They say blank skin is merely a canvas for a story waiting to be told so it should come as no surprise that a quarter of the British public have tattoos. That’s right, tattoos have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with many individuals looking to ink to claim their identity and take back their narrative.
While Tattoos may be having a moment now with the rise of the gothcore aesthetic, it’s important to remember that they have been an integral part of human culture for thousands of years. From spiritual and religious beliefs to social and political affiliations, tattoos have been used as markers to establish identity and a sense of belonging.
In reality, everything in life has some form of significance. Art, of course, is one of those aspects that carries with it a great deal of symbolism. Surprisingly, even if you’re playing a random online slot game at NoDeposit365 sites that give free spins bonuses, it’s got its set of themes and scatter symbols, some of which carry more meanings than others. From Greek mythology to Egyptology, many games’ characters are lifted from ancient stories from ancestors who have shaped history. Therefore it’s not surprising that something as meaningful as a tattoo can carry with it a powerful cultural message.
Where It All Began
Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. While the practice of tattooing has varied greatly across different cultures and time periods, the evidence of their existence dates back to prehistoric times.
Since their inception, tattoos have been used to mark individuals as members of a particular tribe or community, holding deep symbolic significance and cultural meaning. This can be seen with the Maori people of New Zealand who traditionally tattooed their faces and bodies with intricate designs as a way of representing their identity, status, rank, and geographic origin, within their tribe.
Māori tattoo art also holds deep spiritual meaning, possessing magical abilities believed to be bestowed by God, etched into a tribe member’s moko (face) and body. Additionally, for the Maori people tattoos were used as an individual’s identity card, representing significant milestones in their life, from childhood to marriage to even bravery in war.
In Japanese culture, tattoos have traditionally been associated with certain themes and motifs, such as dragons, koi fish, and cherry blossoms, all with their own symbolic significance. Similarly to the Maori people, tattoos in Japan have also been used to show allegiance to certain groups or organizations, such as yakuza gangs.
On the other hand, to ancient Greek and Romans, tattoos were used as a form of punishment and humiliation, used to mark criminals and slaves as a way of identifying them as outcasts from society. Similarly in ancient China, tattoos were highly stigmatized and used to brand convicted felons with facial tattoos as a warning to other members of society that they were untrustworthy.
From Subculture To Pop Culture
From high-status symbols to barbaric and shameful marks, it’s no question that throughout history tattoos have received drastically different characterizations. So where do they stand today? Just like any other trend, tattoos come in and out of fashion. Their new wave of popularity has been aided by their mass adoption by public figures such as celebrities, athletes, and people within the fashion industry.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a major celebrity without ink. Pop megastar Justin Bieber got his first tattoo aged 16. Now he has around 60 covering his arms, chest and legs, including one of his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez’s face on his wrist. While David Beckham has been known to sport a lot of ink, featuring around 60 tattoos across his body, it’s his son that has been dominating the headlines as of late. Brooklyn Beckham famously has 100 tattoos, 70 of which are dedicated to his recent wife Nicola Peltz.
Social media has also revolutionized the tattoo industry, allowing tattoo artists to gain more exposure and grow their businesses. Previously, if a tattoo artist landed a big-name client they would need to have a magazine feature or go on tv to promote their work in hope of gaining more traction. Today, their next client is just a click away. Image-sharing apps like Instagram also help to dictate the tattooing trends, such as the sticker sleeve popularized by Harry Styles and small minimalist tattoos in white ink, as seen sported by Kendall Jenner.