August 19, 2006

Oh yes, it's another theme day here on Althouse.

And we have a mascot. It's Jeffrey Sebelia of "Project Runway," otherwise known as the guy with a tattoo on his neck.

The neck tattoo

We were just talking about him yesterday. My two questions -- sure to get a conversation started at your house -- try it! -- were: 1. Why would you get a tattoo on your neck if you had a incredibly wide neck? and 2. Assuming you've decided to get a tattoo on your neck -- and I mean straight across the front of your neck -- and assuming it had to be a bunch of words, what would you get?

My answer on question 1 is: Maybe people kept bugging him saying things like: Man, you have a freakishly wide neck. Could you wear a turtleneck or something so I don't have to look at that thing? It's scaring me. Or maybe even: It's so wide, it's like a billboard, you could make a fortune selling ads on that thing. And he just snapped.

As for question 2: First, I have to imagine myself as the me that would get a tattoo on my neck, and I'm not so sure I'm in any position to do that. But no weaseling out of this. (Note: only one animal in the previous sentence.) Assuming I'm still myself, maybe Article III, Section 1 or a classic quote from Marbury. Do you think that would help the students pay attention?

More about Jeffrey, from the first link:
At age 16, Jeff left home to live in a garage with his punk band where he fell into a life of music, art and fast times, all supported by a mild criminal habit. It was, according to Jeff, “A lifestyle of freedom, rebellion and self-expression. Working for little money and ‘trade.’ ”
Let's hope he's calculated that it's too late to prosecute him for those crimes.
“I’ve grown to love fashion, namely John Galliano, Comme Des Garcons, Vivienne Westwood, Ann Demeulemeester, Junya Watanabe, Rick Owens, and Yohji Yamamoto,” says Jeffrey, but it was watching his friend Santino that inspired him to try out for season three.
His friend Santino?! Just as I suspected. He's acting like a jerk on the show as a strategy. You probably need to really be something of a jerk if you want to "make it work" well enough to be a successful strategy. The Santino character was quite brilliant. I don't think Jeffrey's got that much to offer. Another reason for the neck tattoo, though, right? Any time he starts to bore you, you can find something to occupy your thoughts. Why did he get that tatttoo? Especially considering that he was starting with that freakishly wide neck?

IN THE COMMENTS: Sanjay wonders:
Is his neck so wide? Maybe it's like striped shirts -- if his neck tattoo were primarily vetical his neck would look long and thin but it's horizontal lines so it looks wide.
And he gets a friend to prove it.

18 comments:

David said...

That was the only place it could be placed. Every other option was too narrow and nobody would notice it.

knoxgirl said...

I always think of his neck as freakishly long more than wide.

Luke said...

Honestly, it's not particularly wide. It does look a bit wide because of his narrow shoulders, but it seems in proportion to his head, for example.

Irene Done said...

I think I remember reading that Jeffrey's tattoo contains the name of his son and that he did not have the tattoo in his audition. If Jeffery has more children, will he get other tattoos? And will those children feel less loved because their tattoos would have to be in less prominent places?

I can't imagine what I'd do for my own neck tattoo. Maybe "Mattel 1959" but that's a Barbie joke that only about 4 of my friends would get.

Irene Done said...

I totally forgot to add that my favorite PR moment this season was neck-related but did not involve Jeffrey. It was Uli's dog outfit. Uli used a giraffe-print fabric to create a coat for Einstein, the no-neck pug. It really was sweet and charming.

Doug H. said...

Perhaps he and Nora Ephron have something in common.

Jeanne said...

Ugh, Marbury v. Madison. I have to read it again this semester (what I get for taking advanced Con Law, I suppose). Most painful case to read as a student ever...

Bruce Hayden said...

Could it be that he looked at it more as a guy would, than a woman would? A lot of guys just don't think like that - how would that look on me? Definately, a lot of us don't this sort of stuff through nearly as much as women do.

P. Froward said...

It doesn't matter what the actual words are. Any tattoo on somebody's neck says, "I am a goddamn idiot."

I don't remember if that was in Marbury, but it's been a while.

You could, of course, change your name to Marbury and sue the city. But that would be off-topic.

chuck b. said...

Most men can tell if pants will fit their waists by holding the pant waist, buttoned closed, around the neck. The waist should go all the way around the neck with maybe a little bit of extra. I learned that watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It works for me and it's so much better than relying on pant-maker's quality control to get the measurement right.

Of course, it's best to try the pants on whenever possible, because you still need to see what they do to your ass.

Ann Althouse said...

Chuck, that's so goofy. I can't imagine a woman "trying on" pants by testing them on her neck! But now that I think of it, I'm also sure it wouldn't work. Anyway, most people cheat about where their waist is. I'm going to scream if I see one more male-female couple where the man has positioned his waistband below his belly and the woman has put the waistband abover her belly. Neither will wear the waistband around the waist, and both look awful.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, I dunno about this guy, or care, I was scrolling down to find something else; but I can think of one other thing somebody had tattooed around his neck.

One of the tough image actors of the blaxploitation films -- name slips my mind -- had a line tattooed around his neck with the instructions: 'Cut along dotted line, motherfucker.'

I didn't get that one either.

Jeff said...

Indian Larry out of NYC had a tattoo on the front of his neck. I think it was a bible verse tattooed backwards. I think it symbolized his religious conversion from criminal to law abiding. In his biker culture, it was no big deal and I doubt his peers even really noticed it. Not sure how someone in this industry gets a neck tattoo. Maybe he is pretending to be a bad ass biker.

Sanjay said...

Is his neck so wide? Maybe it's like striped shirts -- if his neck tattoo were primarily vetical his neck would look long and thin but it's horizontal lines so it looks wide. Surely those of you clever with photoshop can answer this question?

And if so, it answer's Ann's question beautifully. Why get a neck tatoo if you have a wide neck, and what would you get? I'd get vertical stripes, Professor A, so my neck wouldn't look fat...

Wurly said...

His neck does look too wide for his head, and his picture makes me think of Martin Short doing an impersonation of a tough guy.

As for a tattoo, I would get a series of small turtles in a ring around my neck, just under the Adam's Apple.

Sigivald said...

While I haven't done any sort of vaguely rigorous study, the neck tattoos that most stand out (and seem most common) are presumeably-jail-related white supremacist/nazi ones.

Nothing says "do not fuck with me" like a giant eagle and swastika on your neck, you know?

Such a person is obviously trouble - and looking for more, one way or another.

Sanjay said...

Aha, PROOF!

I had a friend give it a try. Check out http://capnmariam.googlepages.com/projectrunway
and I think you'll agree --- the tattoo orientation does in fact affect the perceived neck width.

Sanjay said...

Special BONUS thought: now, we've all seen pictures of African tribeswomen who make their necks really long by stretching them with rings put around them. But the rings are perpendicular to the extension -- they are horizontal. So does that not imply that, to the eye, the women's necks are more wide and squat than they actually are-- that the rings' orientation to some extent prevents you from realizing how marvellously distorted the neck itself has become? Would we react more strongly to the pictures if the rings could've somehw been placed vertically? Could you, an ordinary American woman with an ordinary American neck (I assume), be instantly noted among these people for your striking neck beauty if you showed up with some kind of vertical pattern on the neck, thus visually accentuating its length without actually lengthening it? Might this clever device enable some enterprising young tribeswoman to function adroitly in both her tribal society and in, say, a modern city, moving between the two simply by adjusting the stripes on her neck?