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Would you think before you ink? - Norwich tattoo artists voice opinions on face tattoos

PUBLISHED: 17:29 29 January 2019

Shane and Nicola Grady at Cold Iron Tattoo. Photo: Julia O'Driscoll

Shane and Nicola Grady at Cold Iron Tattoo. Photo: Julia O'Driscoll

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Could you face it? Local opinion is divided on face tattoos...

Harry Styles mega-fan Kelsy Karter has attracted attention after sharing a picture of her striking new tattoo of Styles’ face - across her right cheek.

Karter’s tweet has received over 30,000 reactions since it was shared on Sunday, January 27 with many people less than impressed with the inkwork. Speaking to local tattoo artists in Norwich today there was speculation as to whether the tattoo is even real.

“That tattoo photo was conveniently released when a song is being released as well – it just doesn’t seem like a coincidence,” said the co-owner of True Love Tattoos, known in the tattoo community as ‘Smalls’.

“We live in a world where to get noticed you have to do something shocking,” he continued.

Would Kelsy Karter's new tattoo would look more like this if she was from Norwich? Photo: Julia O'DriscollWould Kelsy Karter's new tattoo would look more like this if she was from Norwich? Photo: Julia O'Driscoll

“You probably wouldn’t have taken a photo of me if I hadn’t put this Alan Partridge on my face – in a less shocking way, that’s a perfect metaphor for what’s happened.”

Nicola Grady,33, who owns Cold Iron Tattoo said:“Social influencers have to be carefully about what their fans could potentially copy.”

Receptionist at True Love Norwich shows off her face tattoos. Photo: Julia O'DriscollReceptionist at True Love Norwich shows off her face tattoos. Photo: Julia O'Driscoll

She added that public figures “have a responsibility to their audiences.”

Nicola and her husband Shane, 35, stressed that this is an extreme form of body modification. Despite this, the couple said they see more people looking to get their first tattoos on their hands and necks, rather than less exposed areas.

But for Jade Reeve, 22, having a face tattoo is no more of a statement than changing your hair colour.

The tattooist at Crossed Arrows Tattoos said: “I think face tattoos are the same as any form of self expression – as clothes, as shoes, as hair dye.

“We’re just used to an ideology of how the face should be. If you feel more confident with a face tattoo, then so be it.”

“We can only advise people,” said manager Bethany Phillips.

“Some artists won’t actually do it.”

Opinion on the streets was split. Josie Nudds’ reaction was simply “Horrible! Horrible!” and Tom Harper, 19, said “Well, I won’t get one.”

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