Yesterday Bossy wrote about Robert Downey Jr.’s tattoo, and it got Bossy thinking about
Robert Downey Jr. tattoos.
Bossy admires tattoos but never wanted to get one herself, mostly because of their permanence. Also you’re stuck with it. But lately Bossy can appreciate the value of selecting a particular image, word, name, or icon that holds a profound meaning for a point in time.
In fact, Bossy is an expert in these matters because she got her master’s degree in Tattoo Iconography, which means she used to watch Miami Ink. And Bossy is here to tell you most people have a very interesting and complex story behind their tattooed images. Tattoos represent a turning point in the past, or a new beginning. They represent people and places and the things that happened there.
Many people select Chinese characters to express something:
While some people choose the name of a loved one they can carry with them, forever:
Some people select only a very small image, modestly placed:
While others showcase a larger scene across an expanse of skin:
These days Bossy likes to contemplate which tattoo image she would select and where it would be placed. Four years ago, Bossy’s kids drew a couple of tattoos on Bossy for a Halloween costume party:
When it comes to the permanent image Bossy contemplates tattooing on her upper arm, she has this to say: Barbed wire, really? And it would symbolize what? Bossy’s captivity?
Which is what today’s Ten-Word Challenge is all about. In exactly ten words, can you tell Bossy and her council what sort of image you would tattoo if you could, and what that image means?
And be sure to check back later today for the most tattooed comments on the web.
If you missed last week’s Ten-Word Challenge, click here to see where Bossy and her council would choose to move if they were leaving their homeland.
And don’t miss Bossy’s new feature, debuting today at the bottom of her left column. Look! It’s Bossy’s son!
The Domestic Goddess saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:13 am
No tattoos here, I stand out enough as it is.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:17 am
Chain w/a missing link. Symbolizes much, like broken blog. More.
Jane saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:19 am
Flowers, fairies, color. I have it. Started at 45!
Judy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:20 am
Thought small ones were cute,
Then heard words ‘tramp stamp.’
Eric saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:22 am
On my ass would say, “One Way, Do Not Enter!”
Miss Spoken saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:26 am
My marbles, so that I may never lose them again.
Average Jane saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:44 am
An art nouveau floral design, but haven’t found it yet.
vuboq saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:49 am
Dragon – spiralling up my right calf, symoblizing … um … my dragon-ness?
Biddy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:52 am
treble clef on my foot because I’m an Alto singer
bdaiss saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:54 am
Tigger playing hockey, but will never do it – hates needles.
Alison saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:54 am
Veuve Cliquot logo. The champagne for me, the anchor for my father, the star for my mother. It’s perfect. And I have it.
Lizzy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:58 am
I prefer originality expressed with new shoes cuz’ tattoos? Argh.
operagal saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:59 am
I have one – a small snake that moves down my pinky finger.
kj saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:59 am
I have a tat- hubby’s initials in a heart –permanent.
Tuli saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm
I’m already tattooed – elephant and armadillo living in perfect harmony.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm
Maybe a little bee, like the one in Bossy’s bonnet.
WebSavvyMom saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm
–>Wanted 4-leaf clover somewhere that didn’t stretch. Hence, no tattoo.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm
Which part of the body has the least pain receptors?
choosy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm
two flowers, one bud. two children, one lost soul. mine.
wendy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm
post cubs game – ladybug on leaf – no regrets – want more
krg saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm
anything, symbolizing that I have gone out of my mind
FireMom saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm
One is a Celtic knot symbolizing eternity for my daughter.
Philly saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Tattoo Jim just needled me up on my foot…..Ouch !
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm
Bossy has tattoos! All kinds! Wait, those are varicose veins.
corrie saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm
a ying-yang symbol surrounded by blue waves~ life’s balance &beauty
Kim saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm
My baby’s newborn footprint; she’s only going to grow up!
Owengirl79 saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Hubster’s name and mine mean the same…inside flower crescent.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm
A little letter ‘G’ for Bossy. Spelling not strong suit.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Outline of state of Georgia? Would only look ridiculously misshapen.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm
A cashew! And it can double as a hideous birthmark.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm
On upper arm. How about: “You know who you are.”
