A Vermont tattoo shop is offering free Bernie Sanders tattoos to supporters of the popular Democratic presidential candidate, and a local newspaper reports that “dozens” have taken him up on the offer.
As the Burlington Free Press reports, Montpelier tattoo shop Aartistic, Inc., which also has a location in nearby town Winooski, has been offering the free Bernie Sanders tattoos since last Friday. As of this writing, at least 23 Sanders supporters have taken up the offer and gotten some free Sanders ink — on their abdomens, on their calves, and elsewhere on their bodies.
The free Bernie tattoos are pretty minimalist — they’re free, after all, and you get what you pay for. For the price you pay, you get a simple line drawing of Sanders’ famed unkempt hair and thick glasses.
Tattoo artist Chad Fay told the Free Press that he gave out 15 free Sanders tattoos last week. His colleague, Jessica Andrew, has done eight.
Sanders supporters have done their best to make the free tattoos their own. One supporter got Sanders’ profile superimposed on a rather crude drawing of Vermont’s famed Green Mountains (Vermont is French for “Green Mountain”) and a map of Vermont (Vermont is, after all, where Sanders hails from).
Another Sanders supporter got her free tattoo in a rather strategic location on the middle finger of her right hand, presumably so supporters of other candidates can see her message to them while she shows her support for The Bern.
So what motivated Aartistic owner Tyre Duvernay to offer the free Sanders tattoos? As Duvernay explains to WTEN (Albany) the free Bernie Sanders tattoos came about because another tattoo parlor, in neighboring New Hampshire, is offering free tattoos inspired by Donald Trump.
“We wanted to support him someway and with the caucus coming up there was a rumor that there’s a shop in New Hampshire that’s giving away Donald trump tattoos… and we just couldn’t have that.”
In fact, as Huffington Post reports, Aartistic initially only offered the free Sanders tattoos to cover up Trump tattoos (the offer has since been extended to all Sanders supporters, regardless of their previous ink).
Tattoo artist Bob Holmes, who owns three shops in the New Hampshire town of Seabrook, estimates that he’s done about 30 free Trump tattoos since he began the offer last week. And although the Trump tattoos are free, if anyone tries to tip Holmes or his employees for their work, the money is donated to veterans’ charity Wounded Warrior Project.
As Washington Post blogger Thomas Johnson writes, getting a tattoo based on current events is a risky proposition. And when it comes to getting ink of a presidential candidate, someone is going to lose.
“You only have to run a quick image search to find hundreds of President Obama tattoos, with varying attention to detail. It’s less common, however, to find tattoos of presidential candidates. There just aren’t that many tattoos of Al Gore or John McCain out there.”
As his supporters get free tattoos bearing his visage, things are looking up for Bernie Sanders, according to the Christian Science Monitor. As the make-or-break New Hampshire primary approaches (Granite State voters head to the polls on Tuesday), Sanders is maintaining a slight lead over his challenger, Hillary Clinton.
Tattoo shop owner Duvernay says he will continue to offer the free Bernie Sanders tattoos as long as The Bern stays in the race.
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