What Happened After They Tattooed Ads on Their Faces

One of Tamargo’s tattoos is for SaveMartha.com, a site that was dedicated to keeping Martha Stewart out of prison following her indictment for securities fraud. Stewart went to prison. Stewart got out of prison. And yet Tamargo still has a tattoo imploring you to save her. He has tried to buy one of the defunct domain names on his arm, pilldaddy.com, a former online Viagra purveyor, and do something with it. He was unsuccessful. He doesn’t see himself getting the tattoos removed anytime soon.

Before the Internet bubble burst, and even after, news stories appeared about people who tattooed the names of Internet domains on prominent, visible places on their body (like their forehead) in exchange for a few thousand dollars.

“Why would anyone do that?” we thought, and then went on with our day, shoving the story in the file cabinet in our mind that we keep for stories like, “Baby born in parking lot gets free NASCAR tickets for life.” We go home and make dinner. The tattoo-brand-people and the baby with the NASCAR tickets are forgotten.

And then they’re not. Buzzfeed tracked a few of those people who branded themselves for life, to see how they’re doing, and if they’ve decided to remove any of the domain names that no longer exist. The story made me feel, well, a bit sad. One man even offered to change his name to a brand for some money.

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