Monday, September 19, 2011

Tattoo Culture, 2011

Example of tribal tattoos
       During the early 1990's there was an influx in the popularity of tattooing in the US. Specific designs became canon, and people would just go to the parlor, pick something out of a book, and get it permanently etched onto their bodies. Tribal tattoos, images of cartoon characters, and tattoos on the small of a woman's back (unfortunately dubbed "tramp stamps") were hugely popular at the onset of the 90's.
       Nowadays, however, it's more about the individual. As made clear by sites such as Fuck Yeah, Tattoos!, the more personal and artistic the tattoo, the better. Tattoo artists are now actual, proper artists, who can create the designs they transfer onto their clients, rather than just copying the same pre-made image over and over.
       There are still trends that come and go, for a while everyone wanted tattoos of Koi fish, cherry blossom trees, and other Asian-inspired pieces. Recently, meaningful song lyrics or poems have become popular as tattoos, as well as 3D tattoos.
Gorgeous gypsy from "Fuck Yeah, Tattoos!"
       But why the change? There are a number of different factors that one can attribute to any society-wide change. In this case, I think one of the largest contributors is the Internet. Compared to one or two decades ago, our culture as a whole is changing at break-neck speed, and I for one believe it is because we are also sharing, growing, and changing as a society so much faster thanks the ever more available access to the Internet. Now any small idea can spread and become a trend within hours, and everyone has a voice they can have heard by a seemingly infinite audience.
       Personally, I'm glad for the change. I love spending time looking at all the aesthetically appealing and emotionally moving works of art that others are designing and getting as tattoos. I believe it is a great way to express one's individuality, and show an appreciation for fantastic artwork.

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