Tattoos and body art have been part of human cultures around the world. The combination of endurance and beauty has made them an important part of coming of age rituals in many societies. In the west, tattoos had negative connotations for a long time, but have finally been recognized as a legitimate and highly personalized art form. Tattoo designs are expressions of individual character and purpose, and tattoo artists work in close collaboration with clients to achieve the right look.
Tattoos around the world
Tattoos are a form of body art that has been practiced in many different cultures around the world. What they have n common is the process of adding ink or pigment to the dermis layer of the skin, changing its color and appearance. The word tattoo is derived from Polynesian languages and was brought to Europe by Captain Cook in the 18th century.
In many traditional societies, tattoo designs were used as part of the rites of passage marking the transition to adulthood. The designs could be used to express belonging to a tribe, clan or age grade, as well as the individuality of the tattoo bearer. In the West, tattoos bore the stigma of being associated with sailors, working class men and criminals. In the late twentieth century, this began to change as teenagers discovered tattoos as a form of self expression.
Tattoos and teenagers
As teenagers began to adopt tattoos as a sign of rebellion and self expression, their meaning began to change. Tattoos are now seen as a legitimate art form, and tattoo specialists as genuine artists. In fact, it is the artistic reputation of individual practitioners that attracts many clients. Nearly half of 45% of those thinking of getting a new tattoo consider the artist?s or the studio?s reputation as the most important factor in deciding where to go.
As tattoos have gained mainstream acceptance, the number of tattoo parlors around the country has grown to around 22,000. As much as 14% of the population of the U.S. now has at least one tattoo. From stigmatized body markings to countercultural symbol to cool teen accessory, it has been a long journey for tattoo art.
Health and safety concerns
Most states have strict rules and regulations concerning tattoos, and require minors to have the consent of parents or guardians before getting tattoos or piercings. Many tattoo studios have their own policies that go above and beyond state and local regulations to ensure that any tattoos and body piercings will be age appropriate.
Health and safety regulations also govern the operation of tattoo parlors, though its understandable that parents of teens will have some concerns about giving their kids permission for tattoos or piercings. The best way to reassure themselves is to visit the studio first and talk to the tattoo artists before going ahead.
Tattoo designs have come a long way from stigmatized body markings to cool teen accessory. The best tattoos are both attractive and meaningful, since the bearer will live with them for a long time.