New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Debutante Ball

I could not resist this color fest in the East Village in front of Porto Rico - an importer and seller of coffee. The painted trash can near this woman's tattooed arms begged for a photo to be taken.
Personally I would not want to commit my skin to tattoos. But I do often admire them as artistic adornment. In principle they are really not so different from the myriad of other ways men and women have adorned themselves for millenia: hair treatments, nails, makeup, jewelry, piercings, scarification etc. However, unlike many of our more common beautification methods, tattoos are permanent (relatively), so they make a serious statement of intent and confidence.
I think the full arm tattoos of today's subject may limit some of her social options - or she will be buying a large selection of long sleeve shirts. For example, she is probably no longer a good candidate for the debutante ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Perhaps this is a sacrifice she is willing to make.
If you wonder whether there was any issue taking this photo, there was not. I motioned silently to her indicating my desire to take a photograph and she nodded in the affirmative. So I had carte blanche to take a number of photos in a stress free manner. Her cordial behavior and gracious approval was as befitting as someone being groomed for exposure in the next debutante ball :)


Terry B said...

I have the same permanence issues you do with tattoos. And the sense that wearers of more extravagant ones may be creating limitations for themselves far beyond debutante balls.

That said, they can cause unfair assumptions on the parts of others. I go out for a fair amount of live music and have had some of the nicest, most far-ranging conversations with multi-tattooed, multi-pierced musicians.

Wayne said...

It's the trend and it's here for some time to come. Not so long ago I would have been inclined to make judgments about tattoos but they are so common now as to be mainstream.
My grandfather got a tattoo on his hand in the Navy as a kid. Later he gradually scraped most of it off. I don't know how he did it but it sounds painful. He admonished us not to get tattooed, that we'd regret it.

Mary said...

Since so many sound citizens of the younger generation that I know have tatoos and piercings, I wonder if they'll be subjected to the prejudices of us, their elders, or whether it will just continue to be accepted by their peers as they go on with their lives.

NRR said...

Hey, that's my sister! No joke! And my wife still orders from Porto Rico since we visited NYC last.

Thanks for the post.


Ted and Lori said...

I can't remember if I've ever commented here before, but just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your blog the past few months. This photo is a great example of why I come back here! The text you include is always so interesting as well. Great job.

Missy said...

Great photo! Love all those colors! Can't comment on my sister's tattoos, but I would agree that she is very gracious. :)

Michael George said...

For a moment, because of the sharp cutoff at the wrist, I thought she might be wearing one of these:


I always thought they were sort of silly

Anonymous said...

That painted trash can has an emblematic sign written in spanish. It says: “realiza tu sueño” which in english means “make your dream come true”... surely enough that the young lady it’s making her dreams come true!

have fun!,