Feminist mammoths

The current upswing of feminism is rightly re-igniting debates about bodies and judgementalism.  As the meme goes

If you want a bikini body, put on a bikini

The idea that our bodies are there to be judged is common-place and getting more-so.  In the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame  women step out, we show off, we reveal and display ourselves (our long legs, our cleavages, our baby bumps, our  holiday tans and bikini bodies), we bare ourselves.  In relationships we are happy, proud, smiling, or with mystery men.  In Dacre’s world, women cannot do something for its own sake or for ours, only for our audience of watchers or because of a man.

I  have a tattoo.  (Stay with me, it’s not as wild a change of subject as you’d think).  I could never see the point in a tattoo I couldn’t see, so it’s on my forearm and I chose mammoths because I like them.

They raise the question though, of who is the tattoo actually for?

It’s hard to work out what they are, especially from a distance. The design is based on cave paintings and is an awkward mix of line-drawing and shade. The only time they’ve been complimented spontaneously was once in a pub when I stood up with my arm held horizontally, reaching for the back of a chair.

Mammoth Tattoo 01 Mammoth Tattoo 02

In Daily Mail terms they are a failure. But from my (literal) perspective, they are great, and I love them.

Mammoth Tattoo 03

I like seeing them trample down my arm towards whatever it is I am doing. (Hitting “post” in three… two… one….) They are a comforting sight first thing in the morning.  They even have names, though I am ashamed to admit this.

So, is a tattoo for person who has been tattooed or is it for other people?  Well, as it turns out, this particular tattoo is for me.

These aren’t just mammoths, they are feminist mammoths,

4 responses to “Feminist mammoths

  1. I have a tattoo of a dragon around my ankle. It doesn’t have a name although it probably should. It is definitely for me. I guess that makes it a feminist dragon…

    I like your mammoths, although when looked at your first picture I thought perhaps it was a tattoo of a chemical symbol. The idea made me think “how cool.” I was not disappointed to be wrong.

  2. I like the mammoths. Simple and under-stated. Mammoths don’t need “bigging up”. I also like the way they jump from your left forearm to your right, between pictures.

  3. 😀 — thank you both for posting. They are on my right forearm, the photos where they look as if they are on my left forearm are selfies taken in a mirror.

  4. Reblogged this on Dispatches from the edge or do slipstreams dream? and commented:
    I too have a tattoo of a hare jumping through stars done by someone dear to me and by hand.It reminds me of my true nature,run when scared,stop and think later.I love your mammoths for the same reasons others do ,their strength and it made me wonder why on earth I would allow to see my little hare soul,but then I can run fast and think later 😉

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