February 25th, 2008

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12:54 am - on scarring your children for life... (but in a cool GenX kinda way)
The Dahm Triplets

The Dahm Triplets
One is married to Dr. Phil's kid.
No accounting for taste.
So the other day, beststephi and I were watching the TV show, 1 vs. 100. For those who have never seen it, the base premise is that one contestant competes in trivia questions against a mob of 100 contestants for a chance to win $1million. If the contestant ever gets a question wrong, then the mob splits whatever money the contestant would have won. The mob includes a bunch of regular people, who change from game to game, and some celebrities (I use that term loosely), who stay for the whole season and play for chairity. In actuality, the mob has 102 people in it, because one of the celebrities is the Dahm Triplets, who play as a unit as one mob member.

For some reason, I decided to look up the Wikipedia entry for the sisters (not really sure why, they look anything but hot on the show, though the internet proves them to be much better looking) and I found something that I can't decide if it's disturbing or not. Apparently, two of the three twins have tattoos. Why are tattoos disturbing, well, they're not really. But in this case, its the circumstance. When the twins were born their parents had one of them tattooed with a small dot on her ass. Another has two small dots. And one was left uninked. The parents used these markings to distinguish which was which when they were babies.

For some reason, that just seems like the weirdest craziest thing I've ever heard. I don't really know why. I know a lot of people in the modern day and age are against (male) circumcision of newborns. I still know others who are against the piercing of the ears of little girls. Neither of those things really bother me though. Yet, the very concept of tattooing a kid for recognition, even in a relatively innocuous way like that just seems crazy to me. I asked Steph, and she seemed to think it wasn't that big a deal, especially since the markings aren't really visible (the twins were Playboy Playmates, jointly in December 1998. I spent some time scouring the internets "researching" nekkid pictures of them, and I can't see the dots for the life of me), but something about it still bothers me.

So I ask you oh blogosphere. Is this crazy? If you had triplets would you do that to them? Would you pick somewhere less potentially embarrasing than the ass? The sole of the foot came to mind for me. And how do you decide which of the three girls to spare? As I've thought about it, it occured to me that if I were going to do it, I'd probably at least pick something cooler than dots, so as the girls grew older and began sexing it up or appearing in Playboy (which they did at the SUGGESTION of their father) it would look like they did it on purpose. Maybe a little heart on one's ass, a star on another and for the third (since I wouldn't want to leave someone out), I dunno... something simple... like a portrait of Harry S. Truman.

And how does this compare to regular customs. Is it barbaric to circumsize a kid? How about piercing their ears? Or is it ok to tattoo a baby just for fun. Maybe its a good idea to tattoo all of your kids with their names across their forehead for easy identification should they ever get misplaced or kidnapped.

Of course, once we start barcoding everyone this will all be moot.

(38 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]From: see_me_naked Date: February 25th, 2008 - 06:27 am (Link)
lol I apparently skipped your first paragraph the entire time I was reading this, I was picturing the twins from SisterSister, thinking the show was called Sisters.

Lol at everything.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:41 pm (Link)
hehehe... thanks. So what do you think though? is it cool to tattoo children for identification?
[User Picture]From: limpingpigeon Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:53 am (Link)
I can understand the need to help the parents tell them apart. I think a lot of people have the knee-jerk "you couldn't tell your own kids apart???" reaction, but to me all babies look pretty much the same even when they're NOT genetically identical. I can't imagine have three at a time, who all look alike and are the same age. I have to admit that while tattooing seems extreme, I can't think of a better way to go about doing it. As for a less embarassing place, I would think that by the time the children are old enough to be even really be aware that their parents are checking their ass for dots, let alone embarassed by it, they've probably developed unique habits and personalities between them that the parents can tell them apart anyway.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:44 pm (Link)
the thing is, tattooing is pretty permanent. Much more so than earrings. And even with something non-descript like just a little dot, it just seems like "what if the kid grows up and is anti-tattoo?" Maybe its not a big deal. I mean, you can probably more or less raise the kid to not care. And really, who would even think about it. I'm certainly not "anti-birthmark." I don't even think about it for the most part.
[User Picture]From: thompso2 Date: February 25th, 2008 - 12:44 pm (Link)
I can't say I'm horrified by it, but it does seem a bit extreme...and dots were a very boring choice. It seems to me that you could just dress them in different outfits to distinguish them, until they're old enough that you can tell by personality. But I don't have kids, much less triplets, so what do I know?
[User Picture]From: blk Date: February 25th, 2008 - 01:55 pm (Link)
But then you have to give them a bath, and it all goes to pieces. :)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:46 pm (Link)
From: thompso2 Date: February 26th, 2008 - 04:09 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 26th, 2008 - 06:13 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:45 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: February 25th, 2008 - 01:06 pm (Link)
I have had some interesting conversations with my sister, who is a digital photo editor for a major pornography/erotica magazine publisher. Those photos are edited the Hell out of. Tattoos are usually removed, as well as stretch marks, scars, zits, moles, tumors (at least once). Bone structures are changed, curves are modified, facial features moved. So, I'm not surprised you wouldn't see the dots in Playboy.

