Body Art In The Boardroom

To Pierce Or Not To Pierce? Rea MM from VIVALUXE.COM investigates...

Posted: 24.02.15

On a scale of one to rebellious, tattoos and piercings have always got some pretty serious press. If you’re an inked guy, it somehow translates as macho and mysterious - cue swoons from the ladies, provided it’s not some awful tribal tattoo or that matching Chinese word all your mates got after a big night out and that you thought meant ‘fate’, but the harsh morning sunlight and Google translate tells you otherwise. Why is it then, that when we ladies decide we want in on the fun, we are met with such a different reaction (and even more so when if we try and wear a saree or other Indian outfits at the same time as a ‘tatt’ or two?) Times have changed and people are way more accepting of these wonderful additions to the body, but must they still come with pre-conceived notions, attached like a very unwanted buy-one-get-one-free?

When did this body art start getting such bad press, anyway? And isn’t it high time it stopped? I don’t get it. It’s our body, our decision. Besides, I happen to very much like filling my ear’s nooks and crannies with a sparkly stud or two but that shouldn’t define my opportunities or abilities. The additional 11 piercings that I have to the universally ‘conventional’ one in each ear doesn’t mean that I can’t cook the perfect aloo-gobi (or bend the ball like Beckham!) The holes aren’t an outlet from which bits of brain begin to seep out, and they are certainly not an open invitation for one to judge my character. 

I’ll admit us writers and holders of other such non-corporate professions have it easy - we’re allowed a slight quirk. In fact; it’s encouraged to harbor tastes out of the ordinary. The Suits call it a form of ‘self-expression’, and although meant perhaps a little condescendingly, I’ll take it! That’s exactly what they are, whilst in every way connected to my personal preferences and taste. They should in no way be indicative of my professional capabilities. 

Ditto tattoos. Having interviewed tattoo artists across the country, it’s obvious that ladies have moved away from stereotypically cutesy shoulder blade fairies or scattered hearts and now prefer a personalised and meaningful design. The owner of Al’s a popular needle and ink store in Mumbai, draws attention to the rise in female body art, claiming that they make up over 65% of his client base. Tattoos are an everlasting memory; a reminder of times past, of people loved, as well as mottos to live by. One shouldn’t have to defend their choice to acquire one of the same... So I won’t. Instead, we’ve got here, a list of lovely ladies who seem to share my love of sharp needles and the fine etchings they produce on your bod.

Kate Moss

Known for her edgy style, this catwalk queen’s rocking over seven ear piercings, and more admirably, some bellybutton bling at the age of 41! 

Cara Delevingne

Her body’s like a never ending canvas for the plethora of inkings she’s had done recently. We’re particularly fond of the fierce Leo on the index finger. How’s that for originality?


In memory of her Grandmother, RiRi’s Egyptian goddess, whose wings spread across her ribcage is just one of 20+ personal tats all over her body. She’s also pierced her septum, navel, tragus and ears just for, you know, consistency. 

Sapna Bhavnani

Hairdresser to the stars, successful entrepreneur and theatre actress, this lady follows no rules but her own and is thriving in her chosen fields!

Kangana Ranaut

Having bossed the box office with her hit films this year, Bollywood’s new Queen has a statement tattoo at the nape of her neck. Maybe it’s these inked wings that are helping her soar?

Now for some real Asian girls with their personal stories behind their art:

Rea Malhotra Mukhtyar • Age 22 • Freelance Writer

This is me. My earrings creep up the left ear, stud after stud right up until the cartilage, which has a double flat-back punched into it! I’ve got 13 piercings in total and each one has a memory attached to it. I’ve got ones to mark the end of my first year at Uni, my first job after graduating, and the latest was done on the day my mum said “no more piercings”! I’ll admit she’s not the biggest fan, but I think they look great with my Indian wear, especially sarees, more is more when it comes to bling, right?

Tanya Vasunia • Age 23 • Psychologist at Messina Hospital

I am a Zorastrian by religion, and my tattoo is one of our symbols, which is an Asho Faravahar on the right shoulder, literally an angel watching over me. It’s a silent moral compass and permanent reminder of my roots and where I come from. Being a psychologist by profession, my tattoo represents a carefree side of myself! It’s an excellent conversation starter, especially when I’m wearing a backless saree blouse!

Meghna Bajaj • Age 20 • Fashion Design Student

I have two tattoos, one is an infinity sign, inside which my mother’s name is etched, and the second is a dove on my neck. I got the second done during a period of internal turmoil regarding my future; I felt overwhelmed, I got this tattoo as I was hoping for the motif of peace to enter all spheres of my life. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence but ever since getting the bird, everything’s been going really well for me. I now study Fashion Designing, a course I love, and use the tattoos as inspirations for my upcoming line. My mum got the same dove inked on her wrist last month, and I hope it is as much of a blessing for her. 

Nimisha Pancholi • Age: 32 • Laboratory Specialist

I've always been a fan of piercings and tattoos. I have a few piercings on each ear and one in my navel. I'm currently having a debate with my husband about whether I should get a nose piercing or not! During my young teenage years, I was a heavy girl and loved the idea of having my navel pierced. I targeted myself with losing weight and rewarded myself with a navel piercing which I could show off with my beautiful indian sarees and suits. I did this during my university years and my mother and sister who are both in law decided to pierce theirs too after seeing mine! Getting a tattoo is a different story. I had wanted a tattoo for years but never knew which one to get. Plus I was always afraid of meeting a tattooist called Rusty! The event that pushed me to commit myself was when I lost a very close friend. She had an impressive Aum tattoo on her arm and whenever I think of her and her tattoo it reminds me that she's at peace. As a Hindu, I always think of Lord Ganesh before taking on any activity or major step life. My tattoo is one of the Aum symbol which looks like Lord Ganesh and this not only reminds me of being at peace but that Lord Ganesh will always wish me 'good luck'. It is coming up to 10 years I have had the tattoo and it is definitely a conversation starter. My next tattoo will be my son's name, I just have to decide where to place it!

Having a piercing won’t automatically make you artsy, a tattoo can’t make you a delinquent and unfortunately, wearing a suit doesn’t mean you’re Bill Gates. The decision to add a little something onto your body should be influenced by nothing but your desire to get it done. You will be as good as the work you put in and the ambitions you aspire to. We’re a big fan of that whole freedom of expression thingamajig and haters will always hate, but you just do your thing and do it good. 


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