Tattoos: from stigma to unique and popular artwork


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Tattoos were once a taboo trend associated with gangs, bikies and criminals, but nowadays the trend has a much wider demographic and a more positive connotation.

A study published by the Association for Consumer Research, Consumer of Fashion Tattoos details how attitudes towards tattoos have dissipated over the years.

The study referred to tattoos as another form of art, just like painting and drawing and explained more and more people as viewing them that way too.

Tattoos are being used more frequently as ways for people to express themselves and even pay tribute to people and events in their lives.

They can also be cathartic, with people often turning to tattoos to represent tough times they have suffered.

Sam Haywood got a tattoo when she was 19, despite her parents disdain for the permanent art.

Miss Haywood said she had always wanted a tattoo and decided not to let her parents’ dislike of them stop her.

“I’ve always thought they looked nice and I was in a place where I could afford it, so I did it,” she said.

Miss Haywood said she sees the stigma of tattoos fading around her with many of her friends getting tattooed as well.

Tattoo artists use their skills to create unique artwork on their clients. Source: Wiki Commons.
Tattoo artists use their skills to create unique artwork on their clients. Source: Wiki Commons.

“The only tattoos I have anything against are tattoos that represent something negative, like gang tattoos,” she said.

“I think tattoos are brilliant because they’re artwork that you can have with you all the time.”

The rising popularity of tattoos doesn’t mean prejudice against them has disappeared completely.

Miss Haywood said although she would love tattoos in more visible places, she wouldn’t get them because it could affect her ability to get a job once she graduates from university.

“Because of the negativity people feel about tattoos, we’ve already been warned not to get tattoos that would be visible,” she said.

“I would be scared I wouldn’t get a job and that I’d get judged for it.”

Robyn Hanly, a police officer for 40 years, has never been able to see the point of tattoos.

As with Miss Haywood’s parents, Mrs Hanly relates tattoos to negative things such as criminals and bikies along with other reasons for her dislike of them.

“I think they’re ugly and they ruin the skin.”

“You can’t get rid of them and as they get older the lovely pictures you get turn into wrinkly old images,” she said.



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