Drew Barrymore has them, so does singer and actress Courtney Love, Beverly Hills, 90210 star Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Devon Sawa, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and Mel B. and Mel C. from the Spice Girls. We're talking about tattoos. And let's face it, they're trendy. But do trends last? Tattoos may be cool today, but will they still be cool years from now? BOP sat down with the Backstreet Boys - whose hit song "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" from their self tittles debut is quickly rising up the charts - and asked them what they thought of tattoos in this exclusive intimate conversation.
Though the Backstreet Boys would never like nor dislike a girl just because she has a tattoo (these cuties are way too sensitive and caring to be that superficial), Brian Littrell admits that sometimes he does find tattoos attractive. "I mthink that they are sexy, yea. I mean, depending on where they are," the 22-year-old tells BOP."And who's wearing them," 17-year-old Nick Carter finishes.
Twenty-four-year-old Kevin Richardson agrees that girls can look good with tattoos, but like Brian, he believes it all depends on the size and the place of the tattoo. "It's gotta be the right tattoo in the right place, like the ankle, or the small of the back," he says.
Even Howie Dorough, who turns 24 later this month, likes a tattooed girl now and then. "When I was younger, I used to not like tattoos, especially on girls," Howie admits. "But as I've gotten older, I've adapted to the thought of them and now think that they are sexy."
However, tattoos arent's for everyone, say the boys, and just because they look good on Drew and Mel B. doesn't mean they will look good on you, too. Nick says that "depending on where they are and who's wearing it," tattoos can be cool or uncool. "Our choreographer, Fatima, has tattoos," he points out. "And it looks good on her."
One thing to remember, though, is that tattoos are permanent, so the Backstreet Boys advise you to remember that in case you're thinking of getting one. As 19-year-old A.J. McLean shares, he found out about the downside of permanent tattoos when he visited some friends back home. "They can be back," he says, "because one of my friends, his fiancee is pregnant, and the tattooed sun around her belly is huge now. It's all stretched out."
Thoughts or having something permanent on your body have made Kevin think twice about getting a tattoo. "I would like to get one," he confides. "But the idea of having something on your body that is on forever and you can't get rid of..." Kevin needn't say more, because Howie sums up his fears: The whole idea of having something on my body that I cant's get rid of, and what it's going to look like when I'm 80 years old and all wrinkled, I jsut dont' know. I just don't really think of something too permanent on my body."
Unlike Kevin or Howie, Nick cant's wait to get a tattoo. You see, his own father and grandfather have tattoos. In fact, even Nick's great- grandfather had one, so Nick would like to keep up the family tradition. However, the rule is that he has to wait until he turns 18 before he can get one, which won't be until next January. Nonetheless, Nick alreayd has the design picked out. "It would be something that I saw my dad get," he says excitedly. "I would get a sun on my back."
Brian, too plans on getting tattooed, not once- but twoce. Except he's not in any hurry to get it done. "It's not a priority, really," Brian explains. "But I would like to have two tattoos. One similar to Nick's on my back in the middle, and one on my shoulder blade."
It seems as though a symbol of the sun is a favorite design for the Backstreet Boys, because A.J. would like to get a sun tattoo as well. Not because of family traditions, like Nick, but simply because the sun symbol appeals to him. "I'm into tribal things," he explains. "I like a lot of tribal designs so I want a sun on my back- big, like a dinner plate."
A.J. cites actor George Clooney's character from the 1996 movie From Dusk Till Dawn as an inspiration for wanting to get tattoos."His character's tattoo started at his elbow and went up to his neck," he explains."I dont' want the neck part, I just want the shoulder and the elbow. I'd like tribal symbols around my belly button , too. I don't want to cover my whole body, but..." Laughing at his overly eager bandmate, Kevin adds, "Basically, he wants to cover his whole body."
Since none of the boys actually have tattoos, they're not sure if it would be painful to have one etched onto their skins. A.J., who jokingly describes himself as a "bug wuss," thinks that he may not be able to go through with the experience of going to a tattoo parlor, sitting down in a chair and having an artist use the required needle to sketch in the design. "I'll probably sit there and, knowing me, when it's half done, I'll be like, 'No, stop! I don't want anymore!,'" he admits to BOP.
Because getting tattooed can be ultra- painful and the reslut is permanent, maybe the Backstreet Boys should explore other tattooing options. One of the latest trends is the traditional Indian method of body painting called Mehndi, which uses a plant called henna to dye the skin. The result is more appealing to those contemplating tattoos because the results last about two weeks. Actors Drew Barrymore and Liv Tyler and rockers Gwen Stefani and the Artist Formerly Known as Prince are already getting it done!
Having a design on your body that fades in time appeals to Howie. "If it only gets to a certain layer of your skin, and as time goes on it wears off, maybe something like that might be a good option," he ponders. Well that's a permanent choice we can all live with- and a painless one at that!
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