Body Tattoos

Body Tattoos - Coms 420 Body Tattoos and Piercings Once...

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Coms 420 Body Tattoos and Piercings Once upon a time the concept of tattoos was for drunken sailors, gang members, and bikers. Tattoos were perceived as lower class, dirty, and unprofessional. Body piercings also were once looked down upon associated with hookers and gang members. However, these notions of tattoos and body piercings have developed and changed over time and are now looked upon as art forms and expressions of oneself. Anyone and everyone can now have a tattoo or body piercing with out being stereotyped as “dirty” or “lower class”. Although tattoos and body piercings have in the past been perceived as negative, a great range of people have made it their goal to promote tattoos as an art form and not just a drunken sailor’s mistake. On October 15, 1989 there was a Living Art Exhibition, which brought together all kinds of individuals from young business professionals to the stereotypical bikers. This art exhibition was designed to “elevate the status of tattooing among non-tattooed public to a legitimate art form”. (DeMello) Also, on April 10 th -14 th , 1991 the National Tattoo Association had their 12 th annual show. The N.T.A. talked to a great deal of reporters, mainly to promote the idea that “the sailor’s tattoo is gone.” (DeMello) Their message is that tattoos are really art forms that can express individuality and one’s sense of self. The American Anthropological Association on December 5 th , 1992 held a panel devoted to discussions of tattoos and body piercings. Liesl Gambold from UCLA discussed some motivations for “acquiring fine art tattoos which included self control, empowerment, and a means of creating a sense of self.” (DeMello)
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From the time they were introduced by American sailors returning from overseas in World War II, tattoos have been all the rage in the United States. They spread from this sailor demographic on to biker gangs in the ‘50s and ‘60s, giving tattoos a sinful and rebellious image, and then experienced a spike in popularity in the ‘90s when women started to use them to speak against the norms of society. Throughout their short American history, tattoos have been a trademark of society, reigning in all kinds of responses from creative and thoughtful to just down right stupid. But why have tattoos stuck around and who is responsible for this? While there are many factors that can be attributed to the tattoo fad’s staying power, the media and changing cultural attitudes take
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This note was uploaded on 01/10/2011 for the course COMS 420 taught by Professor Conway during the Winter '08 term at Cal Poly.

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Body Tattoos - Coms 420 Body Tattoos and Piercings Once...

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