The first thing that I noticed today that was amazingly interesting and unusual was a tattooed man in our gym. His tattoos were extensive and very bright and clearly this was a way of him expressing himself through his body art.
As I had my camera, I approached him and asked if I could photograph them. Whilst he was surprised and a bit embarrassed, he agreed. This one is of Thor with his hammer.
The first ones I however noticed were the skulls and then I saw some of the wording which overall came across as very White Supremacist and I thought "oh dear" as I tend not to come across this sort of thing and have a natural repulsion for it. Given that I didn't see any swastikas, I said to him "these images are very Neo Nazi, is that intentional because it is your belief"? He emphatically said "no, I was and am a skinhead, and actually skin heads originated in the 60's and they were not actually racist or Nazi at all. They were heavily into Reggae & Ska".
Personally I was relieved and it made me think perhaps appearances can be deceptive. After all a real BNP (British National Party) type wouldn't deny their beliefs, and he was keen to make it really plain that it was not what he was about, and I am very glad of that.
This one was apparently him on his scooter
This one is on his right thigh, and it depicts Odin with his crows.
I don't personally have any tattoos and have never had the urge to. I do however notice them when they are not mainstream, and these definitely were anything but mainstream. They were very fringe and whilst I don't like the skinhead branding (my memories from childhood were of them being racist thugs and fascist - exactly what I dislike intensely and thankfully precisely what he emphatically said he was not).
These tattoos were clearly skillfully and beautifully done, and he seemed pleasant so perhaps first impressions are not always right.