Most Surprising Body Art

Santa’s tatts in “Rise of the Guardians”


Tattoos, the injection of inert organic dyes within the dermis of the skin, were mainly accessories of sailors, prisoners and sketchy B-movie thugs until the early 1990’s.  The tatt fad exploded.  Soon nearly every breathing 20-something male and female was adorned with some type of skin design.

As mainstream as body art became, some areas of society remained tatt-free.  Priests?  Politicians with presidential aspirations? Octogenarians (old fogies)?  All continued to avoid the tattoo artist’s busy needle.
Hollywood continues to break down barriers, but the latest admission to the tattooed tribe comes as a particular shock.  A mythic figure, a hero to children worldwide.  A man whose greatest vice to date was a supernatural craving for cookies and milk one night a year.  Yes, now even Santa’s got tatts.
 

In “The Rise of the Guardians”, the Santa figure is a Russian-accented, sword-wielding tough guy called “North.” To illustrate his take charge attitude, producers boldly gave him “Naughty” and “Nice” inscriptions on his forearms. Who’s next, Thomas the Tank Engine covered with piercings?

 
Over time, some tattoos can lose their appeal.  Images of cartoon characters, ex-lover’s names, and ink on areas like the neck and hands may eventually spawn regret.  Thus, “Tattoo removal” can someday top a person’s Christmas wish list.  In 2012, evidence for a new paradigm for laser treatment was published.  Traditionally, lasers were used on a single session, the light energy bombarding the skin pigment like chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Okay, not quite, but we couldn’t resist! 

After waiting 6-8 weeks or more, some of the color would fade as the pigment was carried away, as if on a magical sleigh. A follow up session was performed, 6-8 more weeks passed, and so on.  With a minimum of three treatments, successful fading of a tattoo might take as many months as Santa has reindeer.


Current research reveals that tattoos can be numbed up and a laser can be used, not just once, but up to four times on a single day, waiting around a half hour between passes.  Essentially, eight months worth benefit can now be achieved in one day.  Now that’s quite a stocking stuffer!



Runner up, Most Surprising Body Art:

 Hugh Grant in “Cloud Atlas”


Remember the spineless, stuttering, milquetoast fops that Hugh Grant portrayed to comic effect in “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually”.  Those memories are crushed under the war axe of the tattoo-covered apocalyptic warrior that Grant plays in “Cloud Atlas.”


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