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Tattoo or not to tattoo... the

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Tattoo or not to tattoo... the

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Tattoo or not to Tattoo: An informative guide to the history, selection, care, and removal of skin art.

Tattoo or not to Tattoo Tattoos or skin art as it is commonly called, seems to be the latest fashion trend today. Everywhere you look someone else is getting inked, be it could be the college student, the young mom next door, or the executive in his business suit. The history, selection, safety , and care along with some removal methods are not always obvious nor is a non-permanent alternative. All these things and more will be revealed in a few short moments.

The history of skin arts beginnings are some what unclear. Some people like tattoo artist Erik Reime think that it goes back to biblical times, in fact it could be conceived that GOD created the first tattoo when he put "the mark upon Cain" (3). For others it originated n Egypt or as V. Wageman reviews in Victoria Lautmans book The New Tattoo the first tattoo may have come about when "some stone age klutz fell down near a hearth[and] found charcoal embedded in his flesh"(8).

through out history we can see that tattoos have served a variety of purposes. They have been the distinguishing mark of a slave or a ruler, they were and still are used in prisons and more recently have become a means of personal expression. In the eighteenth century Capt. James Cook brought back to England some tattooed South Sea islanders. Cooks seamen were among the first westerners to have full body tattoos. From there tattoos progressed to the US where slaves were branded with their owners name or some other distinguishing mark. In a web page written and maintained by Robert Birkins we can see how skin art was also used in the prison camps of the former soviet union where a complex language was developed using tattoos as symbols. Such languages have been studied by specialists in hopes of cutting crime rates in the USSR. Some examples of prison tattoos are: Insert From there we progress to modern day, where skin art...