Baby ink?
July 6, 2003 9:55 PM   Subscribe

...Baby Ink will not work on anyone under 6 months of age, as their sensitive skin does not react well to the ink. "Although we are the ORIGINAL body art chain to cater to toddlers and children, our experienced, talented staff is glad to work on people of all ages. So whether you're 8 months or 88 years old, if you're ready for a tattoo or a body piercing-the clear choice is Baby Ink!" I don't quite know what to think of this. [via die puny humans]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (51 comments total)
 
I mean, I hate children as much as the next guy†, but torturing and permanently scarring the little buggers seems a bit out of line, don't you think?


† Joke. Sort of.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:56 PM on July 6, 2003


(I notice this is the third kid-related thread today. Er, sorry.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:04 PM on July 6, 2003


Looks bogus to me. The little girl's scorpion tattoo looks a lot like a generic store-variety temp tattoo you can buy.

laugh scale: 3/10
posted by scarabic at 10:04 PM on July 6, 2003


Another succesfull viral advertising scheme? Maybe. Maybe not.......
posted by troutfishing at 10:11 PM on July 6, 2003


(I notice this is the third kid-related thread today. Er, sorry.)

Actually, it's the first one today...but I digress...

I can just picture some idiot couples, whose only qualifications for being parents are the presence of reproductive organs, having their children tattooed for display. This seems to be senseless, needless and possibly downright cruel (I say possibly because I hope there is fact to scarabic's post).

It's one thing to get a tattoo if you want one, but I don't think young children would be able to make that decision.
posted by JaxJaggywires at 10:12 PM on July 6, 2003


Actually, it's the first one today

...not if you've got yourself set to Japan Standard Time!

I thought this might be bogus, too, scarabic, but it seemed too deadpan. If it is, I'd give it a 1/10 on the laugh scale, but be forced to assign a somewhat higher score on the Wonderchicken Standardized Hmmm-Inducement Taxonomy™. Say a '5' or so....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:20 PM on July 6, 2003


I can't see the problem here at all. This kid looks perfectly happy!

I'm voting hoax too.
posted by skallas at 10:20 PM on July 6, 2003


I wonder if they'll do pugs...
posted by jonson at 10:21 PM on July 6, 2003


*shrug* Lots of cultures do tattooing, or decorative scarification, on kids. Unlike, say, female genital mutilation, it doesn't seem to be part of a larger system of oppressing anyone and so isn't fundamentally antithetical to our society's values, such as they are. It seems to be in the realm of things that parents, in real life, can decide for (or with) their kids. It's not my speed, but hey.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:24 PM on July 6, 2003


Still, it looks a lot more humane than male circumcision, which I'm afraid to say is still very real and very accepted in the western world.
posted by skallas at 10:25 PM on July 6, 2003


From the info page: Q: How Do I Choose a Design? A: Some of the most popular designs include the child's astrological signs, the names of parents or grandparents, a family crest or insignia, or the logo of a favorite sports team.

That "i wuv mom-mom - she's the bestest!!" tattoo is really going to come back and haunt you when you turn, oh, 17 or so.
posted by iconomy at 10:28 PM on July 6, 2003


Anyone forced to get a Strawberry Shortcake or Garfield tattoo won't be happy about it in later life, I guarantee you that.
posted by Succa at 10:34 PM on July 6, 2003


This shop tattooing kids - bogus.
Tattooed pigs and dogs - real.
posted by sailormouth at 10:47 PM on July 6, 2003


Look familiar?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:49 PM on July 6, 2003


Bogus: the age of consent for tattoos in California is 18.
posted by mischief at 10:50 PM on July 6, 2003


Whoa. [/keanu]

Nice catch, mr_c_d.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:50 PM on July 6, 2003


iconomy, that would be kind of like calling your son Sue to make sure he turned out tough enough to survive, wouldn't it?

I sure hope this is a joke - I cannot imagine the sort of thought process that makes someone decide to tattoo an infant. Unlike piercing kids ears at a young age, tattoos are not removable, so the decision to either keep it or dump it when the child grows is taken away from them. I have a horrible feeling that it is for real, though.

