EDITORIAL – Tattooing eyeballs is taking the art of body decorating too far

I DON’T HAVE anything against Tattoo People.

I may not understand their culture, but I don’t discriminate against them just because their skin is a different colour than mine.

There is real artistry to a good tattoo. Some of my friends and quite a few of my family members have tattoos. Best I can figure, it’s an addiction — get one, you’ve just gotta get another one, and then another.

Maybe they just like looking at them. Maybe roses and butterflies and snakes and dragons and Mickey Mouse and lines from poems and the Bible and tributes to Mom are more interesting than Netflix.

On a serious note, of course, some people make use of tattoos to honour a lost loved one, and take comfort in acknowledging their loss in such a way.

Whatever the personal reasons for tatooing, I’m perfectly OK with it. It’s a matter of individual taste. And if you want to wear rings in your nose, tongue, ears and I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-where-else, it’s up to you. As long as it’s safe, no problem.

But there are some parts of the body that should be left alone. Like eyes.

There’s a thing called eye tattooing. This involves having diluted tattoo ink injected into the top layer of your eye so the white part is changed to a different colour.

If done properly by an ophthalmologist it can treat corneal scars but otherwise doctors say it’s risky.

A man in Alberta had an eye removed last year after it became infected from the ink. A woman in Ottawa has suffered partial loss of vision.

The legality is somewhat sketchy. Last week, the state of Indiana banned it. Ontario has also outlawed it. There are calls for bans in other countries as well.

But there’s more — eye jewelry. Yes, you can have jewelry implanted beneath the surface of your eye.

In this homogenized modern world, there seems no end to what people will do to make themselves look different. When it gets to the point of messing with your eyeballs, though, there really oughta be a law.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at


About Mel Rothenburger (6251 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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