The league of ex­traor­di­nar­ily inked

Tat­toos now said to be de rigueur among gen­tle­men

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - HAN­NAH FUR­NESS

The key to be­ing a mod­ern gen­tle­man is to have a tat­too, ac­cord­ing to Coun­try Life mag­a­zine, as they sug­gest the trend for body art is ap­ing a tra­di­tion preva­lent in Bri­tish high so­ci­ety in the 19th century.

The mag­a­zine has named David Dim­bleby, who had a scor­pion tat­tooed on his shoul­der at the age of 75 and the much-dec­o­rated foot­baller David Beck­ham as win­ner and run­ner-up in their in­au­gu­ral Gen­tle­man of the Year com­pe­ti­tion.

Their po­si­tion is said to be a re­turn to the tastes of the late 19th century, when some gen­tle­men ex­hib­ited ex­otic tat­toos from Ja­panese artists, be­fore they fell out of fash­ion af­ter the turn of the century.

Hail­ing both Dim­bleby and Beck­ham as true gen­tle­men, the edi­tor of Coun­try Life ar­gued that hav­ing a tat­too had long been a mark of be­ing a gen­tle­man.

Mark Hedges joked that as­pi­ra­tional par­ents who wanted to bring up a gen­tle­man could now do worse than to “call their son David and get him a tat­too.”

“Gen­tle­men used to have lots of tat­toos,” he said. “It was quite a gen­tle­manly thing to do in the late 19th century. They would have a small in­jec­tion of co­caine and get a tat­too done by an artist brought over from Ja­pan.”

He added that the mag­a­zine had been inun­dated with mes­sages of sup­port since an­nounc­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, which was set up in an ef­fort to up­date the def­i­ni­tion of gen­tle­manly be­hav­iour.

Judges in­clud­ing Jilly Cooper, the au­thor, found that Dim­bleby “raises the tone of any event he’s af­fil­i­ated with,” serv­ing to “hold the na­tion steady when the wa­ters get choppy”.

They said of Beck­ham: “Eng­land’s mild-man­nered for­mer skip­per im­presses wher­ever he goes.” Sir David At­ten­bor­ough, in third place, was “daz­zlingly clever with a huge sense of fun.”

Jim Carter, the ac­tor who plays but­ler Carson in Down­ton Abbey, was named in fourth place, for his “quiet dig­nity” and pa­tience in the face of “be­ing chased down the street by squeal­ing devo­tees” of the pe­riod drama.

David Miliband, in fifth place, was com­mended for re­sist­ing the temp­ta­tion to “smirk” at his brother’s po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.

Antonov Mladen/AFP/Getty Im­ages

Coun­try Life gives a thumbs-up to David Beck­ham’s tat­toos — body art be­ing the dis­tin­guish­ing style sig­na­ture of the mod­ern gen­tle­man.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.