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.”
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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