the magazine of the columbia daily spectator
May 1 2013
Mmm, baby: The very best in food porn
April 27 2013
Alternatives to Butler
April 19 2013
Red Bull and relaxation
April 17 2013
Back to the kitchen: A short journey through sexist pop culture
April 12 2013
Bikinis and big booties, y’all
April 8 2013
Azealia Banks Did What?
April 5 2013
More stories from Columbia’s military veterans
April 3 2013
Sing, O Muse, of some sappy story
April 1 2013
Missed the Cliterary Open Mic? Check out the highlights here
March 29 2013
Sex & Low Beach
Finals are upon us collegiate folk, and that inevitably means one thing: procrastination. And not just any procrastination—I’m talking desperate, frenzied time-wasting, seriously next-level pointlessness. In my case, this means hours spent on tattoo blogs—specifically fuckyeahtattoos.com— because chortling at the awful decisions of others makes me feel better about, say, my awful decision to put off starting a 20-page term paper until 11:27 p.m. the night before it’s due.
Recently, though, a chortle-worthy tattoo came into my browser window from a different source. According to photographic evidence from HuffPo, Scarlett Johansson has seen fit to tattoo a chain bracelet with an “I ♥ NY” charm on it on her right wrist. In case your eyes simply refused to see that sentence out of mercy for your brain, I’ll give it to you one more time: Her tattoo is of a bracelet. With an “I ♥ NY” charm on it.
Now, before I invite you to quaff this haterade, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that, personally, I’ve never been a big fan of Ms. Johansson. Luscious lips notwithstanding, from Ghost World forward, I’ve found her phlegmatic and mumbly and, overall, just deeply, cosmically dull. I know I’m all but alone on this front—but fan or no, I think we all can agree that this most recent transgression of hers warrants at least some critical examination.
First and most obvious: Why not just buy a bracelet with an “I ♥ NY” charm on it? Sure, it’s still tacky and fundamentally loathsome, but it’s also cheaper, less painful, and, most importantly, less permanent. We all remember Johnny Depp’s “Wino Forever” debacle—his inked pronounce- ment of love to actress Winona Ryder cut short just as their relationship inevitably was. This cautionary tale has prevented me from many an ill-advised tattoo parlor visit, including the time I wanted to needle a Poe quotation into my neck—(unfortunately) true story.
In that vein, I suppose it could be worse. I mean, at least Johansson didn’t get an ice cream cone tattooed on her face, à la Gucci Mane, or a Human Centipede chestpiece, like that girl who keeps popping up in my Facebook newsfeed. But I feel like we can congratulate Scarlett for that with the same fervor with which we might pat Jerry Bruckheimer on the back for only financing three Pirates of the Caribbean sequels instead of seven. Just because you did something slightly less terrible than you could have doesn’t absolve you—it just makes you slightly less terrible, with emphasis on the adverb (I’m looking at you, Bruckheimer).
There’s a part of me that longs, at this point, to rehash the celeb tattoo disasters of the past decade—to wince over Mena Suvari’s “Word Sound Power” plus lion back decoration or slag off the jank Marilyn portrait gracing Megan Fox’s forearm. But then another part butts in and tweedles the woeful tune of celebrities’ lack of privacy—the injustice of their constant, irrevocable to-be-looked-at-ness, the odiousness of our insatiable hunger for news of their latest foibles. I do recognize this deadly little dance as, in large part, the reason I’m writing to you today—and it does, indeed, make me squirm on occasion just how giddy we all seem to get watching the best laid plans of the rich and famous go horribly, horribly agley.
Still, there’s a larger part of me that would like to point out that 1) a tattoo is often specifically intended as public display—a wrist tattoo, certainly—and thus, 2) I would absolutely read this criticism verbatim, proclamation-style, to any friend who dared sport ink so ridiculous.
So Scarlett, honey, please, in the kindest way possible: Find your nearest laser surgeon and make it go away.
And for those fans still reeling in disappointment, take this small piece of comfort: At least nothing she can do will be worse than her 2008 album, right? Right.
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