Is Sydney Leroux Saying Sayonara to Her Tattoos?

December 29, 2012

If you’re like me, you fly through your Twitter feed each day fairly rapidly, not paying a great deal of attention to most posts since about 90 percent of Tweets are nonsense anyways.

So, flying through like usual, going through my tweets the past few days, I noticed that USWNT forward Sydney Leroux was getting rid of her tattoos.

My first thought, obviously not looking at the picture too closely, was that the 22-year-old Leroux was simply lasering off some youthful mistakes.

However, another Tweet made me finally realize that she was simply covering up the tattoos, not getting rid of them, and I began to wonder why she was covering them up.

Knowing that she is currently on a tour of Japan with fellow USWNT forward Abby Wambach, I began to suspect that it might have something to do with Japanese culture.

I did a quick Google search and was a bit shocked at what I found.

While tattoos have only recently become acceptable in the United States (and usually only by younger Americans), they are, in many cases, explicitly banned in Japan.

Certain gyms and pools and even restaurants and stores in Japan specifically ban tattooed individuals from entry.

In Japan, tattoos, as it turns out, may even get you fired.

The mayor of Osaka, Japan, Toro Hashimoto, went so far in May as to force 30,000 city employees to reveal to the government whether or not they had tattoos.

Those who refused to take the survey were threatened with being fired.

Those who admitted to having tattoos were told they must have them removed or be dismissed.

I have to admit that for a country with a scary past of totalitarianism, it’s hard to believe this type of repression is tolerated.

I’m no fan of tattoos (much to my brother’s chagrin), but it’s a bit nuts that Leroux, a visitor to the country, has to cover up her tattoos out of fear.

John D. Halloran

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2 Responses to Is Sydney Leroux Saying Sayonara to Her Tattoos?

  1. Abby on December 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I don’t think she was covering them up out of fear. She and Abby Wambach were appearing on TBS in Tokyo and I have a feeling that they didn’t want the tattoos on the Japanese TV station. Sydney Leroux does not seem to type to do anything out of fear. I’m sure it was out of respect that she agreed to let them cover the tattoos up.

    • John D. Halloran on December 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      I can buy that it wasn’t fear, but I still find it disturbing (even as someone who’s not a fan of tats) that a modern society can be so small minded.

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