Sunday, June 8, 2008

Individuality and Style Expressed Through Body Art

If you’ve ever seen the program "Inked" you’ll realize that tattoo design has become more popular than ever before. What is the genesis behind this new craze?

Author: Craig Thornburrow

Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of online sites wherein you can pick and choose a tattoo design, print it out and take it to one of many tattoo parlors in your area. Incredibly, there are well over 40 million individuals who have tattoos. What is it about tattoos that are so appealing?

The history of tattoos dates as far back as the Stone Age. However, you may recall that in 1991, a 5300 year-old frozen mummy was discovered in the Otztal Alps and aptly named "The Iceman." Upon examination, he was found to have 58 tattoos.

In other cultures around the world from the Maori in New Zealand to the Ainu in Japan, the art of tattooing – although its origin can be traced back to the fourth millennium and earlier – still exists today and has morphed into a more contemporary art form.

While the Mendhi is a temporary tattoo made primarily of henna, it is nonetheless a popular form of tattooing that originated in India. The difference between this form and traditional tattoos is that the Mendhi does not penetrate the skin, but the patterns applied to the skin last for a period of three to four weeks.

Why have tattoo designs become so popular? It has become a symbol of individuality. Considering there are well over 40 million individuals who have tattoos, it seems clear that the reasons are uniquely their own. As seen on the program "Inked," people decide to have tattoos commemorating loss of a loved one, or utilize symbols denoting their specific culture or religion, or a tattoo design that represents a sentiment they feel aptly describes their own convictions.

An indication of just how popular tattoo designs have become is evidenced by the more than thirty thousand tattoo parlors available today. As state earlier, there are close to 200,000 online sites that offer a tattoo design in every genre imaginable. While there is certainly no shortage of tattoo designs, there are occasions when a person may outline a specific design or idea that he or she cannot find on the internet.

Tattoo designs can range from the more simple design such as a small butterfly to the more intricate and larger images such as a caricature. Over the last several years, tattooing has been used as a method by which permanent makeup can be applied. For example, some women may have their lips or eyebrows tattooed with a color of their choice.

There is no doubt that the art of tattooing has become a more acceptable form of self-expression. To this end, the tattoo design will continue to emerge and become perfected by those artists whose vision and creativity serve to enhance the scope of this ancient art form into the next millennium.

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About the Author:

Craig Thornburrow is an acknowledged expert in his field. You can get more free advice on tattoo designs and a tattoo art book at