1

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Are Tattoos paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 03, 2011 at 7:54 AM

Are tattoos paleo?

Humans have been tattooing themselves for untold thousands of years.

What are the risks of injecting permanent ink into your skin? (Assuming all proper hygiene controls are in place)?

What are the benefits?

Are you paleohackers tatted up? Will you get more tattoos?

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 30, 2012
at 02:36 AM

Those Siberian Princess tattoos are freaking bad ass!

Medium avatar

(2923)

on August 29, 2012
at 02:54 PM

The Siberian Princesses tattoos are much more detailed, but also much more modern. She dates from Neolithic, but she is believed to be part of the nomadic Pazyryk: http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/

Medium avatar

(2923)

on August 29, 2012
at 02:50 PM

Tattooing implements from Upper Paleolithic: http://www.tattoosymbol.com/timeline/timeline-1.html

53ae5256bd5ba7fadcf3755115cbc1d5

(190)

on August 28, 2012
at 11:44 PM

You totally beat me to the "Iceman" argument! but at the same time, his ink probably wasn't made with the same stuff they use now. :/

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on May 15, 2012
at 04:36 PM

With you on this. Except I prefer "storytelling" to lies. ;)

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 24, 2011
at 05:48 AM

Why you downvote me for this? Laaaaaaaaaaame. Weak and cowardly.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:24 PM

This is the kind of question to which I say, if you want a tattoo get one - or if you dont want a tattoo, dont get one. Why on earth is there a need to brand it Paleo or non-Paleo?

B7ccb7324c1e2119f23f0ca32f7d47e2

(196)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:47 PM

If Grok could walk around nekkid, I'm sure nobody would begrudge you! ...Well, okay, maybe the censors would. But bah, censors. Also that lady is very pwetty. Err, and so are you, of course.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:45 PM

Oh yeah, this is cool: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/tattoo.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:59 PM

That's the spirit!

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17 Answers

best answer

7
B7ccb7324c1e2119f23f0ca32f7d47e2

on May 03, 2011
at 08:04 AM

The benefits are obvious to me: I get to tell my story without having to use my mouth, which is usually occupied by eating lots of MEAT :D!

Honestly though, I figure that's the purpose of tattoos. Barring that lots of people go to parlors and inject random images into their skin because they think it's "cool", I know several people, including myself, who have spent years thinking about that one tattoo that describes the most life-changing thing in their lives, and when I get to hear those stories I always feel a little special.

And then there's all that... Self expression... Artistic... Yes. All that.

o:

As for health risks, I imagine it's nothing a well-packed immune system can't handle? But then again, I've never seen anyone get more than a rash after a tattoo.

7
A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

on May 03, 2011
at 11:22 AM

Are you eating them?

6
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:09 PM

i have a half sleeve on one arm, and a band on the other. now that im finally not pregnant, planning to finally get a shoulder/sleeve that ive had done for my kiddos. i want a garden on my back. are they "paleo"? who the hell knows. paleo is my diet. my tattoos are one way i tell a story, and mark important milestones in my life. believe it or not, i actually consider them fairly private, despite their prominence. when someone asks what they mean, i usually lie.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on May 15, 2012
at 04:36 PM

With you on this. Except I prefer "storytelling" to lies. ;)

6
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:59 AM

My primal reproductive instinct says yes... mmm.

5
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 03, 2011
at 05:51 PM

I think it's pretty straightforward, tattoos are not paleo. Unless you really think injecting foreign substances into your skin provided evolutionary advantages umpteen thousands of years ago.

Doesn't mean you can't get tattoos now if you want. Just can't use Paleo as an excuse.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on August 29, 2012
at 02:50 PM

Tattooing implements from Upper Paleolithic: http://www.tattoosymbol.com/timeline/timeline-1.html

3
Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:37 AM

I don't know if they're paleo and I don't care. Lol. I have about 30 and will surely get more. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:59 PM

That's the spirit!

2
Medium avatar

on May 03, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I've got a bunch! I'm Paleo. They might be neolithic, but that never stopped me.

I have a Japanese half sleeve on my right arm with 2 Koi and a lotus on my shoulder, a big chestpiece with a bleeding heart that has eagle wings, and a scroll that says my mom's name.

On my left arm I have a Japanese woodcut style Tiger (my spirit animal!), two black roses on my forearms, a dancing skeleton with a tophat and cane on my left elbow joint (he dances when I move my arm!), a lucky horseshoe on top of my left hand between the thumb and forefinger, and the piece de resistance... "PARTY 'TIL YOU DIE" on my left arm. are-tattoos-paleo?

are-tattoos-paleo?

