Lower back tattoos have the dubious nickname "Tramp Stamp." While it is not cool to judge a book by its cover, many people have been taught to assume that a woman with a lower back tattoo is a woman of ill-repute. It's a stigma that existed when lower back tattoos were in their heyday and it still exists today.
These women are out to turn that stigma on its head, and let people know that it's not okay to demean them, or their tattoos.
In this video, several women explain the meaning behind their lower back tattoos and why they don't regret them. They're looking to change the public perception about the ink.
I got to chat with the video's creator, Emmy Geraghty, and find out the inspiration behind the creation of the video.
What made you want to make this video?
Emmy: I have tattoos and I wanted to make a video that showed off the stories behind other women's tattoos. People have very strong opinions about women with tattoos, and especially lower back tattoos, so the creation process naturally brought us here.
What sort of negative opinions about women with tattoos have you encountered?
I personally have encountered opinions mostly from older people who still think tattoos are for people who creep around in back alleys and ride motorcycles. I think this video helps show that women with tattoos are just like any other woman. Tattoos with different meanings, or ones that have no meaning, tattoos on your arm, or your back – they're just one of many things that make people who they are. I think people can sometimes zero in on them as if they’re this very dark, defining thing, in a negative way.
Do you have a lower back tattoo?
I don't have a lower back tattoo, but I do have two tattoos on my back! I would have been in the video if I had a lower back tattoo.
What other stigmas do you think women with tattoos face?
I think overall, a lot of people are anti-tattoo, no matter what gender we're talking about. But I think specifically when it comes to women, people are quick to judge and police what women do with their bodies. So I think the overall stigma around tattoos is magnified for women.
Have you and/or people close to you been affected by negative stereotypes about tramp stamps?
I had some friends in high school and early college who had them, and they were definitely side-eyed for them. From other young women for being “trashy” and from young men as being a sign that they were promiscuous. No matter what your behavior is, it doesn’t feel good to have people assume things about your character when they don’t know you, it’s not fair.
What does the Tramp Stamp mean for you?
Someone told me once, “tattoos are like dreams, they only mean something to the people who have them.” So I don’t think tramp stamps mean much to me specifically, as much as I think it’s awesome that tattoos can mean different things to different people.
Here's hoping the video can eradicate the stigma surrounding lower-back tattoos and empower women to no longer feel ashamed of their bodies or their tattoos! It's all about positivity, people! Enjoy life and let people live their own.