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Women banned from nightclub for 'distasteful' tattoos

TT/Charlotte West · 30 Aug 2009, 09:12

Published: 30 Aug 2009 09:12 GMT+02:00

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Jessica Brotherton and her female friend were denied entry to the Swing Inn night club last weekend. Both women sport several tattoos, including one on their upper arms of vines with flowers.

“They told us that they don’t let in women with visible tattoos. But if we put on a sweater it would be alright,” Brotherton told Kvällsposten newspaper.

The two women were surprised because they have frequented Swing Inn on other occasions over a period of several years without encountering problems.

Club manager Gabrielle Holst confirmed that her establishment has long had a policy against visible tattoos.

“We want to have a well-groomed clientele with neat clothing. We think that tattoos look distasteful,” she told Kvällsposten newspaper.

Story continues below…

Holst added that their policy only applied to visible tattoos. “We obviously can’t ask patrons to take their clothes off,” she said.

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TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:35 August 30, 2009 by rybo1
I agree with the club manager. tattoos take away any beauty a woman may have and are frankly quite ugly. Hey, did you see grandma's tattoo?
11:02 August 30, 2009 by skane refugee
Swing Inn (or 'Jurassic Park' as it's known among the local expats) ... is not exactly packed full of 'beautiful people' ... when they say the åldergräns is 28+ ... the emphasis is very much on the '+' ;o) ;o)
12:16 August 30, 2009 by Kalyissa
Totally agree Skane Refugee when ever we go there theres people in there 40s and 50s im usually the youngest there though im under the 28 bracket ^^
13:46 August 30, 2009 by Beynch
I would support a tatoo ban in some clubs. A tatoo indicates, usually, having served time, or some other criminal past. I think tatoos demonstrate lawlessness and a lack of respect for the human body, that God gave us in perfect condition. It does not need beautification. I would, for example, never hire someone with visible tatoos, assuming the person is lazy, disinterested, and a poor performe, and with things other than work on the agenda. - And yes, I'm over 28, but under 40.
13:51 August 30, 2009 by eZee.se
"having served time, or some other criminal past. I think tatoos demonstrate lawlessness"

Used to be the case, but I doubt anymore.

Personally I dont have any tattoos, but i feel some look really good while others...bleh, then again art is subjective. Some can be downright distasteful though, i saw a guy having a tattoo of the devil sodomizing a girl... not something i want to see when out drinking a beer, having some chips and chatting up women.
15:02 August 30, 2009 by delusion1982
Give me a break! this looks too discriminant to me! I wonder if two girls wearing diamond necklaces would be banned because the human body doesn't need beautification! Or I think Gabrielle Holst would say: "ohh give us more of these, we like rich people who have diamonds, we are a classy bar" full of crap...

What about "free country" and "tolerance" and bla bla bla

@beynch: Do you live in Sweden or on the moon! 13 years old girls now have tattoos, and putting a tattoo doesnt show you are disinterested in your work, it just shows nothing! or we should be work slaves from now on?

I personally doesn't have tattoos, but see no problem with them at all, any person at some point in time would think to put on a tattoo, and if a bar would ban me from entering it if i did so, so i would probably break a leg from now!
15:12 August 30, 2009 by RoyceD
That should not be legal to turn people away because of a tattoo. A tattoo is something someone has decided to put on their body for life. It is their body and their life. If you find their tattoo distasteful... don't look at it. It really isn't offending anyone unless the tattoo itself is inherently offensive, eg a swastika or something. But flowers???
16:23 August 30, 2009 by martell
I cannot believe it. Liberal Sweden, and there are still people believing that tattooed people are mostly jailbirds..?

Ever watch TV or read the news? Tattoos are not only hugely popular among the masses, they have become socially acceptable all over Europe since the Eighties of the last century.

Also, even if not well done technically, depictions of flowers hardly can be looked down upon as something revolting.

So, literally the color of the skin has become the criterion for denying access in this case? I remember this is called racism.

16:36 August 30, 2009 by stainsbod
Lol Beynch. My god obviously had more of a sense of humor when he gave out "beautiful" bodies.
17:35 August 30, 2009 by Beynch
Well, it's nice when a comment stimulates debate. Thank God we can still present diverging opinions in Sweden. But ezee, delusion, royce, martell and stainsbod (assuming ther are indeed different people) all seem to be from the political left, where some opinions should preferably not be heard. And to insert `raaaaaacism` in the conversation is only childish, and typical of the radical left when they don't have an argument. Obliterate the left in 2010!
18:17 August 30, 2009 by Querist
Two (2) words describe females with tattoos..........

