Many people have been getting tattoos lately. People of all ages have been getting them and from all different backgrounds. On a nice day in just about any public place one can spot a tattoo about every five minutes, from the business man who had a portrait of his daughter put on him to a young girl with a butterfly on her ankle and even people with extensive tattoo coverage. What is even more interesting is the rise in the number of people who are heavily tattooed and that they come from all different backgrounds. Not too long ago tattooing did not experience the popularity in mainstream culture that it does now. The question that must be asked in order to understand this fascination that popular culture has had with tattoos is why people get tattoos.



There still is a lot of intolerance towards people who have tattoos especially towards people who have a lot of them but these days a tattoo here and there is not looked down as it once was. There was a time when only "low lives," were thought of as having tattoos and people who had them were dirty criminals and should not be associated with. Due to the mainstream of the world not accepting the practicing of tattoos many tattooists and their clients went into an underground state. It was not always easy for people to even find a tattoo artist even if they were brave enough to be labeled a "low life" by the majority of culture. A lot of places even banned tattooing due to the fact that they thought tattooing was morally wrong and a health risk. Tattooing was still illegal in New York City until 1993. The mystery that surrounds the art of tattooing has always created ignorant ideas from people who are misinformed.

Looking back at how people perceived tattoos then and how many "normal" people have them today shows a lot about how the world has changed, specifically in mainstream society. These days one can thrown a rock and hit a tattoo shop, but why the change of heart? Why are tattoos so popular now? Holly Tuesday, a writer for "Skin & Ink" tattoo magazine and heavily tattooed person said "We all, myself included, like to think that we stand out from the crowd. Most of us have adorned our bodies relish the glances and stares. My personal opinion is that many of these glances are from those who wish they had the guts to exert their own personality in such a beautiful way. But the lookyloos are becoming few and far between in my parts. So many people have tattoos, piercings and dyed hair that my previously shocking nature has been admonished (22). She then goes on to state examples of how mainstream tattooing has become like professional soccer games had tattoo artists at one of their events and the country singers Brooks and Dunn are having tattooists at their shows.




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