Lisa saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm
Ever seen how a tatoo looks on old wrinkly skin?
Natalie saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Munch ‘paper bag princess’ character – you r your own person
CageFreeFamily saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Have two. 12 years, no regrets. Delicate Flowers on hip and nape of neck. No meaning, just pretty decoration. Want more.
Mary K saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm
I’m Irish. Ladybug on shamrock. Lower back. Looowwwwer. MUCH pain.
confused saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm
in 20 years-nursing home-boobs to knees-not pretty
Tasha saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm
“Breathe,” in white, on my wrist. ‘Cause I forget sometimes.
dusty saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm
tree:life . rose:father . magnolia:past . heart:love . celtic:knot
Lauren saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Maybe an infinity symbol because I want to be immortal.
sugarpie saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm
Deciding on a sofa I like took me 20 years.
Suzanne saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm
I have a sun…gift to myself after my divorce.
Stacey Ball saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm
I’m thinking the babies first footprint tattoo’d on my foot.
GK in MI saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm
Worked at VA, saw many old tattoos, just say NO!
La Suzette saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm
invisible tattoos all over, painless, pretty – permanent ink? eeeeewwwww!
Shelley saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm
RDJ would be much sexier sans cigarette. I’m just sayin’.
Acher saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm
My “tramp stamp” inked before “tramp stamp” term became vogue.
Shelley saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm
The above? Not a tattoo. No tattoos on me. Ever.
Acher saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm
2nd tat will be a little owl, Charley Harper style
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm
Across lower back: Cusack? All this could have been yours.
Andrea's Sweet Life saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm
Forgive & Forget, one on each wrist. Or each foot.
Dharmamama saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm
Got two: om – nape, enso (zen symbol) – upper arm. Spiritual.
Linda :) saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm
thinking of celtic knot, nape of neck, children’s names entwined
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Lower back: Objects not viewed in mirror smaller than they appear.
Dharmamama saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:27 pm
Next: Mary – forearm. She’s helped me, despite my pagan ways.
linlah saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm
Too permanent, so I got my belly button pierced instead.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm
How about: I love you WordPress? Are there ironic tattoos?
Sallie (FullTime-Life) saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm
Too old. Wanna’ think upper-arm tats on your grandmother?
Jodi Anderson saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Husband and I have this: “science.” and birthdate in binary.
GrandeMocha saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Can I get an epidural first?
Meg at the Members Lounge saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Can’t do it. Not after I saw Snoopy tattooed on a woman’s breast at the beach. It was already starting to head the way of Fred Basset.
rebecca saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:59 pm
Symbol for Father Martin Ashley’s Treatment Center, SAVED my life.
Amy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm
A butterfly to signify coming through difficulties and flying above.
Bridget saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm
I have two: LOVE (like the Park), and a tree.
BH saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm
Like Radio Raheem (I am PARAPHRASING!) , LOVE on left hand, PEACE on right.
Jenn @ Juggling LIfe saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm
I’m so not a tattoo person and I’m not changing.
(But Bossy would look fab in any tattoo)
Jan saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm
My kids names; how cliche. That’s why I don’t bother.
p/f saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm
I’d know the minute AFTER I actually got a tattoo.
APeetsMom saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm
A couple of Moonstones on the nape of my neck.
Rorrington the Fireman saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm
Already getting one; My Fire Company; while wife’s away. (Heh.)
BossysMom saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm
I’m thinking of having Ashley Judd’s face tatooed on mine.
dgm saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Already have a Liberty Bell–works on so many levels.
K saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Met someone tatttoed “Angle Child” – spell check is a must.
K saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm
If they didn’t freak me out – I have the perfect idea.
K saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm
My boys think they’re cool – hope that they outgrow this.
David saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Something in Hebrew, if it wasn’t a sin in Judaism.
Martie saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm
A small number 1. I’ve always wanted to be #1.