18:25 August 30, 2009 by jose_s
i can't believe how some people still have such stereotypes not just towards tattoos, but women with tattoos. there is a line where you can differentiate between a tramp stamp and someone just trying to express something on themselves.
19:11 August 30, 2009 by TvAmazon
I personally don't have tattoos and think they make women less attractive. The Club has every right not to let these women in. They have invested a large amount of their money and are trying to set a standard they fill is necessary to have a successful business.

It is not discrimation because tattoos are a personal choice not something you are born with. It has more to do with the women's clothing choices. If they had worn somthing to keep the tattoos covered then there wouldn't have been any problems. I own my own business and would not hire someone for a sales position if they have more than one or two small visible tattos.
23:25 August 30, 2009 by rmccall7
I find body art quite nice on most people. To me banned from a nightclub because of it is bordering on freedom of expression. Most people I know with tatoos have know criminal records. And are not gangstass either. I can't believe the predjudces in Sweden. I see a lot of narrow mindedness there.
00:57 August 31, 2009 by twiggytwigz

I can't belive how narrow minded people still can be in this day and age.

This article has really shone a light on the prejudice still found in the nooks of this society.

Querist - how dare you sterotype us as ' white trash' do you have any idea how innacurate and disrespectful that is?

I myself have many tattoos and i also work in a tattoo studio (following my dream). We see people come in from all levels of society, and with all kinds of jobs and positions. I myself worked for many years as a manager for a major credit card company in the UK, despite my many tattoos. Just because us tattooed people decide to get something permanent put onto our skins does not mean we live or have lived a certain lifestyle.

As for the slurs on 'prison tattoos' most of the tattoos people are getting today are miles from the old klichés of gang signs and crude artwork hacked in with an old pen and a needle. today's tattoo artist are a growing community of very talented artists who make a living of their art, much like some would sell a canvas at a gallery.

People get tattooed for an array of different reasons, it could be to commemorate the passing of a loved one, mark a certain period of ther life or simply to enhance and beautify a part of their body. Of course some people do make poor decitions, but it is their decition to make and we have no buisness judging them by it.

I urge you all to come to the Malmö tattoo expo at the begining of October in hope that it will really enlighten you on todays tattoo culture. It's big it's beautiful and its out there!
02:20 August 31, 2009 by lingonberrie
Concerning tattoos on men and women.

There is no accounting for taste.

The women's thing started with a little tattoo on the ankle, and migrated to the calf, and creeped up to the back and over to the shoulders, and now they cover themselves with them and wonder why they cannot get into establishments that require some semblence of decorum, common sense, and, yes, taste.

Fashion and fads come and go, tattoos are permanent.

Good taste never goes out of fashion.
02:38 August 31, 2009 by delusion1982
good taste is in the eyes of the observer, not in your @lingonberrie eyes.

its not a leftist opinion to say that evaluating a person by his choice of look is discriminant, its an clear as the light of sun for an educated free human. Its just the hypocrisy of the night club which disturbs me, I don't believe that they will turn down a famous singer with a tattoo, or a friend! If the dress code of a person is his/her tattoos, then we are back to the stupidity of our kliches which consumed a lot of social isolation and hatred to break free from.

The conservative ideas people like in this post have, is the reason driving the new young generations to exaggerate their actions in every way possible to break free from the prejudice of other people. Tell a teenager spitting in the street means you are a "white trash" you will see all teenagers spitting in the street just to prove you wrong, and at the end, whom to blame? only you.
03:51 August 31, 2009 by Captcha
@delusion 1982, in what self-help book did you find that dripple? Seems to me @lingonberrie has it about right. It may be that the tattoo ladies had been disruptive customers in some past visits and the club manager wanted a reason to bar them that was not "discriminant". But then again, what do I know.
06:45 August 31, 2009 by I Love it when ...
a) these people have wayyyyy to much free time

b) thats just funny
08:40 August 31, 2009 by LundenLad
Beynch, you do not know what you are talking about -- I met God, he has "Love" tattooed on the fingers of his left hand, "Hate" on his right, and a big spiders web tattoed on his neck. Obviously a workshy layabout, hasn't done a days work in 8000 years; also does not go to Mlmo nightclubs..
08:45 August 31, 2009 by Luckystrike
I sincerely hope that the above negative posters lack of insight and intelligence des not represent that of latest generation of refugees and immigrants, if so..I hope you run and of money, starve and have to crawl back into whichever hole you came out of.
10:35 August 31, 2009 by foxpur
Interesting belief that a tattoo means lawlessness.

