May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which recognizes the rich heritage and history of these cultures. It encompassed the cultures of the continent of Asia, as well as the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Many influencers and celebrities of Asian and Pacific Island descent have taken to social media to celebrate their heritage during the month of May, including August 2019 Playmate of the Month Geena Rocero.
Rocero made history in 2019 as the first openly transgender Asian-Pacific Islander to appear in the pages of Playboy. Rocero is not only a model, but an LGBT activist who came out as trans back in 2014 during a TED talk in New York City. Rocero's platform has given her an impressive following on social media, where she frequently discusses being a transgender woman of color and a proud Filipina.
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Rocero took to social media to share the process of her batok hand-tapped tattoo. Batok is a traditional hand-tapped tattoo technique practiced in the Philippines. One of the most recognizable batok tattoo artists is Whang-od, a 103-year-old artist from the Butbut people who primarily inks male headhunters (warriors) and indigenous women.
Rocero got her tattoo from Lane Wilcken, who advocates and practices this form of hand-tapped tattooing, making all of his own tools. Rocero got a small symbol on the inside of her arm and went on Instagram live with Wilcken to talk more about the piece and this ancient body art practice.
What do you think of this Playmate's new tattoo? Would you get a hand-poked or hand-tapped tattoo? Let us know your thoughts on this story on social media.