Updated: Feb 3
No one likes the race topic because no one wants to be called out for being racist. Nonetheless, we need to confront problems head-on in order to solve them. In tattooing, we typically see a majority of white tattooers and clients. Is this majority due to tattoos looking brighter and more visible on light skin, or is there something more sinister behind the statistic?
What occurred to me the other day while reading posts on Instagram is the sheer lack of portfolios featuring darker skin. Almost all well-known or celebrity tattooers do not include a single tattoo on black skin in their portfolio. This got me to thinking: is this coincidental, or do they refuse to tattoo a skin tone that doesn’t show their tattoos off as well as white or lighter skin?
I decided to investigate this question further, and found an NPR article that explains this issue from the perspective of a black woman, Oshun Afrique: