“How Far is Tattoo Far?” — A show that enables people to use art as a form of revenge on another person’s body. The premise of the television series is to bring in a couple– friends, family, or partners– and have them design tattoos for each other that are not revealed until after the couple are finished being tattooed. Many of the pairs selected are exes, frenemies, or a couple on bad terms which is obviously a recipe for disaster. The big reveal typically ends in hysterics with people crying, screaming, and cursing.

Getting a tattoo with another person is a notoriously foolish way to show trust, affection, and commitment, and this show really exposes the way some like to take advantage of other people. Many pairs join the show with the intention of pranking the other person with a tattoo exposing their biggest insecurities or even with a breakup declaration. Tramp stamps, chastity belts, and other ridiculous and humiliating tattoos are revealed. The initial reaction from the hosts and audience is shock and sometimes laughter, but that very quickly melts into pity and secondhand embarrassment for the victims of these “pranks.” It’s easy to say these people asked for trouble when they signed up for this but that hardly means they deserved the consequences. Given the cruel intentions behind the show, should it keep going on? Tattoos are artworks that become a meaningful and permanent part of one’s body. Many of the tattoos shown in the series are large and extremely noticeable, and the result is shame and embarrassment for those involved. In the end it just feels like glorified vandalism of a person’s body. Allowing people to utilize a tattoo as a form of revenge on another person is criminally immoral and should not be popularized by shows like this. It is anyone’s choice to participate in “pranks” like these but it makes for a trashy and cringe-worthy television show. Even the hosts end up crying along with the participants in every episode. This kind of reality TV entertainment is hardly worth the damage it causes to everyone involved.

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Esther Nguyen

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