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