Gillian saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm
My son’s name in my husband’s handwriting. But where?
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(Wow, Gillian, Bossy loves the idea of it being in someone’s handwriting, and THAT THERE conveys the thing…)
(You see, parenthesis excuses the ten-word challenge.)
(That, it seems, is a new rule.) (Heh.)
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Council, do not miss Bossy’s mom’s comment, #70. Sister mercy.
Heather saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm
Turning my boring 15 year old bird into a PHOENIX.
(Using the parenthesis rule here… with a pound of bacon its talon… maybe…)
lora saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm
there will be lots of old folks with wrinkly tattoos.
(I’m totally cool with being one of them. It’s not like untattooed old skin is a joy to behold or anything.
BOSSY saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm
How about: A plot of skin available for lease here.
Texas Susan saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm
Bossy’s mom rocks the council yet again; very funny response!
(Tattoo = no thanks; love the parenthesis rule)
kathleen saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm
no tatoos…gain weight you have great big ink blob
Mr Farty saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm
A castle atop a rock, to symbolise the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Jenn saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Working on a “pantleg”; timed to cover emerging veins!
Hope saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm
I like math so I got pi – it’s neverending, dude.
Kelly, The Glass Dragonfly saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm
The heart, not any heart, but Sunny’s heart. Miss her!
Maureen in IL saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm
I would like a memorial tattoo on my inner wrist: names of son’s 20 year old girlfriend & friend killed in car accident. My son was driving. I just can’t seem to figure out the design. I know, not ten words.
Kate saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm
A “W” on each butt cheek, that way, when I bend over, it would say “MOM” or “WOW” depending on which way you were looking at it
Reeb saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 6:29 pm
Henna vines on inner thighs. Henna’s three-weeks = max. Husband likes.
Reeb saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 6:29 pm
GPS coordinates, children’s birth locations. Wait! Forgot to have children!
Bridget saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm
Hmmm – won’t do it ever – but maybe a buzzing bee?
Just Juli saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm
Small Chinese symbol “Te”. Power or virtue of the small.
NellyFrittata saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm
Bossy’s Mom…bwahaha! No tattoos here…nurses know better.
POD saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 7:45 pm
I would tattoo a thinner person on top of my robustness. Sort of a trompe l’oeil tattoo.
Dawn in Austin saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 8:32 pm
I’ll get “Mom”; because three kids, 11 tattoos, no “MOM”.
Lolly saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 8:32 pm
Got through that phase. Now I’m so glad I did.
madtexter saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 8:33 pm
Got my bicep tat in 2000. Sort of a barbed wire motive. It’s meant to block out the past, so I can move into the future. It was a ‘millenniuml’ thing for me. Now, I can’t imagine living without it. (Okay, that’s more than 10 words)
Catherine McP saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm
2 daughters, me, all have same squiggled line on foot.
I didnt want one, and they went and paid for mine and gave it to me in gift certificate form for my B-day..Guilt. Had to do it then!
linda dorris saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm
Turquoise cross on inside ankle for bday #55.
Ranger saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm
Best comment section ever. Way too chicken and big for tats.
Kate@And Then I Was a Mom saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm
Something stunning above foot, to deter later-in-life cankles.
Cupcake Murphy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm
Hummingbird that morphs into pelican when I’m older than dirt.
Cupcake Murphy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 10:37 pm
The number 9 million. Times I’ve cursed at Fox News.
Cupcake Murphy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm
A portrait of Sanford and Son in silhouette. Just because.
Cupcake Murphy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 10:48 pm
Just above my sagging bazooms: Majestic Mountains Were Once Here
Arli saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm
Have butterfly tat in memory of beloved uncle’s “Butterfly Theory”.
amy saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:37 pm
No tats but if I did would have the initials of my 3 kids, hubby and a teeny tiny Jeep logo.. Somewhere where no one could see…
Red Hamster saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:48 pm
I think I will just enjoy everyone else’s tattos, ok?
mia saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:48 pm
all I can say is i had a tattoo before girls havin’ tattoos was cool. hehehe.. and if you ever knew the REST of that story hehehe… buh bye!
