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There will never be an end to the opportunities that tattoos can present. Some of these opportunities are good and some are, well…not so good. But when all is said and done, as long as tattoo retains the popularity that it has gained over the last few years, there will always be an unlimited range of possibilities. I think that any smart or clever celebrity knows exactly how to wield tattoos in their favour as well. Take a look at the news on any given day of the week and you most likely will find something about this or that celebrity who has just acquired their most recent tattoo. The media love it and the celebrities themselves can’t get enough of the attention and press that a new tattoo presents them with.
Unsurprisingly enough, the world of the internet matched with the promise of a tattoo can bring an additional wealth of attention to a celebrity. At least that’s something that UK based, Sri Lanka born musician M.I.A plainly recognises. This past year saw the release of M.I.A.’s third album, MAYA. The album, which dealt with issues of government repression and Western society’s apathy as a result of its technological achievements, was panned by most critics as well as many of M.I.A.’s own fans.
After what amounted to something of a rough summer for M.I.A., she has switched things around in 2011 and is instead using the evil internet for her own personal gains. This time, she’s promised that if 200,000 fans join her on her Twitter page, she’ll get Born Free tattooed on to her fingers. Born Free was the title of the first single from MAYA (and arguably the best on the album) and it was only once a fan sent M.I.A. a photo of herself with the Born Free tattoo on her own fingers that M.I.A. decided that she wanted the same thing.
It’s funny to think that an artist would be capitalising on the success of another form of art in order to increase their own profile. I mean really, people aren’t going to be joining M.I.A.’s Twitter page because they love her music, they’ll be joining because they want to see her get a tattoo. If you really want to be cynical and critical about it, the entire thing has nothing to do with M.I.A., her politics or her music. It has to do with the love and fascination that the public have for seeing celebrities get tattooed.