I have just walked into a lamp post, and I am afraid I was looking at a woman's legs, and she was wearing the tiniest of skirts. I was not ogling just shocked, she had tattoos over the entirety of both legs, her arms were bare they too were tattooed.
There are lots of people in Brighton more or less covered in them and men and women whose faces are covered with piercings, I was in a fish and chip shop a few months ago, a woman was drink a cup of tea, and the tea was coming out through the holes in her face.
I don't know what it is about Brighton people and tattoos and piercings, there are tons of seedy tattoo and piercing studios in the city, and I am told that a really good one can be really expensive and some fine arts graduates have got into this "medium". My problem is what happens when these living canvasses age, the skin coarsens and wrinkles, there are going to be rows of old ladies in nursing homes with sagging butterflies or wreathes of barbed wire wobbling over flabby muscles and old men with holes in their ears which once held large fashionable earrings, yes and more tea dribbling down wrinkled faces.
What caused my accident was that the shock of seeing outside the CookShop, a pair of legs with rather pornographic imagery, in a rather fascinating Pop Art Genre, these were an expensive artistic statement, definitely not prison art done with a darning needle and a Biro.
I was distracted by the horror of it!
I mean what does someone think of themselves that they "modify", that is the term, themselves. I wanted to go up to the woman and say, "Look, God loves! You are made in his image and likeness! Listen!" Instead I just walked into the lamp post, no blood though.
Constantine the Great forbade the facial disfigurement of felons when he was converted. The Church has always regarded tattooing, scarification, piercing in the same light as mutilation. Modern examinations of conscience always seem to have a reference to "excessive" tattooing or piercing. There seems to be something profoundly unchristian about, but saying that one of my parishioners has a tattoo of the Holy Father on her shoulder....
Now I must put a note in the newsletter about modesty of dress when coming to Mass.