Is that a tattoo?!
If you ask your grandparents, or even parents in some cases (hi Mom), what they think about tattoos chances are you just set yourself up for an hour long reprimand. I mean, getting permanently inked and risking association with Yakuza or Hell's Angels? Bananas!
Is it really where tattoos originated from? If not, why are they so widely disapproved by older generations?
How it all started...
Although many might estimate for tattoos to have been around for about three or so centuries, the first ones go way back in time - we are talking 3100 BC.
Let's see what your Grandmother has to say about this newage crap now.
Ötzi the Iceman is the oldest tattooed human mummy discovered. He was born in 3345 BCE, and was most likely a Shepard in the nowadays border mountains of Austria and Italy. Ötzi's tattoos (seen above) are speculated to be a result of some kind of a treatment, such as acupuncture or acupressure, as the majority of them are found in places where he most likely experienced pain; lower back, joints. However, the real reason behind all 61 (!) of them is still unknown.
However, rather than memories of past medical procedures, the majority of tattoos were meant to represent one's tribal/cultural affiliation. One of the most known are the Maori face tattoos, along with the Samoan styles, though they do not only depict one's membership. Maori tattoos were used to describe person's social rank, status and prestige, while Pe'a tattoos (a kind of Samoan style) were meant to serve as a protection from wild land and water animals.
All sounds great, but something doesn't click here. If all tattoos in the past were associated with prosperity, how come they struggle with a bad reputation nowadays?
I'm glad you ask. Let's shed some more light on that mystery...
Bob the Sailor
It all started with sailors - in the 17th century tattooing was a system to identify their affiliation with a country or a certain brigade. As you probably already know, sailor enjoyed getting a little loose on their back-on-land days, which did not gracing them with a not-so-nice reputation. Such frivolous lifestyle usually led onto the dark side, turning the local Bob the Seaman into Bob the Criminal.
And so the story goes - a domino effect. Sailors into thieves, thieves into criminals, and criminals into gangs. Of course lets not generalise - not ALL sailors turned into criminals, and not all bikers are gang members. But that is how a stereotypes arise - a behaviour pattern that reoccurs within a group of trait-sharing people.
Save an artist - spread the positivity!
In a perfect world people would be free to express themselves in whichever way they want to, but lets be real. Stereotypes were, are, and will be around for a long time. Instead of limting your self-expression by the fear of being judged, be the one who changes the game. Let your heart and soul guide you in the process of creating yourse