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Tattoos and Society

By | October 2005
Page 1 of 3
"Tattoos are created by inserting colored materials beneath the skins surface. The skin is penetrated with a sharp tool. Today colored ink and an electric needle are the material and instrument of choice. Today the practice is popular with a vast cross section of the population. Within the United States tattoos can be found on individuals ranging from gang member to fashion models." "The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word "tatu" which means "to mark something". It is arguably claimed that tattooing has existed since 12,000 years BC. (http://www.tatthoo.com/tattoohistory1.htm) "

On December 8, 1891, the first electric tattoo machine was registered by its inventor, Samuel O'Reilly, at the United States Patent Office. It was based on a machine patented by Thomas Edison in 1875, but rather than using the tool as a means to embroider fabric, which Edison did, O'Reilly's tattoo machine as meant to "embroider" skin. (Miller, 1) When O'Reilly invented this new machine he didn't know the whirlwind he would help create in the next 100+ years. Youth and adolescence is one of the most, significant and influential moments in everyone's life, when the youth are seeking to identify who they are. Tattooing and body piercing are one of the many ways through which young people express their own unique identity. They are symbolic representations of how they are perceived. When you are young you are trying to find your identity. Most adolescents go through several transitions one of those is more than likely trying to be the cool guy. But it is quite the opposite, because getting a piercing or tattoo is signifying certain changes in ones life. It symbolizes adulthood (because you have to be 18 to get pierced or tattooed) or that of appearing to be more grown up because you were able to make this life changing decision or just because you're of the legal age and just randomly decided you wanted to get pierced or tattooed. Starting with the 1960's when Lyle Tuttle...
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