Get Your Tatts Out, Boys!

The Tab spoke to four Cambridge boys with tattoos to see whether getting inked up affected their lives.

caius Cambridge Manchester Men Queens' Samantha Cameron Seize the night Siana Bangura Sidney Sussex tamsin lim tattoos

Last term we saw what the girls had to say. Now, it’s the boys’ turn.

The Tab spoke to four boys at Cambridge with tatoos about whether getting inked up has affected their reputations, their job applications, and their lives.

John Mellor, a third year NatSci from Sidney

Photo by Tamsin Lim

“Where I live anywhere a lot of people have them [tattoos].  I’ve seen some really amazing ones in Manchester that look like they should be on canvas.

“I’d seen a guy at college that had just got a really amazing design done on his arm and it made me start thinking I fancied one. It took me about ten months to decide on the design, position and to get the bottle to actually go in and do it though.

“I wanted to get it in Latin (carpe noctem) but my mates said I would constantly be translating it for people, which made sense, so I got it in English. The eye I’ve just always thought looked really interesting and it was one of the first representations of fractions which is cool so that was an easy choice. I got the eye of Ra done when I was 16 and the text when I was 17/18.”

Sam Gilbert, a third year History student from Queens’

Photo by Siana Bangura

“Even Samantha Cameron has a small one, which rather shows how they are a lot more acceptable, but they become more unacceptable the bigger they are or if they’re in certain places – neck tattoos for example.

“I wanted to do something to commemorate starting at University – it seemed a significant milestone.

“My design is a quote from one of my favourite films, La Haine.  Being in French, it is maybe a bit pretentious but it is meaningful for me.

“I was quite apprehensive while I was getting it done, but once you get one done you pretty much immediately want to get another one.”

An anonymous third year medic from Emma

“I made sure to have my tattoo done in a place were I could easily cover it up. You never know what someone’s opinion on tattoos is.

“I saw a similar tattoo (to mine) and loved the idea; however the one I saw was very poorly done so I set about designing my own. I couldn’t bring myself to get a very standard and common design because they don’t seem personal and I’m not one to follow the crowd.

“My mates from other universities seem to like it a lot more than the people in Cambridge.  Here it is a bit of a novelty. A lot of people seem shocked when I tell them I have a tattoo and don’t believe me.

“I have never regretted my decision, but I’ve not had it for long, and it isn’t going anywhere so I have a while yet! Maybe I’ll be less of a fan in 50 years time.”

Tom Hairretin, a second year MML student from Gonville and Caius.

Photo by Siana Bangura

“As anything becomes more prevalent and more commonly seen in every day life it is likely to become more accepted by society. So yes I would say so, especially among the younger generation, the same way perhaps that over time it has become more socially acceptable to have spiky hair or an ear piercing.

“I am much more concerned my piercings would effect my chances of getting a job, with both ears stretched to 12mm and a cartilidge ring, however these can be hidden/removed so I don’t think its too much of a problem. I would also like to think that people these days would not hold against you something that would in no way affect your ability to do your job well.

“The design is the name of a song by a band called Brand New, who I have been listening to for years. Its english meaning is ‘And So Glory Fades’ (I know, bad quotation to have just above my privates) and I decided upon it around the end of summer 2009 when school was over, I was going off to France for a gap year and my friends all off to different Unis, and I just wanted something to remind of that period in my life. It also reminds to never take anything for granted and to enjoy life to the fullest before all the good times end.

“I have other more artistic and impressive designs in the pipeline (I believe it is always best to really consider a design for a while before going for it). I wish I had had the money and creativity to have made it more impressive and a piece of art in itself, rather than just a piece of script, however I plan on adding to it in the future.”