To utter the word tattoo can spark a number of different opinions. These thoughts are just as diverse as the people who wear them. For some, fifteen years ago anyway, they would have conjured mental images of miscreants, sailors, bikers, and otherwise unsavory types of people. Today however, the word tattoo is pretty sundry. As is the image of the typical, modern day “tattooed” person.
Tattoos are worn by all walks of life these days. From politicians, to actors, musicians, doctors, lawyers, and much more. People get them for various reasons as well. Tattoos are used in remembrance of a loved one who we have lost, words we choose to live by, images that hold great meaning to us, or even just something we enjoy looking at. Tattoos are becoming increasingly widespread as time passes. They began thousands of years ago as symbols of identity and social status in the cases of the Japanese Yakuza, Polynesian, and Pacific Islanders. It also evolved as symbols of good luck and health in many different Native American tribes, as well as other indigenous people across the globe. They progressed further still with the introduction of tattoos to the western world.
With the introduction of tattooing into modern society, tattoos became popular more for the images and various styles than the specific meanings they held to the people who wore them. Tattoos have grown exponentially in the last few years. I myself, as an artist, have seen this change happen first-hand. Tattoos, in today’s society, change styles as often as the latest fashion trend. So one could say that tattoos really are here to stay. Like them or don’t. You be the judge. But judge the character of the person who wears them. Not the fact that they choose to get them.
Contributed by David P. Bacon who tattoos for a living and owns a tattoo studio in NE Ohio.