Women And Tattoo Empowerment

jentheripper in Stories

Tattoo empowerment has helped women to get their independance, and they gave tattoo art its status of art.

Tattoo is a world of men, but if you take a better look at it, women have seriously made it their own too. In the early years of tattooing, they were the first to push away the flash collections to reclaim more personal and customized pieces of ink art. They helped it becoming more artistic, more mainstream, more respected. Veterans of tattoo art know they owe their success to women, just like Lyle Tuttle and his client, feminism icon Janis Joplin. But tattoo art and women is more than a love story, it's a win-win collaboration. They used bodyart as a great tool for their independance: tattoo empowerment.
Now, most of tattoo artists' clients are women. In 2012, the Harris Poll revealed that 23% of US women were tattooed, while only 19% of men were. The numbers have increased with the years, and women want to control their bodyart (and their life) more than ever.

Photo by Olga Komarova.
Photo by Olga Komarova.

In the early ages of tattooing, there was a specific selection of tattoos for female clients: small and feminine designs that were only allowed on private parts... When Janis Joplin first publicly shown her visible wristband, she changed the game for all women. Now, women want to sport bold Japanese sleeves, skulls, badass visible tattoos, etc. It's personal and not dictated by cultural norms. More and more women are becoming tattoo artists and many of them are becoming respected, coveted and famous for their personal art. A great example of sex equality...

Saira Hunjan is among today's famous tattoo artists. Photo by John Wellings.
Saira Hunjan is among today's famous tattoo artists. Photo by John Wellings.

But for society, if ink on women is now fine, with tattooed female celebrities, models, it becomes problematic when this woman becomes a mother. The world is still classifying women as discreet wives and mothers, with tattoos only intended for sex purpose, not social acceptance. It's still the antagonism between the whore and the mother.

Photo by Belle Verdiglione.
Photo by Belle Verdiglione.

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But tattooed women and tattooed mothers are fighting back. You think I shouldn't breastfeed with my tattoos? Oh well, I guess it's okay with all the poisons I have in my blood because industries have put them in my food, medications and cosmetics??? You think I am a bad example for my children as well as your children? Oh well, guess what, I have an open mind, a great culture and sense of aesthecism, as well as the right to tell you to mind your own business... I'm a tattooed mother, so what???

Photo by Ivette Ivens.
Photo by Ivette Ivens.

The issue with tattooed women is related to society's perception of beauty. We are still acting as if we were in the 19th century, with fragile women hiding behind their husbands and doing delicate activities. For example, a bride needs to look pure. Tattoos are not considered as a symbol of purity and some brides still prefer to hide their ink on their wedding day. But things are changing! Tattooed brides is now something trendy, with dresses revealing their gorgeous bodyart and tattooing an acceptable part of wedding ceremonies and festivities.

Photo by Julia Baier.
Photo by Julia Baier.

Beauty culture norms are also evolving. Alternative beauty is now mixing with beauty, period. Colored hair, piercings, tattoos and body modifications are gaining more and more supporters. If some narrow-minded people still consider that women are mutilating their bodies with bodyart, fashion is pulling society closer to the idea of adorning bodies. Women are leaving the shame behind them and reclaiming the right to get bold art just like men.

Photo by Nils Breiner. Models Jacky Ripper and Tanna Barthel.
Photo by Nils Breiner. Models Jacky Ripper and Tanna Barthel.

Tattooing is a way for women to control their body, and in way, their life. It is an empowering answer to past traumas, both spiritual and physical. For women, ink is more than something to use for appearance. It helps her seeing deeper than scars, to reach their own idea of beauty. The many campaigns for mastectomy tattoos, as well as using ink in cosmetic surgery, is giving a new meaning to tattoo. It heals, it's positive. And it's the future.

Photo via P.ink.
Photo via P.ink.

Tattoo is something that is "just for you". A little pleasure. The most personal fashion accessory you can get. Make-up and jewels used to be trashy, now they are indispensable to female beauty. It's just the same for tattoos. It also helps changing the mediatic image of female body, with models of all sizes, all colors, all beauties.

Photo by Jessica Lutz.
Photo by Jessica Lutz.

According to most tattoo artists, women are sitting so much better than men. They know pain. They also know what they want when it comes to beauty and art. That's why they are looking for the best tattoo artists, the best designs. Their creativity lead them to use their bodies as canvas for art. They enjoy experimenting, exploring new styles, even if others are more faint-hearted.

Photo by Mira Nedyalkova. tattoo empowerment
Photo by Mira Nedyalkova. tattoo empowerment

Modern women are not afraid to be heavily tattooed. They want bold tattoos that rock? They get them! Female bodies are often criminalized, and visible tattooing is just another pressure. But they are fighting back. They use their bodies as symbols of pride. They create tattoo friendly communities and businesses. Women have made a long journey with tattooing. They went to small, cute and hidden to personal, bold and public. And this because they believe in tattoo as an art.

Photo by Alexander Koste.
Photo by Alexander Koste.

Are you a tattooed and happy woman who wants to share her experience? Or are you still insecure about being proud of your ink? Don't give up to haters, because tattoo can change your life...

jentheripper

@JenTheRipper

Writer for art related medias. Fell in love with tattoo while researching for another passion, crime history. Travelling, admiring, sharing.

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