A friend of mine once said that he likes appreciates a neck tattoo because it instantly lets him know where he stands with the tattooed stranger. There’s more uncertainty with someone rocking a neck tattoo so he viewed it as the inked up version of a “Watch for falling rocks” sign.
There’s not guaranteed chaos, but you recognize the increased odds.There are two things instantly noticeable about the neck tattoo. First, by inking your neck, you ensure that everyone sees your artwork. Maybe there is a certain idea or philosophy that you want to convey to others before the conversation ever begins (Possibly that you are, or were, in a relationship with a woman named “Stephanie”).
That example, however, implies that a certain degree of thoughtfulness went into the decision. A tattoo on your neck is much more likely to be impulsive, reckless and very short sighted.
Another consequence to the neck tattoo is that it precludes you from traditional careers. If you already have a record deal, a neck tattoo can be a value-add. If you have yet to break into your career or have yet to choose one, you are committing yourself to a career track that you may not be able to succeed in.
Essentially, you’re buying the $80k necklace before you get the Yeezy-level contract.
Fashion, Style and Tattoos
People often look back and laugh at pictures from their younger years. Why? It all has to do with the transient nature of high fashion. The most popular word in the fashion industry is “season.” They design clothes to be relevant for three months out of the year.
Living in the moment, you are rated high on the style scale. Five years removed from the outfit you can start to see how ridiculous style can look when you try to be too trendy. A neck tattoo in the future is the style equivalent of a powdered wig worn by men in the 18th century.
Basketball and Neck Tattoos
In basketball, the neck tattoo seems to have gained popularity over the past two decades. Coincidentally or not, the neck tattoo is also wildly popular in hip hop culture. Given that hip hop and basketball are completely intertwined now, it’s easy to see a correlation.
Players have the attention of hip hop but no street cred. Thus, neck tattoos give the appearance of toughness that otherwise doesn’t exist.
Below is a shot of the Men’s Basketball team from the 1992 Olympic Games, otherwise known as the “Dream Team.” Take a good scan of the 12 players and see if you can find any tattoos. Not a single (visible) tattoo.
Keep in mind that back in 1992, Tupac was the only mainstream rapper to color himself in tattoos.
Now take a look at the Men’s Basketball team from the 2012 Olympic Games. Based on only the tattoos visible from the front, there are now 6 players with tattoos. That’s an increase from 0% to 50%.
And you can compare that to the top rappers today: Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, The Game, Drake, Eminem, Tyga and that’s just from the first row of my Google Images search results.
The Next Five Years
Tattoos are at peak popularity now and there are no signs of the trend changing course anytime soon. Although neck tattoos are increasing in popularity in music and some sports, it does seem to be limited to fame and gangs.
So if we meet and you are rocking a neck tattoo, it’s all good. Well, all good in the sense that I’m not putting my back to you and you can’t sit next to my fiance. I still love you, but only like I love pit bulls. They can be beautiful companions and safe members of the dog community but they also carry higher odds of eating my face.
Please don’t eat my face.