Tattoos on women as “costly signalling”?


This stock image is described as a “Beautiful short hair brunette woman.”

I wondered about the tattoo. “fuzziewuzziebear” made an interesting suggestion in the comments.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on November 2, 2017 at 5:39 am

    There is one theory about the popularity of tattoos among women. It is a statement that they are so superior to men in sexual market rank that they can make themselves as ugly as they choose and still be wanted. In later life, she is going wish that she hadn’t, but we are not there yet.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 2, 2017 at 6:45 am

      Interesting. Yes, it would be a kind of Zahavi hypothesis effect. A very good suggestion.

      Also known as “costly signalling”. This article may be relevant:

      (Short hair on women has also, I think, been suggested to be “costly signalling”, in the sense that it says: “Look at me. I am so pretty that I can get away with having short hair.”)


      • Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on November 2, 2017 at 7:23 am

        I didn’t mean for my comment to be taken kindly. What women do, in tattooing themselves, is reduce their SMV that is displayed while they believe that it is enhanced, and their opinion is not contradicted.

  2. Thoughts on her face?


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 2, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Fashionable melancholy … a smile would be better. Young women should be happy. But the tattoos are the main problem. They might be temporary but they look real and permanent to me. Which is a shame, in both senses.

      I don’t think I would marry a girl with a tattoo.


      • Posted by some random guy on November 2, 2017 at 9:34 pm

        I see this expression often enough, it’s bait. If you’re a beta you’ll try to fix her problems. If alpha you’ll make some smartass comment. Either way she receives attention and goodies.

        If you’re a jaded middle aged guy like me you look piercingly into her eyes and pass on by.

  3. Posted by Bike bubba on November 2, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I’m thinking the tattoo says the same thing the shirt does; “I’m willing for strangers to have their paws all over me.” Notice also that the shirt is going to show a couple of things if she reaches up for anything–it’s like a recent case where a high school girl was “perplexed” that she’d be “dress coded” for wearing the same kind of thing. Thankfully teachers had more intelligence, even if it’s not clear that they explained it to her.


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