Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Don’t Cover Up, Just Go Somewhere Better

December 21st, 2008 by

A few weeks back, I posted a piece about the Singapore tattoo convention and how great it was to see places like Singapore opening up and accepting tattoos.  Well, I don’t know…maybe I spoke too soon.  Recently, thirty-five-year-old Masazlie Mohamed Salleh was asked to his tattooed arms during an evening out at The Living Room, a bar inside the Marriot Hotel.  The management was even kind enough to offer him a jacket in order to expedite the request. A spokesman for the bar has since apologized to Mr. Salleh for the manner in which he was treated, while adding that the Living Room “…certainly does not have a policy against tattoos.”  Sure, that’s great to hear.  But if that’s the case, then why was Masazlie asked to cover up his arms in the first place?  Sounds like a policy against tattoos if ever I heard one.  I mean, asking someone to cover up doesn’t exactly demonstrate any sort of tolerance toward tattoos, does it?  What, were they worried that his tattoos were so rad that everyone in that posh-pit would get jealous if they saw them?  Somehow I’m thinking no.

As if ignorance in one country wasn’t enough, it appears that a chain of UK clubs by the name of Oceana have been enforcing a tattoo ban since August.  Oceana limits its ban to “unsightly tattoos”: that of the sleeve variety, as well as those with offensive words.  Bigot General manager Steve Saunders was quoted as saying “…there is nothing wrong with fashionable or discreet visible tattoos’.”  Oh, okay, I see.  Thanks, for clearing that up, Steve Saunders.  Good to know that you make the decisions as to what sort of tattoos are or aren’t acceptable.

Oceana’s ban has prompted a strong general outcry, as well as the creation of a Facebook group, dedicated to reversing the nightclub’s policy.

The upside to all this is that any establishment that requires the covering up or banning of its tattooed clientele is really not worth the time, anyway.  As much as it bugs me to know that there are places that behave this way toward tattooed customers, there are a million and one places out there that welcome tattooed patrons.  A cool place to hang out has a mix of people, opinions, lifestyles and styles.  Boring places limit their patrons to a certain type.  It’s your choice to decide where you spend your hard earned money and believe you me, the establishments that prevent tattooed folks from entering are the big losers in the end.  If a bar wants to refuse someone’s money simply because they have a particular tattoo in a particular spot, then that’s just bad business.  So the next time you’re sitting having a brew or a dance at one of the millions of tolerant pubs or clubs out there, consider offering a cheers to people like Steve Saunders.  They make picking a good place to hang out that much easier.



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