OPINION - London is plagued by middle-class people with tattoos and I'm sick of it

 (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
(Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

Summer is here! The return of the empty shells that are Glastonbury-goers, and Saturday’s inevitably distressing England game, will surely mark the beginning of party season in London. Speaking of marks, what summer party season carries with it, is the unveiling of everyone’s tattoos. And I do mean everyone. Am I the last person in this city without a tattoo? Or are you all individuals?

Here are the only people who are allowed tattoos: sailors and prisoners. No-one else. Tattoos should not about your widdle attempts at self-expression, they should just be drunken mistakes made in between brawls in distant ports. This whole idea of using tattoos to highlight important life milestones along your life journey is the skin art equivalent of those framed homilies you see hanging in Airbnbs. Indeed most of them seem taken directly from them, little more than doily designs and mindfulness mewlings. “Breathe,” they say. “Arlo + Dolly,” they say. As if these people might forget basic bodily functions or the names of their own children.

Alright, tribespeople I’ll allow, for group identity purposes. And MMA fighters too, as I feel they should stand out in pubs as people you should most definitely not get into an argument with. And Goths. And anyone working class. But middle-class Londoners — my tribe — have no excuse. Yet these people seem addicted. No sooner do they hit middle age and pop out children, than they start reinventing themselves as Edgelords. Even though they’ve spent their entire lives up until that point avoiding rough pubs, eating hummus and listening to Coldplay, suddenly on their bodies its all inverted crosses, flaming skulls and Black Flag. Yeah, the worst is when they have band tattoos. As if we should be impressed that they know who The Melvins are. Shower them in lust and admiration and cash for an ankle tat of the Misfits skull.

No sooner do these people hit middle age and pop out children than they start reinventing themselves

Remember when people used to express themselves through conversation and opinions? Me neither, but I’m pretty sure it used to happen. That you’d spent your evenings reading, developing a deep understanding of history and philosophy, and then express your radical thoughts at social gatherings and town halls and at the weekend hangings.

Now though, it’s a light skim through post-punk on Spotify, a distant cousin who once went to Dublin, and suddenly you’re “adorned” by the cover of Rum Sodomy & The Lash by The Pogues.

Am I jealous? Have I been too weak and scared to get a tattoo? Perhaps. But it’s worked in my favour: if I’d gone through with that Red Hot Chili Peppers symbol when I was a teenager, I’d have hacked my own arm off with a butter knife by now.

No, I’m not jealous. I’m annoyed by you tattooed people. Look, if you want to get one, go for it, just do it in an area that the rest of us can’t see. Because your pretensions are not brave.

If you really want to show how authentic you are, genuinely confess something about yourself on your tats: “I cheat on my wife”, “I embarrass my children”, “my body odour is an issue”.

How about just a picture of you crying at home into your Green & Black’s hot chocolate? Now that would be Edgelord.

 (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Best foot forward, Lily

Lily Allen has joined OnlyFans to sell photos of her feet to subscribers. It seems foot fetishists have been busy voting on their own forums for their favourite celebrity feet — Allen heard she did well in one vote and decided to cash in.

Fair play. It seems foot fetishism has never been so popular. I have to say, it’s one of the fetishes that I’m least inclined to be nice about. It’s just for creepy men isn’t it? All these film directors with foot fetishes, claiming surrealist immunity, when really it’s just a means to get away with being invasive around women’s bodies — by not focusing on the traditional rude bits, you can get away with it.

Anyway, there’s supplementary income in this space so I’m pleased to announce that I too am starting my own OnlyFans account in which I’ll be baring everything from the ankle down for your viewing pleasure.

I feel my toes might be an acquired taste, requiring a strong stomach, which means although my audience will be smaller than Lily’s, I can probably charge twice as much. There’s nothing exploitative around it — fetish fans are simply friends you haven’t monetised yet.

Martin Robinson is acting Homes and Property editor