The term "baby ink" reminds me of a very old and sad joke that, contextualised, would be "how many babies does it take to make a bottle of ink?"
posted by dg at 10:51 PM on July 6, 2003


well, how many?
posted by sugarfish at 11:01 PM on July 6, 2003


well, how many?

better question: if peanut oil is made of peanuts, and corn oil is made of corn, what is baby oil made of? >:P sorry. and, hoax.
posted by serafinapekkala at 9:19 AM on July 7, 2003


Unlike piercing kids ears at a young age

Also repulsive.
posted by rushmc at 9:22 AM on July 7, 2003


For your continued enjoyment: Needles and Diaper Pins.
posted by swerve at 9:26 AM on July 7, 2003


I saw a baby with a (temporary) American flag tattoo at a restaurant last night. He looked a little tougher, but I think I could have taken him in a brawl. After seeing kids with rat tails, mullets and earrings for years, I guess tattoos are the next way for parents to transfer their bad tastes to their children.
posted by Frank Grimes at 9:31 AM on July 7, 2003


The domain is owned by a local california radio station, and the whois contact info is bogus:
Administrative, Technical Contact:
Ink, Baby babyink@babyink.com
Babyink
1234 ABC Lane
San Diego, Ca 92107
US
8582922001
Sure looks like a hoax.
posted by ar0n at 9:35 AM on July 7, 2003


gods willing, it's a hoax...but I'm sure there would be a market if it was real...sad, but true.
posted by dejah420 at 9:44 AM on July 7, 2003


I mean, I hate children as much as the next guy

I used to hate children too, but then I tried basting them generously with habeñero oil, and smoking them over a combination of hickory and mesquite chips.

Yummy.
posted by MrBaliHai at 9:46 AM on July 7, 2003


Also, wouldn't they become distorted within a few years? Not a very good investment. Although, if you're tattooing your kid, I guess you aren't thinking like, all money-wise and stuff.
posted by emyd at 9:52 AM on July 7, 2003


Definitely a hoax, by a morning show called "A.J.'s Playhouse" on the Channel 933 radio station in San Diego. But geez, not really a hint of satire in the hoax site itself, eh?

THE PLAYHOUSE GOTCHA!!!

For April Fool's Day, the Playhouse created and promoted a fake website called "Baby Ink". The website showed children getting real tattoos. We even brought in a fake tattoo artist and pretended to tattoo a baby live on the air...in the end we revealed our joke!


Quoted from the playhouse page (scroll down about halfway on the page).

These guys have gotten in trouble with their pranks before. Check out #30 on the Museum of Hoaxes' top 100 list.
posted by SpaceBass at 10:02 AM on July 7, 2003


[i]Unlike piercing kids ears at a young age
Also repulsive[/i]

Yep; I've never understood why this is permitted. Where's the informed consent of the subject?
posted by raygirvan at 10:55 AM on July 7, 2003


tattoos are so biker. if instead you buy your tyke a hulk monster willy doll you can combine violence AND sex for the best of child-rearing environments!
posted by quonsar at 11:23 AM on July 7, 2003




That's a great link, swerve. I know exactly which building 1015 E. Union would be, too...
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:00 PM on July 7, 2003


snopes.com is correct - it's soooo bogus:

- The Seattle address is a Wal-Mart.
- The Spokane address is a Wal-Mart.
- The Las Vegas address is completely bogus (98121 is a WA zip code.)
- The Los Angeles address is for a Macy's in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:28 PM on July 7, 2003


I remember watching an episode of The Ben Stiller Show that Flea was guesting on. He had his 4 year old daughter on the show and she had a tattoo on her arm. I think it was a heart of some sort. Yikes.
posted by witchstone at 2:41 PM on July 7, 2003


Where's the informed consent of the subject?

It's given by the parent, same as consent for any medical procedure the kid receives including purely elective procedures, consent for which school the child attends, consent for who the kid plays with, consent for where the kid lives, consent for what books the child reads, consent for almost any aspect of the child's life.

Seriously, it doesn't seem that much weirder than raising your kid to be a Cheesehead or to like opera or to be Baptist or Hindu or anything else. Just because it's not your schtick or my schtick doesn't mean it isn't somebody's schtick. And it's not like getting a tattoo or piercing is going to break the kid's leg or shrink his brain or anything. Take a chill pill.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2003


No, but at least the worst someone is left with should they decide to reverse their parents' decision to have their ears pierced (assuming no infections or other complications) is a couple of tiny holes in their ears. Despite the claims and hype from plastic surgeons, removal of a tattoo carries a high level of risk of scarring, so is a much less reversible procedure. Depending on the method and, particularly, the depth that the needle penetrated during application of the tattoo, there may also be traces of the ink remaining, so if anyone considers a tattoo to be something they can undo later, think again. Tattoos are forever and should be considered just as irreversible as other body modifications such as circumcision.
posted by dg at 5:13 PM on July 7, 2003


I didn't say that tattooing was temporary or reversible. Parents get to make all sorts of deeply life-affecting, permanent decisions for their kids, such as bringing them up in or out of any given faith and directing their education, both of which are likely to have vastly more of an effect on their lives, long-term, than giving them a tattoo.

