Though anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis is probably well outside of MTV’s intended age demographic, I was intrigued to discover their show True Life had a recent casting call of note. The topic that sparked my interest is of course “I hate my tattoo.”
They were accepting submissions from males & females age 17-28, which is where my first of many problems with this whole scenario arises. First of all, anyone already with a tattoo at 17 either has a damn liberal parent and bad taste, or an uncanny ability to get into trouble… and bad taste. Even with several tattoos of questionable quality to call my own, it took me a while to fully realize not only did I hate them but I hated them enough to admit to people that I didn’t like them. That being said, I’d like to move on to the criteria to be considered for this casting call.
Do you have a tattoo that you regret? I’m pretty sure every heavily tattooed individual I have ever known has at least one tattoo they regret. That’s why there’s laser removal, cover up work, and the slightly less embraced black it out option.
Are you covered with ink that you wish you could just wash away? Maybe it’s just me, but I think this question borders on insulting. Though I don’t know what amount of tattoo work qualifies as “covered” by MTV’s standard, it makes me think of full sleeves, torso work, and probably some tattoos in job-killing locations like the hands and neck. Anyone who’s reached the point where they are that heavily covered probably doesn’t have any desire to simple wash it all away unless they’ve broken ties with a gang or found religion (unless they’re Brian Welch, obviously.)
Do you feel that people look at you differently because of your tattoo, and you wish it wasn’t there? Now allow me to address the obvious: people get tattoos to stand apart, make a statement, commemorate something important or impress hot babes. Generally speaking I would say people want their tattoos to be noticed, which in turn requires receiving visual attention–this is also known as being stared at. I can’t think of a single person who mentions they want to get a tattoo to friends, relatives or just strangers in a bar without someone bringing up the fact that it can (and fact is, probably will) lead to people looking at you differently. While some may find it to be an act of rebellion and others just one of stupidity, it’s pretty rare for anyone to take a look at someone else’s tattoo and simply think nothing about it at all.
Does a certain tattoo stand in the way of your relationship with your family, friends, or a significant other? Does it remind you of a relationship or a certain period of your life that went sour and now you want to move on? I feel like these two separate criteria are actually just one, and we can sum it up nicely: did you get someone’s name tattooed on you that you are no longer involved with? Not to sound like a prick, but why would you want to air that dirty laundry on TV? Granted, I would probably not be a fan of dating someone with another girl’s name tattooed across any portion of their body. I can guarantee you I’d be even more pissed if now my second cousins knew not only whose name he had tattooed on him but the back story as to why they broke up. If your tattoo is causing strain on someone you care about, why the hell would you force that out into the limelight?
Is there a certain job that you’re trying to land, but your tattoos could possibly stand in the way? What the hell are these executives expecting? A response along the lines of, “Why yes, I want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but the Medusa on my arm prevents me from acquiring that job. Forget that fact that I have no formal education, and I could wear long sleeves to cover this tattoo up. Help me MTV!”
Get real. I can tell you right now that unless your hands/neck/face are where these people wound up being tattooed there is a really simple solution: put on a long sleeved shirt and quit telling people you’re tattooed like the other 80% of heavily tattooed individuals out there.
Are you thinking about tattoo removal? Well that depends… who’s paying? I sincerely doubt MTV is going to drop the money on each of these featured individuals repeated, pricey laser treatments. What I do suspect is they will follow some of these folks into a room and take a nice tight shot of their faces screwed up in various expressions of pain while their tattoos are lasered.
What pisses me off and bums me out about this particular episode is that I already know the moral of the story they are going to wind up conveying to those watching. It certainly won’t be to choose a quality tattooist, and make sure that this is something you really want on your body in that location forever. Instead, I strongly suspect it will be much more like, “See? ALL of these tattoos were life-changing mistakes! And your tattoo will be a mistake! ALL TATTOOS ARE BAD CHOICES!!!!”
Before you get any ideas about sending in your application to be included, they’ve already closed the casting call. Looks like there’s plenty of people out there dying to show everyone what kind of poor decision making skills they possess via national television. I’ve been told this disastrous episode of True Life will be airing soon, if it hasn’t already. Look for it in between “My Mom won’t buy me a Mercedes for my Sweet 16″ and “I want to be Tommy Lee: how my amateur porn wound up on the Internet.”