For the first time in American history, there are more ladies out there getting their bodies inked than men. It’s hard to think of a time when getting a tattoo was so out of the ordinary and taboo that hardly anybody had them. Now, it seems like everyone is getting a little ink, but I really didn’t think that women were outnumbering gents!
A poll released by Harris last year said that one in five U.S. adults had a tattoo (21%), up from 16% in 2003. More and more people are turning to tattoos, but it’s the feminine touch that really interests me.
Bodies of Subversion by Margot Mifflin was published in 1997, but it seems like the perfect time to take a look at the updated third edition. Mifflin says that the biggest cause for the female perception of tattoos shift is Kat Von D. She called her “the best known tattooist, male or female, in the world.” She also discussed that there is no “type” of tattooed person anymore, citing Lena Dunham who is visibly tat’d, but it’s not who she is. It’s just a fashion statement.
There are also a ton of famous women today rocking tattoos: Miley Cyrus, Angelina Jolie, Selena Gomez, Megan Fox, Katy Perry and Scarlett Johansson just to name a few! And I wouldn’t peg some of them for the “tattoo type” either, proof that a “type” really doesn’t exist.
Some of the new stories in the book also include a tattooed Lutheran pastor and Sacred Transformations, a studio in Chicago where women who have been physically hurt and damaged in gangs or abusive relationships go. It’s a victim services program that “culminates in a tattoo (sometimes a cover-up) confirming their transition to a healthier lifestyle,” according to Mifflin.
I think this book sounds SO fascinating, I’ll definitely check it out. As a young woman contemplating getting her first tattoo, I think it would offer some powerful and interesting insight.
And as for those people that have said tattoos make a person less sexy, that’s simply a matter of opinion. The wonderful thing about this book, from what I gathered, is it’s a history of women and tattoos that also shows how far they’ve come. Remember when we couldn’t vote? Now we’re free to do as we please! Our bodies are our own.
Whether you like tattoos or not, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to get a tattoo, not get a tattoo or even just to have an opinion about them. Check out the photos below to get a taste of Mifflin’s book.
How do you feel about tattoos in our society? Do you have any?