Tattoos and Society

Powerful Essays
A persons’ image is vital when meeting someone for the first time. Our peers, employers, family, superiors, even strangers that you walk past can automatically judge someone, and imagine how they present themselves to the world. Tattoos have been predominantly linked with a rebellious attitude and pictured on out of control stereotypes such as rock starts, bikers, sailors, and disobedient teenagers who want nothing more than to hack off their parents. With a new coming of age generation and a step into a more lenient and liberal society these types of patrons still participate in body art but so do doctors, lawyers, or just the run of the mill house mom. Tattoos signify religious beliefs, cultural influence, or each individual’s sole style. Body art is no longer socially offensive, employers are more apt to hiring tatted hopeful applicants, parents are warming up to the idea of their children inking their body and no longer a stranger on the street with a tattoo is necessarily prejudged as a criminal or safety hazard. Tattoos have become more evolved over the years because they have become more of a socially accepted element of the general public.

Dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries North American tattooing originated in the island of Tahiti, and other small pacific islands including Samoa and Hawaii (DeMello). The modification by U.S tattooists was to “fit a local sensibility emphasizing patriotism rather than exoticism” (DeMello). Martin Hildebrandt, was the first known tattoo artist in the United States as a professional. Shortly after the first mechanical tattooing machine was created, up until this point tattoos had been done by hand. A tattoo machine was invented because tattoos become a fad with mili...

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...patronage to a belief. Through time the tattoo has been plagued with rising fear that those who receive them will automatically become an outcast of the social order. The fear of body art is calming in the general public’s eyes and whether it is a biker or a school teacher with one they are beginning to be looked at as the same. The rising population of those getting tattoos has directly leaded to the rising population of those accepting them. It took a while for cultural opinion of tattoos to swing from taboo to standard practices of people from all races, ethnicities, ages, and genders. Time has granted the sanctioned onslaught of bad looks, and snubbed noses to slowly die down and natural acceptance of body ink to be granted. It is not just the crazy neighbor next door with a tattoo but the respected doctor up the street or your Sunday school teacher at church.
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