Tattoos on darker skin have a long history, in fact we’ve probably been tattooing longer than white skin has even existed in humans. Tattoos have a long history in Asian and Micronesia. We’ve also found tattoos on human remains from the Nile Valley civilizations; ancient Egypt and Nubia. And yet, in 21st century London it can be a struggle for someone of a darker skin tone to find an artist whose aesthetic they like and who is willing to take them on as a canvas.
2021 is going to be important, and not just because we might get to wear something other than facemasks and tracksuit bottoms for a change. Coronavirus aside, 2021 is a census year. Of all the admin tasks that the Government requires of us, the census is by far the most interesting. Conducted once every ten years, it’s a vital resource for understanding how the country is changing in terms of our living habits, professions and, of course, ethnicities. And after a year of Black Lives Matter protests on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s vital that it measures ethnicity accurately. But for people like me, our ethnicities won’t be counted. And that hurts everyone.