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Tattoos in western society – a bit of history

m.klinge

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Tattoos - yes or no?  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you tattooed?

    • No and I will never be!
      5
    • Not yet but I might in the future!
      0
    • Yea and I regret it!
      0
    • Yup but never again!
      0
    • Yup and most likely not the last one!
      3

So in a not too distant past tattooing (And body art in general) was the mark of sailors and criminals –  if we for a minute ignore the fact that Frederick IX of Denmark (1899 – 1972) was quite tattooed for a royalty – and didn’t mind showing it off in the interview with the American magazine LIFE. But then again he was educated in the Royal Danish Navy so one could argue the part about sailors still holds true J

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Frederick IX of Denmark was quite tattoed and not shy of showing it.

Within the last 20-30 years’ tattoos has become more and more mainstream. I fair guess would be that you can’t be in a room with 4 (adult) people in Denmark without at least one of them has ink somewhere on their body. A fair question would be to ask why it has gotten all this traction within a relative short timeframe? No doubt the Danish king’s approval of tattoos had a big impact in the field. He even formulated the current law on tattooing in Denmark, short and simple one is not allowed to tattoo anybody below the legal age of 18 and one is not allowed to tattoo hands, neck and head. Beyond that everything goes – and since there’s not much regulation one can buy the gear and call themselves a tattoo artist (Not unlike everybody can buy a kite and call themselves a kitesurfer – or worse a kitesurf instructor) in Denmark.

Around 1990 it became more and more acceptable to get a tattoo, when I got my first tattoo a few days after my 18 years’ birthday in 1998 (A biohazard sign – don’t even ask) it still wasn’t very common to see them out in the open – unless you frequented the more shady part of town – or the skatepark J

Now everybody has them – and gladly shows them off in public. We’re talking every layer of the society from the homeless guys on the corner to the TV host to politicians.
 
For the last 10 year I’ve grown older, perhaps even a bit wiser and my piercings are long gone. It’s not for the lack of wanting to get another piece, I simply have prioritized other stuff (Like kite gear) – and having to stop surfing for a month on order not to ruin the new tattoo didn’t appeal to me. But when I a year ago was forced to take close to ½ a year’s break from anything kite related I decided to get another one I’ve been eyeing for a few years. It’s a piece from an artist called
Derek Hess – his work is quite unique and it’s certainly not for everybody, but isn’t that always the case with art? A week ago I got another one – since it’s winter in Denmark and bloody cold (down to -10 degree) I don’t really feel like surfing anyway
J

tattoos.thumb.jpg.e64af44289e824d45e0d21

The one on the right arm (Left in the picture) is the new one, "Boo boo angel".

On the left (Right on the picture) is the one that's a year old now, hemorrhage with some lyrics from the Nightwish song "She's my sin"

 

Time will tell if I’ll grow tired of them, I know the two I got 10-12 years ago aren’t the prettiest nor the most original ones, but them remind me of my youth and being on my shoulder and lower leg they’re covered most of the time anyway. They’re a part of me and a part of my story and I’ll keep it that way…



6 Comments


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5 hours ago, the_hatman OBE said:

I think you forgot to say "IN WESTERN SOCIETY" as in many cultures tattoos have much more significance than just body art

Fair point - I've added that to the heading...

//M

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No tough stickers for me they would detract to much from all the scar tissue. :D 

Worked with to many old guys with tattoos in my time and seen what they look like 40 years later to ever want one.

I foresee there will be a huge industry in cleaning up old tattoos in around 30 - 40 years as all these young girls that have got them everywhere realize how ugly they become over the years. 

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10 hours ago, Goz said:

No tough stickers for me they would detract to much from all the scar tissue. :D 

Worked with to many old guys with tattoos in my time and seen what they look like 40 years later to ever want one.

I foresee there will be a huge industry in cleaning up old tattoos in around 30 - 40 years as all these young girls that have got them everywhere realize how ugly they become over the years. 

There has been a lot of evolution in regards to technique, and I don't expect any tattoo ending up like the ones we see now that's 30-40 years old. Never the less I tihnk you're spot on on cleaing up ugly tattos, but mainly beacuse people don't think twice before they get them done :-)

But let's make a deal of catching up in 30-ish years and see if you're right :-D

//M

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If there is enough of the original me left in 30 years your on M :drinks:

The rate I'm going I should be mostly Titanium and Scar Tissue by then (insert cyborg smilie here) :D

I don't have an issue with tattoos if they are done for a reason or have meaning, but I see a lot of people getting covered in some really daft Tattoos just to look tough or because all the in crowd are doing it. Going to be some god awful looking tramp stamps around in 30 or 40 years I reckon. ;)

 

 

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I would have voted but the option "Yup and happy with it" was not there, I waited for many years before I venture in to a tattoo, one: it was the what will ppl think, I'm that bit older and times have changed. Two WTF to get, spent a long while thinking then went out and got an armband done. Regret .... No, always fancied one but it had to be what I wanted, even at my ripe old age still didn't tell my parents for about a year!  

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