I'm not freaked out about marking triplets (or twins, etc...) at birth to be able to tell them apart. That was a pretty sure way of doing it, and not particularly obtrusive.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:49 pm (Link)
well, of course you'd cover it up. I mean, you cover up zits with makeup. That's an obvious thing to do. That wasn't really my point. And yes, any good glamour photographer fixes things. (well, maybe I shouldn't say any... I know a lot who are very anti-photoshopping, but whatever) I do it all the time. Tell you sister to get me a job.

See, I dunno. Somehow it just does seem obtrusive to me. I mean, really, it probably isn't. But at my gut, it feels like it should be.
[User Picture]From: rmitz Date: February 25th, 2008 - 01:54 pm (Link)
This doesn't seem particularly bad to me. And I'd say that rather than doing something "interesting", making a safe choice for something that's very small (remember, the tattoos are probably much larger now than they were then), rather than something "interesting" that the kids could very well hate, seems like a good choice.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:51 pm (Link)
oh... I was mostly joking about the interesting bits. Mostly anyway. I still might have done a small star or something instead of a dot.
[User Picture]From: blk Date: February 25th, 2008 - 01:58 pm (Link)
I'm not particularly fond of tattoos, so I think I would have gone with a very unobtrusive bracelet or anklet instead of a permanent mark, but I don't think it's a totally horrible awful thing. I'm pretty much against circumsizing and ear-piercing pre-consent, though.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:53 pm (Link)
I don't think many people ever consent to circumcising. Some, but not many. I think its soemthing best done before the ability to develop traumatic memories.

And yeah, I guess its much easier and cleaner to just sharpie their names on their foreheads every morning until you find someway of telling them apart.
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: February 25th, 2008 - 02:51 pm (Link)
Personally, I'm not a big fan or ear piercing on infants, mostly because it's a fashion choice and I think a child should have a say in anything that is even remotely permanent on their body.

Anything remotely permanent, that is, except circumsision. But I fully acknowledge that my belief on that is a purely religious one, and so I separate what I think is "right" with what I would personally do.

Sort of like "I like the smoking ban, but I don't think it's right for the gov't to decide such things."

Along those lines, I'm a big fan of giving the kid a bracelet or something to identify her. But a tattoo?! A little permanent. At least these tattoos appear to be basically faux freckles.
[User Picture]From: suicideking Date: February 25th, 2008 - 02:54 pm (Link)
I don't think it's anything more shocking than earrings. I wouldn't do it to my child, but I don't think of less of those that would... unless it was more than dots.
From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:07 pm (Link)
From: suicideking Date: February 26th, 2008 - 09:21 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2008 - 04:29 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:02 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: mickeysacks Date: February 25th, 2008 - 03:21 pm (Link)
I don't have any real problem with using a small tattoo dot or two to mark babies really... and it probably would just end up looking like a birthmark or mole in the long run so it's hardly a traumatic mark (as you yourself discovered in your -ahem- "research"). It doesn't seem like the most logical way to me really, but to each their own.

I have friends with twin daughters and they got the girls ears peirced with different colored earrings so they'd always be able to tell them apart when they were really little. That had the "socially acceptable" thing going for it I guess. But the real bonus was that they could see it pretty much all the time. They wanted to be able to call their kids the right names and not confuse them (not confuse the babies, confuse themsleves about the names... I doubt the girls would have noticed as infants if they occasionally heard each other's names used. But then my mother called me my brother's name enough times when we were kids... usually when yelling at me :) I kinda think having a mark on their butt so you'd need to take off the baby's diaper to be really sure seems less useful for that one.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:10 pm (Link)
yeah, I actually thought of the ear thing. that seemed to make a lot more sense to me. The butt dot just seemed really inconvenient.
[User Picture]From: bk2w Date: February 25th, 2008 - 05:14 pm (Link)
Skin is going to stretch as they grow, though, so any kind of design tattooed when they're babies has a high chance of stretching all out of shape by the time they're adults. Dots at least are small enough to not be largely effected by that.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:13 pm (Link)
well, yeah sure... if you're going to do a design, you'd have to be really careful about it and pic something that would work right... like a small star or something.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: February 25th, 2008 - 05:36 pm (Link)
I think it's totally kooky. Hmmm, I have a newborn baby who poops a lot, and I think I'll create a sore spot near where the pooping happens. Really smart. I'll use the same argument against circumcision, in case you're interested. And babies with pierced ears just look dumb. Like a fashion accessory. Gilding the lily. In the end it's about choice. Babies don't get any choice in what dumb things their parents do to them, so we should avoid doing dumb things to our spawn as much as possible, especially if they're permanent.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:16 pm (Link)
see my response to marsinthestars above regarding the children's opinions on the modifications. I actually don't think earrings look silly on babies at all. But I've known tons of baby girls with pierced ears, so I'm probably just used to it.
[User Picture]From: arilinn Date: February 25th, 2008 - 06:43 pm (Link)
So, what's more disturbing is that they went for playboy at the suggestion of their father --- some sort of reverse oedipal syndrome going on there ?

