Tattoo woman

Katie PiperSeriously, has anyone been watching Bodyshockers on Channel 4? By Kiesha Meikle

Presented by Katie Piper, Bodyshockers features people with extreme body modifications including, tattoos, piercings and some of the biggest fake boobs I have ever seen. Throughout the series, Katie Piper interviews those planning major treatments, as well as people who’ve already had them done and regret it.

The scenes of  painful tattoo removal (if those scenes don’t put you off getting a tattoo, nothing will) are awful and and have put me off for life. However, what was most apparent is that the craze for body modification is bigger than ever. Many of us are going through painful procedures in a bid to stand out from the crowd. But is it art, or is this just another way for us to be obsessive about our outward appearance? (Answers in the comment section below please).

Katie Piper is the ideal person to present a show like this one. She knows a thing or two about standing out, suffering burns from an acid attack. She has gone on to establish a charity, the Katie Piper Foundation, aimed at raising awareness of the plight of victims of burns and other disfigurement injuries.

For those of you keen to get a tattoo done, I recommend that you watch the show, available here:

If after watching you are still keen to go ahead, check out some web tips on tattoos and tattoo alternatives. We recommend that you visit a GP or skin specialist before you get a tattoo done, especially if you are black or Asian or know that you are prone to keloid scarring.

Tatttoo advice:

Choose your designs carefully! Remember, just because you like it now does not mean that you will like it in 15-20 years time, when it has faded and your skin is less supple. Getting a design that others might find offensive (especially if on a very visible part of your body) could have a negative affect on your career prospects and personal life. If in doubt, get a tattoo on a part of your body that is easy to cover up.

Research your tattoo artist thoroughly, get recommendations, look online for reviews and grill your artist on their level of hygiene when you visit – they may not like it, but the best artists will already have good hygiene standards in place.

Tattoo after-care is incredibly important if you don’t want your tattoo to become infected. Once the tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will clean the area, apply an anti-bacterial ointment and cover the tattoo with a bandage or some dressing. Once you have left the tattoo parlor, try to resist the temptation to open the bandage to take a peak or show off your new tattoo to your friends. The bandage is there to protect your tattoo from airborne bacteria, which can penetrate through your broken skin. The bandage should be left on for a minimum of two hours before you remove it. Always ask your artist for after-care advice and do your best to keep the wound clean.

For more information on tattoo after-care go to:

  • If needles aren’t your thing, there’s always temporary tattoos. These can come in the form of transfers and last up to six weeks. However, they start to become unsightly towards the end and resemble a colourful blob!
  • Henna is another alternative to a tattoo. It is a type of plant dye, made by mixing the dried leaves with several other ingredients that is then painted on to the skin. As this dries, it turns from a bright orange to a burnt red or brown. Always make sure that a patch test is done on your skin and that you have checked out your artist beforehand.
  • Temporary tattoos can also be painted or airbrushed on to your skin. These are applied using a template and allow the designer more creative freedom than a standard transfer tattoo.
  • If you want something closer to the tattoo experience, you can get a semi-permanent tattoo. This gives you the same level of discomfort, but fades away over time. They can last for several years, but do not require the painful removal process of normal tattoos.

Be warned, getting permanent tattoos removed is a lengthy and expensive process. The treatment uses a laser, and some people suggest that it’s more painful than having the tattoo done. Remember to think very carefully before you get inked, or you could find yourself having to go through a very painful removal process.

For more information about the Katie Piper foundation go to: