Tough tatts draw social stigma
STEVE Rogers is comfortable in his heavily tattooed skin, but still feels a need to cover up in public.
Adorned from his stomach to neck and on both arms, the Bundaberg tattoo artist says while tattoos are common, there is still a stigma attached.
"Usually I wear long-sleeved shirts in public to cover them up. Some people can be put off and treat you a bit differently, so I just do it to avoid the hassle,'' Mr Rogers said.
"Mostly, tattoos are a very personal thing anyway and people have them in places you don't often see.''
Mr Rogers works at Bundy Tatooz and Body Piercing and has a steady stream of clients.
Men often opt for tribal arm bands, women for lower back pieces, but there are more elaborate and risque requests.
Tattoo businesses contacted by the NewsMail said people asked for tattoos on genetalia and of sexually explicit images.
The issue of lewd tattoos came to the fore this week when a Mackay woman was forced to wear a jacket belonging to a Jetstar flight crew attendant to cover the image of a naked man and woman in an intimate embrace.
"I was very degraded, very embarrassed, totally humiliated,'' Peta Bull said.
Bundaberg's Nicki Russell, who had a tattoo completed yesterday, empathised with Ms Bull.
"I wouldn't have been offended by it. To me, it's a piece of art, like looking at the statue of David,'' Ms Russell said. "I can see why some people were offended by it, but it sounds like it was nothing worse than what you can see on the cover of magazines in the shops.