TATTOO TALK

These "Roll Flower" Tattoos Celebrate Fat Bodies In Their Most Natural State

Artist Carrie Metz-Caporusso created these designs to highlight a part of the body society usually tells us to be ashamed of.?
side by side images of flower tattoos on back rolls
Courtesy of Carrie Metz-Caporusso

To my fellow plus-size tattoo lovers: Have you also ever looked at a body part of yours and thought, "I'll get that tattooed when I'm in better shape," no matter how secure you felt in your body at that moment? I have. And though I sternly believe that all bodies are great as they are, that thin-equals-worthy mentality that's been subconsciously hammered into my psyche is still clearly pulling some strings in my brain and preventing me from doing the things I really want to — especially when to comes to getting tattooed.?

That might be at least partly because, as Michigan-based tattoo artist Carrie Metz-Caporusso also notices, many popular tattoo trends are designed specifically for bodies that adhere to a certain beauty standard (or at least that's what we tend to see on Pinterest and other online tattoo communities). "I have been tattooing professionally for eight years and in that time I noticed that tattoo designs that were made to compliment someone's body were always for thin or muscular body types," they tell Allure. "Never have I seen anyone come up with anything particularly for fat bodies."

Courtesy of Carrie Metz-Caporusso

To combat this lack of inclusion, Metz-Caporusso developed a whole new type of tattoo called "roll flowers," which are intricate floral designs intended to be tattooed within and around the creases of body rolls. "I think getting something beautiful tattooed on you regardless of if it's on a roll or not can help you feel like you're in control of your body," they explain. "I'm hoping someday this type of tattoo will be as benign as getting an ankle tattoo and that being fat can be seen as a neutral thing, neither good nor bad."

These tattoos, Metz-Caporusso tells me, "highlight something that society said we should be ashamed of, drawing more attention to it, not disguising it," but the message goes much further beyond that; it isn't so much about body positivity as it is specifically about fat acceptance. "I'm here to challenge the thought of 'what if they lose weight,'" they explain. "I want fat people to not be looked at as something that needs to be changed or fixed. I want fat people to not have to be in a constant state of wanting to lose weight to be considered worthy. I want fat people to know fatness is not a failure. I want fat people to view their bodies as bodies nothing more or less."

Courtesy of Carrie Metz-Caporusso

Each of these tattoos is custom-designed for the client's body, and according to Metz-Caporusso's Instagram, clients must have "defined rolls" (visible while standing in a neutral position) to get one. To keep clients feeling safe and comfortable during the tattoo process, they ask for consent and use body-neutral language every step of the way. "The client must feel in control of what's going on with their body," Metz-Caporusso says.?

The result, as is clear to see from their portfolio of work, is undeniably beautiful in a plethora of ways ?— and if that's not the magic of tattoos at work, I don't know what is.


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