Posts Tagged ‘faces’
Megan Fox shows the unwanted Marilyn Monroe tattoo at the launch of Transformers in 2009. Source: AP
TATTOOS are designed to last for life – but nothing endures that long in Hollywood. Film stars such as Megan Fox, the Transformers actress, who helped to make them fashionable are now leading a backlash against "body art".
Fox is undergoing painful treatment to remove a portrait of Marilyn Monroe from her arm. the 25-year-old actress told an Italian magazine last week that the Monroe portrait was being erased because it got in the way of her work. "It’s too negative," she said.
Statistics suggest Fox is far from alone. according to a Harris poll, the number of tattooed Americans, which was below 10 per cent until 1990, soared to 16 per cent in 2003 but fell back to 14 per cent in 2008.
Since then the number of US tattoo parlours has fallen by 10 per cent and laser removal treatments are booming, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
"not everyone is erasing them entirely – just off the hands, arms and faces, which might get in the way of the next job," the academy said last week.
While elaborate designs may still be popular in jails, Silicon Valley and other youth-oriented centres of enterprise, elsewhere they are being removed.
"Starbucks may have accepted them but other retailers are turning away jobseekers because their tattoos may unsettle older shoppers," said the Texas Chamber of Commerce.
Body art may also unsettle jurors: last year John Ditullio, once a leading member of Florida’s neo-nazi movement, asked a judge to employ a make-up artist to cover the swastika on his neck during his murder trail. he was still found guilty.
Police officers in Phoenix, Arizona, have been ordered to cover up all tattoos. "we are professional and don’t want to give anyone a reason to mistrust us," said the Phoenix force, which has also banned pierced tongues.
Names of loved ones have always been most vulnerable to change. when Johnny Depp broke up with fellow actor Winona Ryder, he changed the inked name to "Wino Forever’.
Eva Longoria, the Desperate Housewives actress, is undergoing laser treatment to erase the number nine from the back of her neck – it represented her former husband’s number in the San Antonio Spurs basketball team.
The young may also be growing tired of tattoos: Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of rock star Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon, said she got tattooed as "a way of self-harming to upset my mum and dad".
Aged 26, she no longer feels the need to rebel and is having many of them erased.
RICHMOND — The way Diego Garcia sees it, once you’ve gotten in as deep as he was, you never really escape the gang. All you can do is change your lifestyle. For Garcia, a .45-caliber bullet to the chest made that decision easy.
Garcia, 36, joined Richmond’s Easter Hill gang as a child and took part in drug deals, beatings and drive-by shootings before landing in the hospital at age 18.
“We didn’t have good role models, we didn’t have after-school programs,” he said. “I used to think there was only one thing that I was good at.”
These days, Garcia devotes himself to making sure other kids don’t have those excuses to join a gang. he speaks to at-risk youths several times a month and makes house calls throughout the community. he also presides over Richmond Sol, a soccer program that’s become a haven for youths in a city where half of the 12 homicide victims so far this year were under age 26.
On a recent weeknight, Garcia scanned the serious faces of preteens gathered around him to ensure they were listening before choosing one to lead the group in a stretch. “One, two, three,” the boys chanted in unison, as Garcia strode across the field at Martin Luther King Jr. Park to check on the younger kids.
Garcia guides the 350 students and 46 volunteer coaches that constitute Richmond Sol with the same emphasis on respect, order and hierarchy that defined his life as a gang member.
“The principles are the same,” he said. “I think what the kids crave is the structure, direction.”
When Garcia’s family immigrated to Richmond from Mexico in the 1970s, there were just three other Mexican families in the Easter Hill projects, between Cutting Boulevard and Interstate 580. They all had to band together to figure out how to keep each other safe, Garcia said.
But as more families arrived in the 1980s, what started as a pact of mutual protection coalesced into the largest Sureño gang in Richmond, with Garcia’s brothers as leaders. BC TEST ADS ON INSTREAM
“We didn’t join the gang,” he said. “We just grew up into it because of our older brothers.”