Tattooing, minor decorative scarification, or circumcision fall way under my DANGER WILL ROBINSON screen. Barring complications, there's no serious chance of serious harm here (ie, loss of a limb or digit, or of sight or hearing, or broken bones, or other major physical trauma), and it's not (AFAIK) part of a larger system of oppression. I might not like tattooing of kids, but I can see that it's more of a different-choice-than-I'd-make than the moral equivalent of beating the shit out of your kids.

I'd rather live in a world where some parents make choices for their kids that I don't really approve of (and I probably would do things they didn't approve of) than live in the world where the state is that intrusive; where nobody is allowed to raise their kids in any way that anyone objects to.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:24 PM on July 7, 2003


Good points, ROU_Xenophobe. I agree that, in order to preserve the right of parents to bring their children up they way they wish, we must accept the choices they make, whether we like them or not.
posted by dg at 8:56 PM on July 7, 2003


Within some pretty wide bounds, anyway. I don't think we'd need to allow/permit female genital mutilation, frex, since that's merely part and parcel of a wider system of subjugating and oppressing women, and we frown on that. But unless it was some sort of oppressive caste-marker, I don't think tattooing would fall under that.

And fer damn sure there's no reason one couldn't try to persuade people not to tattoo or pierce or bring up Catholic or otherwise do things to their kids that you don't like, so long as it's just speech and not actual harassment or assault.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:42 PM on July 7, 2003


Whoops.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:08 AM on July 8, 2003


The problem for me is that it's all part of an ethos of treating children as property: just objects for advertising their parents' values. Would any here really feel happy if they'd had a tattoo inflicted on them by their parents?
posted by raygirvan at 3:44 AM on July 8, 2003


I'd rather live in a world where some parents make choices for their kids that I don't really approve of (and I probably would do things they didn't approve of) than live in the world where the state is that intrusive

I'd rather live in a world where children are acknowledged to have certain basic rights that no inbred, knuckledragging parent can legally or morally circumvent for their own twisted inclinations. They may be little people, but they are still people. This does not necessarily lead to state-regulated upbringing guidelines.

I might not like tattooing of kids, but I can see that it's more of a different-choice-than-I'd-make than the moral equivalent of beating the shit out of your kids.

Personally, I'd rather have had the shit beaten out of me.

The problem for me is that it's all part of an ethos of treating children as property

Exactly, a position that ROU_Xenophobe seems to be defending.
posted by rushmc at 5:44 AM on July 8, 2003


And as for bringing rights into it, it seems a very distorted interpretation of rights: defending the right of people to inflict unnecessary body modifications on non-consenting others, but denying those others any rights against that infliction. If tattooing children catches on, I can foresee lawsuits - and rightly so.
posted by raygirvan at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2003


The problem for me is that it's all part of an ethos of treating children as property:

Not as property, but as incompetent with their decisions made by some sort of guardian.

just objects for advertising their parents' values. Would any here really feel happy if they'd had a tattoo inflicted on them by their parents?

I wouldn't. I probably wouldn't be happy if my parents had brought me up Baptist, either, but that doesn't mean that we should prevent people from raising their kids as Baptists. I'm actually not happy that my parents moved every 18 months or so (Air Force brat), but that doesn't mean that we should somehow ban that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2003


I'd rather live in a world where children are acknowledged to have certain basic rights that no inbred, knuckledragging parent can legally or morally circumvent for their own twisted inclinations.

Well, what rights are those? You apparently think it's very important that kids have a right not to have pigment injected into their skin. Do they also have a right not to be persuaded to want pigment injected into their skin? A right not to be inculturated to think that having pigment injected into their skin is a good thing? What do you do with children who actively demand to be tattooed because their parents raised them to think that's a good thing?

Do they have rights against other things that would be much more serious and have much greater long-term effects than having pigment injected into your skin? Do children have some sort of right to not be brought up Catholic, or as an Orthodox Jew, or Amish? If so, that's close enough to state-regulated upbringing guidelines as far as I care. If not, why not? Being raised Amish is much more of a big deal than having a bit of pigment injected into your skin.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:02 AM on July 8, 2003


The problem for me is that it's all part of an ethos of treating children as property

Exactly, a position that ROU_Xenophobe seems to be defending.


My point is more that tattooing is piddly shit compared to the power exerted over children in the normal course of upbringing. Why worry about ineffectual details like whether or not the kid has little bits of body art when parents have the power to shape the kid's very mind and personality?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:05 AM on July 8, 2003


Do they also have a right not to be persuaded to want pigment injected into their skin?

Of course not. If they make the choice, they bear the responsibility. We are all subject to countless influences of various strength and purpose, but in the end what must be protected is our right to finally choose.

