Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

Kimberley Tattoo Star Face.jpgRegrets, I’ve had a few. But perhaps none so visible as those of Belgian teenager Kimberley Vlaminck, who claimed last week to have ‘fallen asleep’ in the tattooist’s chair and woken up with 56 stars tattooed across her face when she’d only–she said–asked for 3.

Now, anyone who’s ever gotten a tattoo (and I have 5) knows you don’t fall asleep while the needles are buzzing–not without some serious narcotic assistance. So it came as little surprise when Kimberley finally admitted under pressure that she’d lied out of fear of her father’s wrath.
Was there ever a more classic example of teenage foolishness than this vain hope to stay out of trouble by telling a ludicrous lie? “The dog ate my homework” truly pales by comparison.
As far as ethics are concerned, the worst part of this story is that Kimberley cast the blame on the artist, Rouslan Toumaniantz. She even apparently threatened to sue him instead of owning up to her actions. According to reports, she did claim a language barrier (the artist spoke Flemish, while she spoke French and English) was the problem, not anything malicious, yet still, it’s troubling how easily this young girl pointed the finger of blame at another to escape unpleasant consequences. The man’s livelihood could have been ruined, not to mention he could have faced angry retribution (his astonishingly tattoo-and-piercing-covered face is now all over the internet too).
Was this irresponsibility purely a teenaged lark? Well, if so, it’s one Kimberley will be carrying forever–or at least until she can scrape together the money to pay for laser surgery. I understand the tattoo artist was even generous enough to offer to pay half of the fee, before her confession came to light. Good for him–seems like he was handling things as ethically as possible, at least from the perspective of someone who thinks facial tattoos aren’t a big deal. I’m sure he’ll be getting written consent from his clients in the future!
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