TRIM; Out with the old, in with the new by tattoo

By Jo Phillips

Memories can often bring positive or negative feelings, having these permanently on your body can combine both. The art form of tattooing creates an outlet for people to express themselves and show what they have been through, or came from. Using Art to either cover, or show your past has been around for thousands of years. Here are some examples of using tattoos that use the past to create something new.

In Zanesville, Ohio a tattoo artist under the name Billy Joe White creates ‘cover ups’ for people that have hate speech and symbols tattooed on them. As society’s belief system is changing, he has asked people to “bring me your mistakes” and he will cover them for free. Recently a short docu film was created about him called ‘Beneath the ink’ which has gone on to win multiple awards, including best short documentary at Bendfilm festival. Billy is a leading example of not allowing your past to define who you are, and using Art to move forward psychologically and physically.

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Tattoo might just be an ink drawing on the skin, sometimes this drawing can save lives. Whether it is made to hide scars or to recreate a part of the body that has been lost, tattoos can have a real human wellbeing purpose.

Breast cancer is one of the most spread cancer in our planet ( 26300 affected women in 2017 in the world) and even if there are effective treatments treating the cancer nowadays, cured women’s minds are not cured. Indeed, in addition to the fear, pain and anger they can feel from the disease announcement to the end of its healing process, a lot of them have to endure a mastectomy and give up their femininity with the lost of parts of their breasts (it can be nipples or the entire breast.). Luckily, a lot of people decided to act to help these women to get their lives back on track, with tattoos.

Vinnie Myers is one of them. This tattoo artist situated in Finksburg, USA, has been working for around three decades but dedicated himself to 3D nipples and areola tattooing a few years ago. And he was right to do that, women come from all over the world to have their breasts tattooed by him after their cancer! His former customers even say that their 3D nipples tattoos saved their lives and gave them their femininity back. Vinnie Myers inspired several artists all around the world, for example, the first 3D nipples and areola tattooing shop of Europe opened in France in 2017. Its owner, Alexia Cassar, is a former cancer scientist and decided to retrain, notably after hearing about Vinnie Myers and the miracles he did on cancer survivor’s breasts and spirits. Girl power!

After a breast cancer, sometimes, survivors don’t want to try to make their breasts back to normal, but just want to hide their scars with something beautiful.

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Rosie Campion and Mélusine Estebe-Brunault