Most body adornments:
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):
(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.
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.
(image from the fashionheels.com):
all tied up in a net bow
(image from teststyle.ca):
(image from essence.com):
twin set: upper arm (l) , collar (r)
(image from nytimes.com):
(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):
(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):