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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality show is very much pro-body art, and the risks of getting a tattoo aren't addressed directly. Though viewers don't see blood, they do see the tattoo needle piercing the skin. Some of the stories behind clients' tattoos are emotionally gripping, such as those involving the loss of a friend or relative. Some of the clothes worn by the tattoo artists and their clients are fairly provocative -- expect lots of black leather and tight denim. Also expect to hear frequent bleeps as the show tries to keep up with the profanity pouring out of both artists' and clients' mouths.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
After tattoo artist Kat Von D split from the shop featured in Miami Ink, she opened her own shop in Los Angeles -- the subject of this reality show. LA INK tracks the characters and action at the tattoo parlor. Clients getting body art share the reasons for their choices. Stories can be both sad and inspiring, like people who get tattoos in remembrance of a deceased friend or family member. In contrast to the male-dominated world of Miami Ink, Kat's shop is heavily female. The talented women (whose tendency to dress in revealing clothes gives LA Ink a racier feel than its Miami counterpart) boast a variety of specialties, from pin-up images to portraits to colorful floral displays.
Is it any good?
Surprisingly, the show's real draw are the tattoo artists -- visually interesting characters whose personalities can be warm and appealing. But the show's focus on body art means that parents may feel uncomfortable with some of its content, from dark images like skulls and weapons to piercings and other body manipulations (like a split tongue that twists and turns in potentially provocative ways). Though safety precautions are clearly taken throughout the tattooing process, the risks associated with needles or infection aren't explicitly discussed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about professions that tend to be dominated by one sex or the other. Why do you think most tattoo artists are men? Which professions are dominated by women? What leads to gender domination in different professions? How does that one-sidedness effect the prestige and profitability of the job? Families can also discuss tattoos. What are parents' and kids' opinions on tattoos? If they differ, why? Do people's opinions about body art tend to change as they get older? Why? Why is getting a piece of body art a big decision? What are some of the risks in tattooing?