Tattoos Tell Stories: Children’s Literature Tattoos as a Form of Life Narrative
Keywords:life narrative, constructing identity, children's literature, tattoos
Tattoos and children’s literature seem to have little in common, but they come together in the form of children’s literature tattoos, which I argue in this article to be a new form of life narrative. A lot of literary tattoos are inspired by children’s literature such as the Harry Potter-series and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Despite being inspired by a literary work, the tattoos function as personal memoirs of childhood as well as a reflection of the tattooees’ hopes for the future and who they want to become. I empirically study these children’s literature tattoos as life narratives by combining three data sets: blogs with personal stories related to literary tattoos, an online questionnaire about the meaning of children’s literature tattoos for tattooees themselves, and semi-structured interviews. Based on my research, I argue that children’s literature tattoos tell personal stories about the tattooees and their lives and can thus be considered a form of life narrative. Children’s literature tattoos narrate what someone has been through, what someone likes, but most of all the things that shape the person and that they hope will continue to shape them in the future.
Copyright (c) 2021 Marjolein Breems
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