{No we're not naked! We're at our secret waterfall in Jersey, and these are from pudgier pre-Paleo days, forgive me.}

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:45 PM

Oh yeah, this is cool: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/tattoo.html

B7ccb7324c1e2119f23f0ca32f7d47e2

(196)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:47 PM

If Grok could walk around nekkid, I'm sure nobody would begrudge you! ...Well, okay, maybe the censors would. But bah, censors. Also that lady is very pwetty. Err, and so are you, of course.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 24, 2011
at 05:48 AM

Why you downvote me for this? Laaaaaaaaaaame. Weak and cowardly.

1
Dd74e6399ae697d8603dc9aa74fbafae

(695)

on August 29, 2012
at 07:43 AM

The only argument against tattoos would be the fact that the dye contains heavy metals that in some cases have led to heavy metal poisoning. I do have tattoos myself and I'm not really worried about it, but it is a minor concern for some.

"Titanium and aluminum are often used as colorants in tattoos; more worrisome, inks using nonmetal colorants may include traces of antimony, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, cobalt, lead, nickel, and selenium (AESI filed over the latter eight metals). Sivas says the ink used for a 3 by 5 inch tattoo contains 1???23 micrograms of lead, versus the 0.5 micrograms per day permitted under Proposition 65."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280436/

1
Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 28, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Otzi the "Iceman" provides some of the earliest concrete evidence of humans practicing tattooing and, given that he is estimated as having lived around 3,300 BCE (over 5,000 years ago), I would have to say that AFAIK tattoos aren't "paleo". Then again debating such things on an interconnected network of programmable machines while staring into an artificial light source would have to qualify as far less "paleo" than tattoos. For those of us who are descendants of Europeans, tattoos would also be far more "paleo" than New World foods such as tomatoes, potatoes (regular and sweet), chocolate, etc.

In conclusion, tattoos are "paleo" enough for me to feel comfortable in sporting a few on my backside (see bottom picture).

Locations of Otzi tattoos:

are-tattoos-paleo?

Actual picture of tattoo on Otzi's back:

are-tattoos-paleo?

Actual picture of tattoos on my back:

are-tattoos-paleo?

53ae5256bd5ba7fadcf3755115cbc1d5

(190)

on August 28, 2012
at 11:44 PM

You totally beat me to the "Iceman" argument! but at the same time, his ink probably wasn't made with the same stuff they use now. :/

Medium avatar

(2923)

on August 29, 2012
at 02:54 PM

The Siberian Princesses tattoos are much more detailed, but also much more modern. She dates from Neolithic, but she is believed to be part of the nomadic Pazyryk: http://siberiantimes.com/culture/others/features/siberian-princess-reveals-her-2500-year-old-tattoos/

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 30, 2012
at 02:36 AM

Those Siberian Princess tattoos are freaking bad ass!

1
3e0e95a42983b446fa2b582500b1ae15

on August 27, 2012
at 10:39 PM

holy crap, Futureboy! that was like the hottest picture i've seen for weeks!

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on May 03, 2011
at 10:15 PM

  1. Tattoos aren't injecting anything. Tattoos occur when a lesion is stained with a dye and that lesion heals from a scab, to repaired skin tissue permanently stained. This dye could be natural (I have a few homemade tats done in my early punkrock days with Indian Ink from a craft store).

  2. Who cares if Tattoos are Paleo? Ask the Maori if their tattoos are Paleo...

1
8a4ce6a9e1ab27616920b828df08b259

(354)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:40 PM

Hell yes they are! Only if theyre cool, though...and especially not tattoos of, like, a wheat stalk. ;)

0
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 04, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Yes. Injecting ink into your skin is of course paleo.

0
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on May 03, 2011
at 11:00 PM

I don't have any tattoos my self for personal reasons. But I have tattooed people, stick and poke stile. We would take a pin wrap the tip with string so just a tiny bit of the point stuck out. Then dip it in ink and slowly poke by poke apply the tattoo. It took a long time but it was kinda the style that we liked and it was more personal and free. We did this in very unsanitary conditions living in the woods, ride freight trains, etc and I never saw anyone get infected. For ink we used india ink from a art store or you can make your own out of various ashes or boiled plants. We also did branding and scarification or a combination (rub ink into a scarification cut) those are more risky but I never actually saw one go bad. So if your question is are tattoos paleo as in part os a healthy life style. I would say yes they are. They are very low risk health wise and if you really want them to be super paleo do them your self with a bone needle and ink you made.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Are the inks they use for it the same as used in traditional society? My understanding (possibly wrong) is that some of the red dyes have mercury in it, so I would want to stay clear of any of that.

That said, I find tattoos extremely sexy on women, so please don't stop doing it!

0
Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:15 PM

Well, since I don't want it to fade, it's the one place where I still regularly apply sunscreen. Not paleo in that regard.

0
31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on May 03, 2011
at 10:40 AM

I vote YES! Very Paleo! Little to no risk if you go to a reputable place and the benefit is getting to wear a piece of art that means something to you or just looks good on your skin for all, or no one depending on the placement, to see. I love my tattoos and LOVE tattooed women. :)

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