A Neck of a Time
September 28, 2009


This photo may seem like a little shameless pandering to male admirers of all sexes out there but is there any better way to bring up the subject of neck tattoos? I was standing in line at California Chicken waiting to order my Primavera Wrap the other day and the woman in front of me was sporting big cartoon-y tattoos all over her body including one that I swear looked just like a big blob on the side of her neck.  Then I ran across pics of the fitness model above who wasn’t content with chest and sleeve adornment and expanded it up the side of his neck too. I’m the first to admit I’m 2385048032_360b78b42aconflicted about tattoos, even large ones – they can be hot – but that day at the cafe I was beginning to feel, shall we say, neck and neck with the creeping signs of old-fogeydom. And I do live in L.A., where there most be more tatted skin than anywhere on the planet, short of some tribal enclaves in Borneo. But, to borrow from judge Nina of Project Runway, I’m afraid I don’t find neck tattoos aesthetically pleasing. Nonetheless, they’ve gone mainstream – a site called eHow.com even gives you seven simple steps to getting a neck tattoo. After noting in passing that they are dubbed “job blockers” and sometimes require a premium for the tattoo artist, the advice ends with step 7: “Be prepared to defend your neck tattoo.” Duh.

But back up a minute, maybe even that admonition is outdated, judging by the number of them around these days. I don’t really care, I guess, that a lot of people don’t worry about getting a job, or going to a funeral or flying in to visit dear old mom without giving her a heart attack just so they can look like a bad-ass, at least in their own mind. Remember past-season designer Jeffrey from the aforementioned 219111722_096c6fa3a5Project Runway, who got a lot of his dirty-rocker-trash-talking-villain-of-the-season cred from his big ole neck tattoo (which sported his son’s name as a kind of motley milestone). But every time I saw him on screen I just thought it was ugly. And a little sad. And maybe that’s why I’ve been obsessing over them lately.  This is what people will spend not a little amount of money, effort, time and even pain to achieve? This is their dream? This is what they think looks good? And don’t even get me started on eHow.com’s follow-up article, “How to Get a Breast Tattoo.”