I am a priest and I have tattoos. I have kids, 2 out of 4 have tattoos, one is a lawyer graduate the other is a computer tech. Neither are jail timers.

Tattoos can, and in this day often, are a art form where the skin this the canvas. As with any art it can be used in a poor way (such as tagging with paint).

But by no means does a tattoo need to mean lawlessness, it may not be a great artwork however.
12:00 August 31, 2009 by Xxsarahxx
Man, smokers, fat people, tatooed people, people who eat processed meats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is sooo much more going on in the world, we should all stop picking on each other or the whole world may end up like Nazi Germany!!

Its INK not Anthrax, let them in to the club..........
17:01 August 31, 2009 by Nina_
i have a tiny angel on my hip and it looks OK, but I was 18 when I got it and I regret it now. I regret it not because I have anything against tatoos, but because they don't fit my personality.

When I got it, my mother condemned it, like some people on here do, and said that it belongs to the uneducated, low classes. But as I said, I don't have anything against them.
19:00 August 31, 2009 by martell
Readers should not ignore the fact that already Sweden's King Karl XIV wore tattoos, among other things skull and crossbones and a swastika.

He was in good company as in these days quite a few bluebloods sported tattoos, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York (they even traveled to Japan for these authentic artworks), King Edward VII, Tsar Nikolaus, the Sultan of Johore, Danish Princes Christian and Karl, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, King George of England, Prince Christian-Viktor of Denmark, Princess Chiay, the King of Greece, Prince Heinrich of Prussia, Prince Waldemar of Denmark, Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, to name just a few.
22:57 August 31, 2009 by lingonberrie
Royalty knows no bounds, and just because royalty wore tattoos does not mean that tattoos are an acceptable form. When you have more money and time on your hands that you know what to do with, anything that acts as a diversion fits the scene.

People with good sense and good taste eschew tattoos, and that has nothing to do with inhibiting the proclivities of the current generation of youth.

What this is called is common sense. Judging by the comments to the contrary, not much of that exists today.
23:03 August 31, 2009 by Coalbanks
God gave us our bodies in perfect condition? Not in every case, or are you blind? Ooops! What next? Exclude anyone who does not meet your standards of taste? Oh, right, already being done, obviously. The club makes the rules, Ok, fine, now to advertise & apply them properly, please.
23:17 August 31, 2009 by futureishere
"It really isn't offending anyone unless the tattoo itself is inherently offensive, eg a swastika or something."

Actually I have a swastika tattoo...but its not a nazi swastika...its a hindu swastika. But I never had any problem with anyone getting offended by it!
23:52 August 31, 2009 by anduthinh
What if she is a 10/10? Would the tattoo matter?
00:40 September 1, 2009 by kenny8076
"beynch", you might bew a little crazy if you dont mind me saying!!! you wouldnt hire someone if they had tattoos because you would assume there lazy or not able to do the job? wahahahaha your insane, some of the greatest people in the history of humans have tattoos!! "

bodys that god gave us in perfect condition"? does that mean its ok for people born with missing legs or arms, or birthmarks on there faces, or skin problems, you mean those perfect conditions? they can get tattoos?

how about not judging people for having a flower tattoo or whatever they want and try seeing someone for who they are, like we teach our children!!!
02:54 September 1, 2009 by martell
Royalty still wears tattos, elected politicians who the people trust, policemen and soldiers who are reliable and protect the people, teachers and doctors, many of them are tattoed and serve the people.

Beynch and lingonberrie, your statements are plain discriminatory. To comfort you, here are some famous people you might like who were not tattooed: Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong.

Who are you to impose your "good taste" upon society?
08:49 September 1, 2009 by hpunlimited
Ok lets get some facts straight!!

The nightclub is private property, do not get this confused with "public buildings". The owner has 100% right to choose who he lets in or not. If he doesn't want people with gangster tattoos, then great for him, it is 100% his choice. If he didn't have THAT right, then we would be living in a communist state. Where the government tells you who you should let into your own private club, home etc.
12:44 September 1, 2009 by Plowbridge
One's opinion of whether tattoos are offensive or not is irrelevant here. It is up to an individual to decide what they want to wear and tattoos are part of attire.

