Friday, March 12, 2010

#8 Black and Tattoos

My question is not why Black people get tattoos. I have graduated from that silliness quite a while back. Black people love body-art the same as the light-skinned, and straight-up White folks. And being hard to see on some melanin-gifted folks is no reason not to do it, either. Tattoos are cheap and easy way to express individuality, while thumbing your nose at ‘the suits who take your blood for a measly paycheck. Also, you don’t have to study or train for decades for people to notice you, just part with a little cash and endure a little pain and... Did you see the tat on that dude? Stinky. Very stinky.

So, why don’t dark folks get ‘white ink’ tattoos? That’s my question. The ink does indeed exist and this would seem to make perfect visibility sense. Well James, you idiot, it don’t work like that! Tattoo ink is injected into the dermal layer of the skin, below the epidermal (outermost) layer. Melanin in the epidermal layer blocks the view to the ink deposited into the dermal layer. Artist can use white ink, but it disappears below the pigmented epidermal layer of dark-skinned people. What a dumb ass.

So, stated a different way, the epidermal layer of White, and lighter, folks has a translucent (see through) quality, whereby we can see the ink deposited in the permanent dermal layer. The darker the recipient the darker the ink required to make a clear long-lasting tattoo. For dark-skinned Blacks, white ink is out, also lighter colors too. They don’t show under all that naturally sun-blocking melanin.

So there you have it. Now they do make luminescent ink, but glowing in the dark has yet to catch on – probably something to do with looking radioactive - buzz kill.

James C. Collier

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6 comments:

kika said...

Oh how I hate the term acting white! When will we ever learn.....

Marcus said...

Burning it in is very visible with the scarring. More painful, too.

TheDailey said...

yeah white ink doesnt hold in everyones skin. theres no such thing as acting a certain race though :]

Anonymous said...

A post about tattoos tagged with 'thugs' and 'skinheads'? thats just straight ignorant.

June said...

See, now I feel stupid (well, more than usual). I was just wondering about that and thought that white ink didn't exist.

James C. Collier said...

June: no worries. I'm ignorant (from above) because I tag based on popular word searches, not political correctness. Keep a head up...