Body Modification/Speech

Topics: Tattoo, Tattooing, Irezumi Pages: 5 (1443 words) Published: July 29, 2007
Someone once said, The tattooed body is a unique object- a naïve and provocative moving fresco." Take a moment to consider what it means to you, to have the opportunity to be living art, to be living art permanently. Would you jump at chance or run away.

Understanding the tattoo's origin, purpose and removal process will help you make an informed and healthy decision about your own possible tattoos.

In order to increase your knowledge of tattoos, so you or someone you know will be less likely to regret their possible tattoos I'm going to focus on the following areas: The reason for getting a tattoo, the risks and the myths about tattoos, and tattoo removal.

The history behind tattoos is just as fascinating as the tattoo itself. Whether flaunted or hidden, sought as art or bought on a whim, the tattoo varies from culture to culture, person to person, and its place on the time line.

The Japanese were interested in the art mostly for its decorative elements, as opposed to magical ones seen in other cultures. The horis - the Japanese tattoo artists - were the undisputed masters. Their use of colors, perspective, and imaginative designs gave the tattooing practice a whole new angle. However, Polynesian tattooing is considered the most intricate and skillful tattooing of the ancient world. Polynesian peoples, believe that a person's "mana", their spiritual power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo. The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, were elaborate affairs and were a key part of their ascent to a leadership role. The permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever celebrate their endurance and dedication to their cultural traditions. Where as, the Hawaiian people had their traditional tattoo art, known as ‘kakau'. It served them not only for ornamentation and distinction, but to guard their health and spiritual well-being. There was also widespread tattooing among Native Indians. Outstanding warriors were recognized by their tattoos, and woman of some tribes were tattooed to indicate marital status and group identity. Tattooing as an art form has over the years been claimed by many countries tribal and ethnic groups. People have always striven to change one's appearance, and for millions of people throughout time, tattooing has been one of the most popular forms of permanent body art.

(TANSITION:Now that you're more familiar with the history of tattoos, let's continue to my first point: people who get tattoos)

However tattoos started, they are here to stay. 24% of Americans ages 18-50 have tattoos. That is 1 out of every 4 people with a tattoos. Tattoos have become more popular in recent years, and the people who get them are just as diverse as the styles and designs they choose. Tattooing has been a male-dominated art form. The typical tattooed person has been a military man, sailor or prisoner. But, these days, tattoos have lost a lot of their "taboo" stigma and have become much more common in mainstream society, especially in the United States. You can find visible tattoos on professional athletes, white-collar workers celebrities and college kids. And increasingly, you'll find that the person getting a tattoo is a young woman. Surprisingly, the tattoo statistics for men and women in the U.S. are now nearly identical. 16% of all American males are tattooed while 15% of all American females sport tattoos. Today, tattoos are becoming less taboo and more accepted as cleaner, more professional shops open up and the artistic boundaries are pushed with the medium of tattoo art. Also, the advances in color and other tattoo equipment have made tattoos more than just a symbol or a testimony, but a real piece of art on skin. During the last ten years, according to U.S. News & World Report, tattooing has become one of America's fastest growing categories of retail business. There are now an estimated 15,000 tattoo studios in operation, furthermore, it is...

Cited: Bernstein,Mike, aka "TattooMike" in person interview at Fine Line Tattoo studio, Mesquite,TX July,19,2007
Gilbert,Steve.Tattoo History:A Source Book.New York:Juno,2001.
Hudson,Karen.Chick Ink:40 Stories of Tattoos and the Women Who Wear Them.Avon:Adams,2007.
Miller,Jean-Chris. The Body Art Book.NewYork:Berkley,1997.
Swan,Anna."Tattoo Statistics: Americas Ink Trends".May,16.2006
Wilson,Tracy."How Tattoos Work". April 01, 2000 http://www.howstuffworks.comtattoo.html (July 23, 2007)
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