Personally, I think "bringing up" a child within ANY religion that makes a claim to a unique or superior righteousness is appalling (even abusive), and that adopting or rejecting any particular religious flavor should be something that every person does as they mature, grow, and learn. But the difference is that people can—and frequently do—reject even the strongest of religious influence exercised over them as children. You cannot choose to not have a tattoo if someone has imposed one upon you, any more than the children in some third-world countries can choose to have their eyes or limbs back once their parents remove them to make them more piteous—and therefore more effective—beggars.

And finally, one person's "piddly shit" may be quite significant to another. Rather than assume the right to make that call for everyone, as you seem to, I would prefer to leave it up to each person to set their own boundaries.
posted by rushmc at 8:56 AM on July 8, 2003


Why worry about ineffectual details like whether or not the kid has little bits of body art when parents have the power to shape the kid's very mind and personality?

Standard fallacious argument: "why bother about X when Y is worse?" (usually encountered in the context of motorist stopped for traffic violation asking the cop "why aren't you out catching murderers and rapists?"). Worse problems don't mean we ignore lesser ones.

Do children have some sort of right to not be brought up Catholic, or as an Orthodox Jew, or Amish?

It won't be popular, but I'd say yes.
posted by raygirvan at 9:30 AM on July 8, 2003


Of course not. If they make the choice, they bear the responsibility.

So I can't take my child to get tattooed, but I can inculcate the virtues of being tattooed like Mommy and Daddy until they deeply desire to be tattooed. How the hell is that logical?

Personally, I think "bringing up" a child within ANY religion that makes a claim to a unique or superior righteousness is appalling (even abusive)

How would following that not be state-mandated upbringing guidelines? How else could you possibly ensure that the inbred knuckledragging Amish aren't destroying their children with vile Amish propaganda?

I don't like the idea of kids getting tattooed, and would be happy to try to dissuade people from doing so. I only object to the idea of using the state to prevent it.

But the difference is that people can—and frequently do—reject even the strongest of religious influence exercised over them as children. You cannot choose to not have a tattoo if someone has imposed one upon you

You can have it removed, or take terrifying step of wearing a fucking shirt.

By the same token, you can't not have been brought up Catholic if you were.

any more than the children in some third-world countries can choose to have their eyes or limbs back once their parents remove them to make them more piteous—and therefore more effective—beggars.

Yes, because, as I now understand, having a tattoo is a lifelong, irreparable trauma that is on a par with losing an eye or limb. It's glaringly obvious that a tattoo strips you of arguably your most important sense and leaves you unable to move or grasp objects without assistance. Now it's clear.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:40 PM on July 8, 2003


Do children have some sort of right to not be brought up Catholic, or as an Orthodox Jew, or Amish?

It won't be popular, but I'd say yes.

Well, see, a part of the whole child-rearing thing has to do with passing on your culture to your children and religion is a major part of that culture for many people. People can (and often do) reject the parts of their upbringing and take their own paths, but a parent has every right to bring a child up in accord with the culture of the community that they live in.

What is important, though, is that children be taught that they have choices in the way they live their life and that they do not have to live it the same way as their parent's did. Choice is the important factor here and of course being made to have a tattoo because your parents think it looks cool is nowhere near as bad as being mutilated for the financial benefit of the parents, but this is a poor comparison at best.

Tattoos are often an integral part of a culture and this is where the tough part of being a parent comes in (well, one of them, anyway). Do you comply with the standards of your culture and have your child tattooed, or do you wait until they are old enough to decide for themselves, thereby defying the standards of your culture? I can already see the argument that a culture which requires the tattooing of children should not be be allowed to do so, but you need to be careful about applying the standards of your culture on another.

No matter how a child has been brought up, there will always be those who will say "that is a disgusting thing to do to a child" and others who will be on the opposite pole. Who is right? Neither? Both? That depends on your personal point of view and the culture that you were brought up in. Me, I think it is wrong to tattoo young children and i would never do it to one of my own. But that is just me and there are no doubt people in some cultures who consider tattoos a vital part of growing up.

I don't like the idea of kids getting tattooed, and would be happy to try to dissuade people from doing so. I only object to the idea of using the state to prevent it.
I agree. Unless there is some epidemic of infants with ink, there is no need whatsoever for the state to even consider taking action. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
posted by dg at 4:14 PM on July 8, 2003


Uhhh, sorry for the being bitchy. Long day. What dg said, basically.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:19 PM on July 8, 2003


how many babies does it take to make a bottle of baby ink?

depends on how hard you squeeze them


everybody's got their own sick sense of humor
posted by priyanga at 4:58 PM on July 8, 2003


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