Authored by Samantha Herman in Body Arts
Published on 02-12-2009
In the last few decades, tattooing has become less of an extreme social statement and more like an acceptable right of passage. And as far as full sleeves are concerned, no one in any large city would begrudge a tattoo artist a willing canvas. Some people might say this transitional period in our society is the product of liberalism spilling over into mainstream media. Others would say that walking around with tattoos is a way of promoting the arts, and especially promoting an art form that has been around for centuries. And still others see it as a crime against one’s own body, viewing it more as branding than as an art form. But even though an agreement cannot be reached on whether tattoos are inherently good or evil, there is no question that they are here to stay. And women are certainly not shying away from the trend.
Tattooed women are carving a niche as modern-day sex symbols. Groups like the Suicide Girls have emerged as a means of showing the world that tattooed women are attractive. The tattooed vixen Kat Von D is not only gorgeous, but also an exceptional artist. Angelina Jolie wouldn’t think to cover her tattoos, even when strutting down a red carpet. The celeb list goes on to include Drew Barrymore, Pink, and Christina Applegate, among many, many others.
On the other hand, tattoos in certain spots can give the wrong impression. Many women are partial to getting feminine tattoos on their lower back, and these are now called “tramp stamps” in casual conversation. While there is usually some forethought in getting a tattoo in that area – the lower back can easily be hidden under clothing and is not an area on the body where fat collects – jeans slung low on the hips and tiny cropped shirts allow everyone to see those particular tattoos. And people aren’t always impressed with what they see.
But the best tattoos are the ones that really mean something to the person. I have seen women with tattoos of favorite sayings and personal mottos. I have seen women with tattoos that represent something they love or aspire to be. Women have tattoos of things found in nature that they think are the most beautiful things ever. All of these things Of course, I have also seen the butterfly tattoo that someone got when she was sixteen on the spur of the moment. I have seen the DIY tattoos on a dare. There is no question that a little foresight goes a long way when you have to live with something for the rest of your life.
Like everything else in life, whether or not a woman gets a tattoo is her prerogative. No one can tell a woman what would look good where – it’s a very personal decision and it is a decision not to be made lightly. The only advice I have for anyone who has made the pro-ink choice is to choose a clean, reputable tattoo parlor because dirty needles are no joke.