Tattoos no longer conjure up images of sailors, prison inmates and motorcycle gang
Tats, as they are often referred to, have become socially acceptable and are now a popular art
form, especially for today’s under-25 set.
Their popularity and social acceptance can be attributed to many sources, including movies,
cable TV (it all started with Miami Ink) and people wanting to express their individuality.
Some celebrities with body art include Rihanna, David Beckham, Angeline Jolie, Adam
Levine, Cher, Pink, Lady Gaga, Drew Barrymore, John Mayer, Megan Fox and Johnny Depp.
They showed that tattoo art is impressive and beautiful. And they openly display them, leading
the way for mainstream social acceptance.
People can now have their own unique tattoos. Having a tattoo can be an expression of who
you are. Or what you believe in. Or something you value. Or just something you think is fun.
While social prejudice still exists (some employers still will not hire people with visible tattoos,
or require that they be covered during working hours), the stigma continues to decline.
Tattoing has been around for thousands of years. Mummified remains of Otzi the Iceman,
who lived in the Otzal Alps between Italy and Austria, were recently dated to more than 5,000
years ago. His body was covered with more than 57 tattoos all over his body. Tattoos have also
been found on mummies in ancient Egypt and in China dating back to 1200 B.C.E.
Tattooing is also medically safer now and is highly regulated in most states. Tattoo parlors
are inspected yearly by health departments, universal precautions are maintained and blood-
borne pathogen handling procedures are regulated.
In addition to using their bodies as an art canvas for tattoos, others uses them to remember a
loss or to take a stand.
Some women who have had mastectomies have tattoos to cover their scars, and cosmetic
tattoos include lips, eyebrows, and eyeliner.
Americans annually spend $1.6 billion on tattoos in 21,000 tattoo parlors. The average cost
of a small tattoo is $45, while elaborate ones average $150/hour and the cost can run into
thousands of dollars.
On a related note, 5 percent of the U.S. population have covered up a tattoo with another one,
and 11 percent have had one removed.