It’s 2019 and people still have strong opinions on tattoos. I mean at this point I figured we were over it with everything else going on!… According to a few online sources, the oldest tattoo on record was found on the 5,300-year-old corpse of Tyrolean Iceman, aka Ötzi, so needless to say the practice of tattooing has been around for a loooong time.
These days while still somewhat taboo, people don’t necessarily blink when they find out you have a tattoo, unless of course you’re a woman. When I was about 13-15 years old I decided I really enjoyed tattoos. I obviously I did not get any at such a young age (I would hope my parents would have enough sense to not let that happen). However, I did tell myself that if I still wanted tattoos as badly as I did then when I reached 24-25, I was going to go for it. The only rule I made for myself was that they had to mean something.
That being said, once my dog passed away I got my first tattoo (that I drew myself!) to commemorate him. One year later I have a total of 4 tattoos, and I have stayed true to the rule I made for myself as a teenager.
Of course like most things on this planet we call Earth there is a double standard. Now, my father, uncle, and even some of my male cousins are tatted out the wazoo, and with stupid tattoos at that. But still my dad’s favorite thing to say is “You know you’ll have to wear a wedding dress one day, right?” *insert eye roll here*… He and my mother also seem to think I’m going to convert to a nun by the time I turn 35 years old and will repent all my sins including all of my tattoos.
The tattoos I chose are deeply personal and part of my story that I’d like to share with the world. I mean, nobody really knows what will happen in the next ten years but I know for the past ten years I have been yearning to get inked, but I was always fearful of the perception of a young woman with tattoos.
One of the coolest websites regarding this topic is called Women with Tattoos (check it out here!) created by Eleni Stefanou. Her objective is to show women with tattoos (obviously) in a positive light. She explains that the number of women with tattoos is now greater than the number of men with tattoos, which is surprising.
It’s surprising because mainstream media makes it seem as though women aren’t supposed to have or even do tattoos. For years the tattoo industry, like most others, has certainly been male dominated.
Even in the industry itself people look at gender first, then their body of work. For years I have been a fan of the show Ink Master, they just recently had their first female winner in 2016 after eight seasons! Female artists are extremely hard to come by and the lack of them from a customer point of view would lead you to believe that their work is sub par, which is not the case whatsoever!
Plenty of fantastic female tattoo artists as well as females with amazing body art don’t get the acclaim they deserve. I’m hoping as we move toward a more female respected world, the tattoo industry moves in the same direction!