Friday, October 15, 2010

Tattoos No Longer Taboo

The Pew Research Center reported in 2010 that 36 percent of Americans ages 18-25 have at least one tattoo. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration reported in 2009 that 45 million Americans have tattoos.

Tattoos have gone in and out of the mainstream culture for centuries. In the 1960s, a modern tattoo Renaissance of sorts began. There could not have been a better time for tattoo and celebrity to come together. With ink, actors, musicians and athletes could identify themselves as individuals who live their lives outside the pale.

Six years ago, a tattooist flew from the UK to ink a new winged cross tattoo on the back of David Beckham’s neck during the soccer championship games. Angelina Jolie is probably the most tattooed Academy Award winning actress. She has tribal dragons, a Thai tiger, and various Latin sayings across her shoulders and arms. Johnny Depp is almost as well known for his tattoos as his acting, which include the names of his kids and mother.

Alex O’Loughlin, celebrity actor in CBS’s hot new show Hawaii Five-0, has seven tattoos, most of which he obtained before his career began. He has a faded tattoo on each forearm, large tattoos on each shoulder, two small tattoos on his chest, and finally, an enormous tattoo on his lower back (referred to as “arse antlers” in his Australian homeland). And if you can believe it, faux tattoos were added in two of his films. Alex has admitted his tattoos have meaning for him but has not shared that personal information with fans. We can only speculate why he chose H.R. Geiger’s work Illuminatus.

A genuine tattoo.... tells a story. I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, if they don't tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they're just there for decoration, then they're not a valid tattoo. There has to be some emotional appeal or they're not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo. It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there's no mistakes.
~Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000
It used to be that celebs didn't get tattooed. Their agents and managers advised that such actions could alter audience perceptions or hurt their chances for certain roles. However, with tattoos now a fashionable part of the mainstream, it seems that having a bit of skin art doesn't have any effect on one's acting career.

It’s an interesting turn of events that celebrities can now find their likenesses indelibly inked on their most ardent fans.

Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: A national data set by Anne E. Laumann, MBChB, MRCP(UK), and Amy J. Derick, MD (Chicago, Illinois)


  1. I think better technology and better makeup technics, make it a lot more acceptable for actors to have tattoos because it can be taken away/hidden when not wanted or needed. Wonder if there is a lot of extra costs involved when productions need to do those removals for a specific actor?

  2. Do not use a wash cloth or material that is abrasive. Your hands are ultimately the best option for you to use in this case. (Now if your tattoo feels a bit slimy and slippery, do not worry this is probably from oozing plasma. Just try to lightly remove as much of it as possible - when the plasma dries on the surface of the tattoo, it will begin to create scabs.) red lotus

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  8. I agree that now almost every American has a tattoo or wants a tattoo. I also have 2 tattoos and all I got from tattoo design company. According to This company tattoo artists, more than 100 people visit their studio daily of tattoo designs.

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