Body art's in eye of beholder

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I recently spent the weekend in Savannah with the family. We spent a good bit of time on the beach at Tybee Island.

I like the beach, the smell of clean salt water, the cool breeze coming off shore and of course, all the girls in bikinis. But, things have sure changed from when I was a teenager rumbling around on the beach at Panama City.

I know tattoos have been the craze for a number of years now, but I was not prepared for the onslaught of tattooed young women -- and sometimes not so young -- scurrying around the sand. Whatever happened to maybe a tasteful butterfly on the left ankle or a little star on the right shoulder?

These women were walking billboards. I would not have been a bit surprised to see a girl with "taste great" on the front and "less filling" stamped on her back.

I did see a guy with a tattoo above his left chest, made to look like the name stickers you get at a company meeting, that said, inside a perfect rectangle, "Hello, my name is Robert." It's my belief that he should have had his name placed on the sticker in reverse, like the lettering on an ambulance, so that when he looked in the mirror it would properly reflect the name Robert. I have a feeling he will need help remembering his name. I may be wrong but I don't think he's likely to be CEO of Coca-Cola anytime soon.

I actually saw one girl with a tattoo right above her belly button, in a semi circle, that said Michael and then below the belly button, Johnson. I don't know if Michael is her husband, boyfriend, pimp, or maybe just a guy that rated No. 1 after playing around her belly button. I strongly suspect the tattoo will be there long after Michael has disappeared.

I saw one girl with a dragon that started at the left shoulder, went across her back, and then disappeared around her right hip. I haven't seen this much art since the Louvre in Paris, France. Unicorns, hearts, shamrocks, school logos, sexy baby, sexy mama, hot mama ... I was drunk when I got this tattoo, mama.

Man, I don't understand this trend at all. God made the female body beautiful and now you plan on covering it up with a flying horse?

It reminds me of the old saying, God made you unique, just like everybody else. Not having a tattoo is now looked at as unique or rebellious.

If you have to paint yourself up, at least make money off it. Put a tattoo advertisement above your belly button that says "need a paternity test? Call 1-800-not-my-baby."

For goodness sake, don't put the name of your love interest on your body. I know some women who would need to gain 50 pounds just to have enough room for all the names and quite a few looked like they were well on their way -- to gaining 50 pounds, I mean.

If I put every girl I had been interested in in my life on my nearly flawless body, it would look like the Encyclopedia Britannica. On the other hand, if I put every woman's name that was actually interested in me, I'd look pretty much like I look now.

Please understand, my 6-year-old daughter was with me and now wants a tattoo and a nose ring. I told her the only thing I support that will have a nose ring and a tattoo where I live is if we buy a cow.

Oh, how I long for the day when the only tattoo was on a Marine's arm.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.