. Especially since mine is now all soft and squishy, having recently been home to Han Solo, and now deflated. And middle aged? Um, I'm older than you and FAR from middle aged (if I were, that means I'd die at 76 and I plan to keep going until at least 90).
    I'm not a tatooer or piercer. Needles are not my friend (unless they are for an epidural and then I'm ALL for them) and I can't see paying someone to use one on me. James Bond however likes tattoos and has a couple. They make me hurt just thinking about them. One took 4 hours, another almost 7. No thank you.

  2. Yes, MIHH, that is my belly and my shoulder. The arm is Jim's, but I have that same tat on my lower back. (tramp stamp)

    Also, I think my sideline job has colored my perception of age. The parts I'm generally cast in are women in their mid-40s. (Which is totally, cool, oh ye casting gods. I am not ungrateful!)