The Know it All saysJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm
present — to remind me of the gifts i’ve been given
Baby Favorite saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 1:04 am
Mother’s rolling over in her grave. Iris/kids’ names.
(Sorry, 10 words is not enough here! Must explain! I was raised by June & Ward Cleaver, hence the rolling-over-in-the-grave over the tattoo. BUT… I got an iris in memory of my mother–they were her passion–and then I had to include my two kids’ names, since they’re *my* passion. P.S. I can’t believe you visited my blog. It was better than if the Queen of England had visited it. Or Dooce. Or Robert Downey Jr. You get the idea.)
naomi saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 3:55 am
i got a dragon fly tattoo on my right inner forearm when i returned to school at 44 to start my undergrad degree. i have it now and am working on my masters (more playing right now, but that’s just semantics).
i wouldn’t recommend getting a barbed wire tattoo unless you’ve been to prison, same with the spider’s web.
mia saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 6:41 am
i’ve got one from 30 yrs ago before girls getting tats was cool hehehe and- all THAT means is i was really, really intoxicated 🙂
janny226 saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 8:13 am
Before I comment officially I have to say how impressed I am that Bossy looks good as a brunette and a blonde. Oh, and also, I actually learned something from your intro about why people get tattoos — what does that say that I get my social data from you, Bossy? (It says, “Please don’t stop writing!”) Anyway.
Cross on my hand would remind me I am loved.
Amy in NJ saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 9:43 am
OL of Guadalupe, my right shoulder, because i love her
Leslie saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 10:48 am
originally small rosebud on breast-25 yrs later-longstem rose!
jl.b saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 11:42 am
BUTTERFLY: because i am thyroid cancer survivor (thyroid is butterfly-shaped)
Melanie saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Dolphin mother, baby; most important job, but not only job
Sallie (FullTime-Life) saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Cupcake (105). It would be agony to tattoo that #, because you’d have to change it at least once every day if you keep watching that crap ;>).
Bossy’s moms comment could be a whole new ten-word Tuesday theme ;
not an only child saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm
The letter G in memory of my dead little brother.
peterpanic saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm
stylized question mark on thigh since me certain of nothing
meleah rebeccah saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm
Just Say NO To Getting A Tattoo
JC saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm
Grandkids initials and a tiny crown, on wrist, under watch.
Alissa saysJanuary 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm
Dragonfly = mystery + romance. Cycle of Life. Sexy Cat.
Kerri Anne saysJanuary 14, 2010 at 1:41 am
I have four; next is a buttercup, for my dad.
Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy saysJanuary 14, 2010 at 2:49 am
Celtic symbol for the number three, to help make peace.
ally tart check saysJanuary 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm
ivy vine toe ring might resemble fungus; hence, no ink.
amy saysJanuary 15, 2010 at 1:52 am
Hey Mommy (above) I love that. Not only do I love the # 3 (three kids) but peace is a cool message too. Must google 🙂
Small Jeep logo, always wanted, got and moving on; hidden!
Beckytwogirls saysJanuary 15, 2010 at 10:00 am
I have two girls named Laura and Sara. I always wanted to get the Luverne & Shirley “LS” monogram on my chest. Going to have a third kid this year with a “J” name. Not sure how I’d work that in. Wasn’t there a Jimmy character in that show? But they didn’t have LSJ on their shirts. Oh well.
Amber saysJanuary 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm
Tribal appearance but represents path friend’s car took in wreck. (Too much meaning for only 10 words. My best friend and I got in a fight about whether drugs and alcohol would affect our lives in the long run. He felt they couldn’t, and left in a rage because I disagreed with him. He was hit by a drunk driver on the way home that night and his car rolled over four times before sliding into a tree and killing him instantly. I designed the tat to look like a tribal, but it reminds me every time I look at it to stay away from things that seem innocent but can change everything in an instant.
Abbie Dahl saysJanuary 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm
18 skipbo logo. regret. 32 covered up with lotus flower.