I probably would do the tattoo - maybe not the bottom of the foot though (what if it got dirty? there is no way i would be able to keep 3 kids straight, and they would probably change around about 30 times. maybe first kid = no dot, 2nd = 1, 3rd = 2 though your idea of a different shape is interesting but would be hard to do and keep the design small
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:18 pm (Link)
yeah... I guess that does sound kinda weird. But on the other hand, I take pics of naked girls like all the time, so its hard for me to really be judgmental about it.
[User Picture]From: bryguypgh Date: February 25th, 2008 - 07:52 pm (Link)


Scaring or scarring?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 25th, 2008 - 08:19 pm (Link)

Re: Typo?

I mean, scarring, but I guess either works.
[User Picture]From: lacechenault Date: February 26th, 2008 - 04:07 pm (Link)
Ouch, I'm not appalled, but I wouldn't do it. - it does seem unnecessary, I mean couldn't you put some kind of bracelets on their wrists? Or maybe do the ear piercing and put different gems in their ears? Just seems too permanent - This coming from someone who did circumcise their boy.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2008 - 04:31 am (Link)
yeah, I don't think that's the way I'd go. It just wouldn't occur to me as soon as bracelets or earrings would. Well, you know... until now.
[User Picture]From: suprisesuprise Date: February 26th, 2008 - 05:15 pm (Link)
I really don't think that butt dot tattoos were the smartest choice. I mean just tie different coloured pieces of yarn around their wrists/ankles and then once you get to know their personalities, cut them off. I just think it would be weird/embarrassing for them to explain to their spouse why they have dots on their bottoms. "Oh yeah, my mom had me tattooed when I was a baby so she would tell me apart from my sisters..."

And then to think about what the tattooist was thinking when he did the tattoos. I'd be embarrassed to walk into a tattoo parlor asking for tattoos on my babies. I wonder how many shops they got laughed out of before they found someone to do it.

I had my ears pierced when I was 3 months old. I never really thought about it until I started getting other piercings a few years ago. I'm definitely against ear piercing on infants. They don't have a choice and I think they should have a say in whether they want holes in their ears or not. I mean I don't know anyone who is completely pissed at their parents for having their ears pierced, but still, it's the principle. Plus, unless you go to a piercing shop where they use new, clean needles, there are tons of nasty diseases and infections that come along with having a gun shoot an earring into your lobes. Piercing guns can't be sterilised so you don't know if you're coming out with just earrings or earrings + Hepatitis, AIDS,and whatever other nasty viruses that weren't cleaned off the gun. Gross.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2008 - 05:42 am (Link)
yeah... there's a lot more to think about now than there was when we were kids, but yeah, that's an issue. That said, the base concept of having a baby's ears pierced doesn't really bother me. Like I said above, it may not be a choice, but really, neither is most of the stuff parents hoist on their kids. Religion, values, tastes. I'll grant its more permanent, but I expect parents are at least hoping that their instilling religion is permanent as well.
From: nckd Date: March 1st, 2008 - 06:11 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: sonbanon Date: February 27th, 2008 - 01:07 pm (Link)
I don't think this is a big deal. And, coming from someone who does have a scar on her butt, that's not a big deal either. It adds character :)

However, it is kind of funny (and sad) that their parents couldn't tell their own kids apart. Maybe as infants they look more alike, but the triplets I knew in high school (males) were quite distinguishable from one another.

The ear piercing thing is also not a big deal and definitely not permanent. My daughter wanted her ears pierced in Kindergarten so we did it. Then she hated them so we let them close up. Then she wanted earrings again so we pierced them again in second or third grade. I also have earring holes that I had for years that have closed because of non-use.

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