However a club/bar/pub can decide on the image they want to portray and if they don't want to see guests looking a certain way then they don't have to let them in.
15:21 September 1, 2009 by LokeR

Get your facts straight!

An owner of a nightclub does not have unlimited rights to refuse anyone admittance.

For instance it is illegal in Sweden to refuse anyone based on race, sexual preference, religion, physical handicaps or indeed physical appearence.

The issue in this case has to be to determine wherther or not a tattoo is to be considered a physical attribute or a cosmetic addition. Might seem easy at first as the tattoo has (presumably) been added voluntarily and therefore is to be regarded as a cosmetic addition.

This point of view however does not take into consideration that a tattoo is permanent, and a person goes through many stages in a lifetime. The choices we make at one stage might not make much sense later in life, but they may be irreversible. Does that mean a person should accept exclusion from social forums and work? I can't see why.

And Plowbridge: If a Nightcub owner wants to portray his club in a certain way, surely it's better to attract a one type of crowd than to exclude another.
18:32 September 1, 2009 by lingonberrie
Stephanie Sadorra, nee, Jennie, is a beautiful, young, American porn star, model and business person who is also starting a graphics design business and who wears a tattoo just below her navel and that is only visible when she is engaged in one of her professions.

Jennie shows good taste. So, where does that put the rest of you who make excuses for the flagrant and blatant display of tattoos, specifically women, when a porn star shows more good taste than you?

Her tattoo is only an adjunct to her role in porn, much like a business signature. Otherwise, she has more sense than to mar her physical beauty with trash. She is a well-paid professional model, as well.

I admire her for her good taste, and for what she does in a porn business in public rather than what the married royals do in secret or among those, many, who flaunt their adultery, royalty or not. There is another name for married women who do this, but single women, like Jennie, do not have that name.

"My" standards of taste and good sense are not unique to me but shared by the hundreds of millions who prefer to display their strengths in other ways, rather than to mindlessly flaunt them.

Tattoos are an aberration in western "civilized" cultures whereas that practice is entirely acceptable in other indigenous cultures.
18:39 September 1, 2009 by snapperjac
Amazing. It's the clubs choice of course, but a stupid one imo, and says more about out-dated attitudes than anything else. They were hardly distasteful.
19:08 September 1, 2009 by martell
"... Tattoos are an aberration in western "civilized" cultures... "

lingonberrie, your knowledge of the history of tattooing seems a bit sketchy.

The tattoo has been a practice already since very early times in Europe (yes, the Western world). Italian Ötzi, pre-historic iceman, was tattooed. Members of the ancient Scottish Pict people were tattooed in certain patterns which scientists and historians believe were the forerunners to the tartan patterns. There are written hints which scholars interpret that the apostle Paul of the christian bible wore a tattoo; even the christian bible mentioned the practice of tattooing several times, even though as something not to be done because it was seen as something "pagan" which jew-christians were not supposed to do. Obviously there has been a religious background for tattooing in the old ages already. Different popes presumed to ban tattooing; even though, since these earliest times, coptic christians in egypt still sport tattoos of christian symbols.
21:20 September 1, 2009 by Scornful_Luigi

For your information, God does not exist. You are in the 21st century. Wake up. Do you also believe in Santa/Father Christmas? Probably.

08:53 September 2, 2009 by nrc71
wow wow wow Some of these comments are completely distasteful. Tattoos are no longer considered a sign of prison, gangs etc. Where do you people come from who think that way? Tattoos are just body decoration. I have tattoos and am not White Trash, in a gang, been in prison. You all should be ashamed of yourselves for judging people that way. Don't judge a book by its cover.

Shame on Swing for discrmmination! I will never go there again.
21:21 September 2, 2009 by Edna Harris
Yea! This was way too judgemental!

I don't like tatts and would never have one but each to their own!

Having a tatt has not stopped me hiring someone but I don't think they do anything to a body - male or female!!

I grew up in a Naval City so always associate tatts with Sailors and likewise the girls who dated them got tatts! I nursed in this same city so saw lots of people in the skin clinic with skin infections, or disasters after trying to remove the ex girlfriends/boyfriends name from their arms.
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