, ,

Most body adornments:




are worn/applied

for temporary use, for a specific occasion –

 allowing for further change to experiment with

chameleon-like fashion re-inventiveness.

It is exciting to re-launch ourselves in new guises with just

a change of clothes

a bottle of hair dye

a steady hand with eye-liner.

Yet what of changes that are of ‘permanent ink’ ? …

 a body decoration that can not wash off at day’s end

but is lasting … a tattoo:

  a work of permanent art on the body canvas.


(image from unlimitedbyjk.com):


arm sleeve

(image from tattooeve.com)

or full body coverage


Tattooing is a method for individual artistic expression

or group stylistic identification

and as in androgynous dress fashion,

tattoos, as body art, is on display by both genders.

Etymological origins

The first written reference of the word ‘tattoo’

in the English language, appeared in the diary notes of the

naturalist Joseph Banks (1743 – 1820)

who sailed with the explorer Captain James Cook

on his journeys to Tahiti and the Polynesian Islands.

While there Banks and Cook meet native islanders who

decorated their bodies with permanent markings

which they called  ‘tatatau’ or ‘tattau’.

(image from atlantictattooremoval.com):

drawing of Tahitian man

A drop of ink history:  traceable to the ancients

For thousands of years, tattooing has been integral to

body adornment within many cultures.

Archeologists discovered evidence of tattoo designs

on Egyptian female mummies dating to 2000 BC.

Further finds from excavations in 1991 conducted near

the Austrian-Italian border, unearthed the remains

of a man with tattoo markings.

He was carbon-dated at 5,200 years old.

Experts believe that the tattoo markings found

on ancient Egyptian women were of therapeutic purpose

as a perceived aid in pregnancy and childbirth.

The designs were positioned on the abdomen, thighs and breasts.

The tradition of tattoo markings was also evidenced in ancient Greek culture.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BC) recorded

that for the peoples of

Scythia (central Asian region of present day Iran)


Thrace (area encompassing borders of

modern-day Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece),

tattoos were a sign of noble birth.

To be without tattoo markings was indicator

of less than prestigious parentage.

In addition, the ancient Britons also tattooed

themselves with images of various animals.

The Roman called one of these ancient Briton tribes

Picti – ‘the painted people’.

Some ancient cultures regarded tattoos as singularly images of prestige.

Other early societies held varied interpretations.

The ancient Greeks and Romans viewed

tattoos as symbol of ‘belonging’ to:

 a religious group, a criminal element, a slave owner, etc.

Throughout the ages, tattooing was used for various purposes:

hierarchical position within a group

association of a particular image to the wearer

to ward off illness

as indication of one’s profession/skills

or simply as ornate body decoration.

Although the practice of tattooing thrived

in many ancient cultures from and from era to era;

it all but vanished in Western culture

from the 12th to 16th centuries.

Today, participating in tattoo art is universal.

It’s popularity has soared.

This heightened interest has even been referred to as a

21st century ‘tatto renaissance’ –

as people from all walks-of-life now enjoy body art

as means for individual creative expression.

tatt fashion

(image from the fashionheels.com):

all tied up in a net bow

(image from teststyle.ca):

(image from essence.com):

Fashion Rockstars

twin set:  upper arm (l) , collar (r)

(image from nytimes.com):

an ear-ful

(images from elle.com):

on the runway

 model Catherine McNeil,

“(Getting tattoos) is about bringing good energy into my life. They’re addictive …”

model Freja Beha Erichson, “I have 16 tattoos …”

(image from rebloggy.com):

linear arrangement

(image from streetmodelfashion.com):

(image from runninwildlookinpretty.tumblr.com):

(images from tardeotemprano.net):


(image from modepilot.de):


(image from dosenlapasarela.com):

‘I’ve got you in my sight’

(image from chicagostreetstyle.com):


Chicago sky-line:  what a view

(images from  ananasli.blogspot.com):

due amici

inverted commas