It's a Nipply Slope: The 'Tittooing' Trend

4 years ago

The UK's The Telegraph reported on the latest, most awesome trend in the Disney Land odyssey that is women feeling inadequate about their bodies for arbitrary reasons: Nipple tattooing. Yep. Like those tiny nubbins themselves, this story is out there. Writer Radhika Sanghani reports:

Nipple tattooing, or ‘tittooing’ as it is nicknamed, is a process which originated as a medical procedure for breast reconstruction. Now, it serves as a cosmetic procedure for women to darken, enlarge and define their nipples and the surrounding areola. The semi-permanent treatment gives them their 'perfect nipples' and can last a life-time with regular top-ups.

Now, I would have written "regular touch-ups," but that's just me (Telegraph: you're really missing out some cutting edge word play over here across the pond). More to the point, when did nipple inferiority become a thing? I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think I could pick my nipples out of a line-up. Sanghani quotes Gail Proudman, an independent clinician, who characterizes the practice as "the fashion," and that some women think their "nipples are too pink or their boyfriends want them done." Really? Maybe HE should go first.

"The girls get them done so they can go topless and not be embarrassed," says Proudman, "Or when they're in a changing room and getting changed. They can go on holiday in front of their partners, go for massages, spray tans and just not be conscious of their body." That's a relief. I can't tell you how many times I'm in a changing room, enjoying the way some boot-cut fit of jeans hug my thighs only to become completely undone by my too-pink-or-too-dark, freakishly awful Frankennipples. I am so glad that I am not alone in this hideous first-world problem!

Several young women discuss the reasons behind their nipular enhancement in the piece, and despite the particularities of each story, a thru-line emerges: the fruitless and senseless pursuit of perfection. We have become a culture so transfixed by our own vanity, so obsessed with perceptions of the ideal, so skewed in our thinking about value and worth that women are not just willing, but eager, to subject even the most delicate, intimate, and obscure parts of their body to revision.

What are the real gains? Some argue that this procedure and others like it boost self-esteem and happiness and help women feel good about themselves. Others, like myself, argue that self-confidence and self-worth come from a place far greater than whatever is at the end of your 34Cs.



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