Garcia started dealing drugs when he was 9 years old and learned how to use a gun shortly thereafter. he studied boxing and became the gang’s first line of defense for street fights. but in 1993, when he told a rival gang member at Southland Mall in Hayward to fight him instead of his friend, the man shot him through the lung.
When detective Ed Medina, of the Richmond Police Department, heard Garcia was in the hospital, he decided to drop off a business card. A few weeks later, the 18-year-old shocked him by calling to say that he wanted to get out of the life.
“For us, it was unheard of,” said Captain Medina, now deputy chief at the department. “Just to have a hardened gang member of that caliber opening up to law enforcement.”
After mulling his life choices over for three months while recovering in the hospital, Garcia decided to leave the gang before he ended up hurting someone close to him, such as his girlfriend — now his wife — who visited him more than any member of his “gang family.”
Today, Latinos constitute 40 percent of the city’s population and police say gangs are recruiting at younger and younger ages.
Garcia says Richmond Sol is not a just a league but a complete mentoring program. he requires students to participate in community service days, invites them to his home for homework help and takes them on trips around the Bay Area (sometimes, their first ride on BART).
At soccer practice recently, boys in Day-Glo jerseys ran sprints and bobbled balls while Garcia, bands of tribal tattoos covered by a thick blue sweatshirt, offered advice and encouragement.
He stopped a teen putting students through laps to explain that the young man had been playing with him for 10 years, and was recently hired to lead Richmond’s adult soccer league.
Christian Tirado, 18, said Garcia is his idol because he taught him “what is good.”
On the bleachers, Catalina Delgado watched her sons practice passes. Delgado said she used to worry about the boys going down a bad path, but now they’re so busy with daily practice and weekend games that she no longer frets.
“He has a way of talking to the kids — they respect him,” she said. “What power these men have over the boys.”
While committed to steering young people away from violence, Garcia also refuses to shut gang members out of his life — it would mean cutting himself off from too much of the community.
Diego maintains a welcoming, barbershop-type atmosphere in the small soccer and printing shop he owns on Macdonald Avenue, which is packed with plastic-covered jerseys and Mexican snack food.
Men often come to him with brothers and cousins they hope will choose a different path from their own, and he is sometimes able to use his connections to defuse violence. This past Cinco de Mayo, for example, Garcia says he was able to prevent a group of men from jumping one of his students by speaking with their gang leader, who told them, “This guy is an OG (original gangster) and he’s not into this anymore. You gotta let this guy go.”
The concept of gang intervention, which relies on former gang members to help police prevent violence, came under fire recently after a few widely publicized cases of interventionists falling back into crime. but Medina believes youth are more likely to accept the advice of a street-wise ally than the stern admonitions of law-and-order authorities.
“In my opinion, you don’t really ever get out — that very respect that they have from the other gang members proves my point,” he said. “But they have the credibility, they speak the language and they use that for good.”
A former Norteño who worked with Garcia in the 1990s said that in the beginning, police suspected them of recruiting.
“It took a lot of years to be respected by the community,” said Gonzalo Rucobo, co-founder of Bay Area Peacekeepers.
Garcia says it feels strange to have so many kids looking up to him. he wishes that his community had more male role models.
But for Rucobo, the example Garcia sets is as powerful as the work he does. in addition to coaching and speaking to youth, Garcia sits on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission and uses the skills that once made him the gang’s designated tattoo and graffiti artist to paint public murals throughout Northern California.
“Society has this false thought that gang members want their family to be in gangs. really, you get conditioned to think that you’re stuck in that lifestyle,” Rucobo said. “With Diego, there’s a visual. He’s changed his life, he runs his own business; he’s made a difference in showing it doesn’t matter where you came from.”
Contact Hannah Dreier at 510-262-2787. Follow her at Twitter.com/hannahdreier.