Perhaps as a matter of revenge for all those frat boys with some randomly thrown-together Chinese characters on their biceps (including Marcus Camby), the new trend in Chinese tattooing is English lettering, according to this report from The Telegraph. One tattoo artist in Shanghai says that 30 to 40 per cent of his clients have been getting English scripts inked since the beginning of this year.
Tattooing is apparently considered taboo in China, as per The Telegraph, which notes that “Only in the last five years have scores of tattoo parlours sprung up, operating in a grey zone of legality.” As for the recent trend, well, it’s not unlike the abundance of Asian lettering we see over here—foreign languages are considered mysterious and exotic.
“They are much simpler compared to Chinese characters and can hold deep meanings. English letters can be used as acronyms so your privacy is protected and people are curious about what you have written on your arms,” says one tattooed TV producer. That’s all well and good, but as anyone who’s ever read a menu in a Chinese restaurant knows, sometimes they don’t quite get it right:
(Just think… Somewhere out there is a girl with a “Me Love You Long Time” tramp stamp!)