Now David Dimbleby has one, tattoos have lost their last remnants of street cred

Plus, displaying the upper-upper-upper thigh is not a blow for female progress

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An important point in British culture was reached earlier this week with the unveiling of David Dimbleby’s scorpion tattoo. At least, I think it’s a scorpion, it only has six legs and most scorpions actually have eight legs, as well as pincers.

It’s quite remarkable that one of the most assertive men on British television wasn’t assertive enough to make his tattoo artist Google the term “scorpion” but then there’s a chance Dimbleby doesn’t know it’s wrong yet as it’s on his shoulder and he can’t see it.

Nevertheless, Dimbleby’s tattoo marked the tipping point where anyone deciding to daub something on their skin permanently (or until the expensive, painful removal) can claim it to be in the least shocking or anarchic. We knew this anyway, but tattoo-lovers really do drone on.

If the 75-year-old man who presents Question Time has a tattoo and the lovely prim BBC don’t care about it, then this really is the end for tattoo-lovers feeling their art gives them an outsider status, or allots their life a different meaning, or is symbolic of any great message. But then, let’s be frank, most tattoos are only symbolic of “boredom which coincided with passing a tattoo parlour”.

Revealing, yes. Female progress, no

Red-carpet fashion has really taken a fantastic turn of late with both Iggy Azalea and Thor star Jaimie Alexander wearing dresses which display pretty much the final six centimetres of a woman’s body that is still considered a shock if publicly – and publicly – exposed.

Women are as loudly bemused as men by the matter. It’s a complex affair. I’m both pleasingly taken by how much a small patch of waxed female skin sitting top, centre of a woman’s thighs can cause global outrage and Twitter to melt, but laughingly aware that this isn’t female progress.

And mainly I’m just glad I’ll be out of the red carpet by 2040 when by this time we’re wheeling women into premieres knickers off, legs akimbo with just a diamond stuck hastily on to their labia.

More from Grace Dent this week: