Tat’s a bit different, says ink queen Jo

Jo Wright, owner of Jo's Traditional Barbers, Standish, with her tattoos
Jo Wright, owner of Jo's Traditional Barbers, Standish, with her tattoos

STRIKING Jo Wright is proud to be a professional painted lady.

High street supermarket giant Sainsbury’s surprised the retail world by announcing tattooed young mum and good-food-on-a-budget blogger Jack Monroe as one of their new culinary TV faces.

But Standish mum Jo, 36, has run her Jo’s Traditional Barber Shop in Preston Road at the heart of the village for the past seven years and says that her bold body art is a big talking point for customers queuing for a No 2 or a short back and sides. It’s usually complimentary.

And she is delighted that Guardian columnist Jack Monroe has been chosen to be the new representative of Sainsbury’s food ad campaign, saying it demonstrates a more understanding view of physical individualism.

Jo, had her first tattoo - of Disney’s Bugs Bunny no less - when she was 17. She has gone on to have another five, including her eye-grabbing tattoo sleeve.

She revealed: “My mum went mad...she thought it was too big! I got it covered with my now sleeve which is Chinese flowers, butterflies and they all represent me and what I am and what I have been through in life. My daughter Bojana likes them but said she isn’t getting any as they will look horrible when I am all wrinkly.

“If she did decide to have one it would have to be when she is 18, and she can pay for it herself and after looking and thinking hard about what she wants and, most importantly, the tattooist that is going to do it.”

Jo said that many of her hairdresser clients in the barbers have commented on the body art. Some say they are nice and she suits them. Others don’t approve, which is also fine because it would be a “boring world” if everybody had the same style.

She said: “I don’t think I’ve lost any clients because of having them that I know of.”

Jo hadn’t seen or heard of the tattooed food blogger who is set to push Jamie Oliver off the kitchen table but she wished her luck and is glad that women who love tattoos are becoming better accepted for their individualism.

She said: “I’m sure she will be great for them.” New face of Monroe is a 25-year-old single mother whose stories of struggling to feed her son for £10 a week while on benefits have propelled her to national fame.

The supermarket has hired the Essex foodie as one of four “real” food lovers whose commitment to good food on a budget and work in the communities that surround them impressed bosses.

The six-week TV and print campaign, called Love Your Roast, will feature each of the bloggers creating recipes focusing on leftover joints of meat.

In Jack Monroe’s case - her famed blog is called A Girl Called Jack - that will be half a free-range chicken. She has earned a big reputation among foodies for carefully costed recipes often making use of pre-cooked ingredients.

Monroe said: “It’s a brave move by Sainsbury’s to take me on.

“I’m not a cheeky chappy like Jamie - I am a tattooed, gobby single mum.”