Tattoos create a division in society depending on people’s perceptions and beliefs. Some say that a tattoo will ruin a person’s chances of landing a distinguished job or link negative connotations to the art form. However, there are others that embrace the art of tattoos as a form of personal expression, using their body as a canvas to tell a unique story about themselves and their lives.  Then there are also people that get tattoos to create a memory of someone special or of a loved one who’s passed away. The generation gap between the older generation and generation X and Y has fueled the hot topic debate of tattoos as a societal acceptance.

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How it all began:

Ancient Egypt and India used tattoos as methods of healing and as methods of religious worship. They were also marks of status in society but also a punishment. Tattoos in the Philippines were marks of the rank and accomplishments and people there, believed that they had magical properties.


  • 3200 B.C. 
  • Ötzi, who would become the world’s oldest mummy, gets a tattoo which seems to be one of the first: about 60 lines and crosses on his lower spine, right knee, and ankle joints.
  • Third Century A.D.
  • In the late 200s, Japanese men were elaborately decorating their entire bodies.
  • 1846 
  • Martin Hildebrandt set up New York’s first tattoo shop on Oak Street in lower Manhattan.
  • 1944 
  • In one of the first instances of legal trouble for the tattoo world, Charlie Wagner was fined by the city of New York for not sterilizing his needles.
Via: Inked Cartel
  • 1961 
  • The New York City Health Department banned tattooing after a hepatitis-B scare.
  • 1974 
  • Don Ed Hardy opens Realistic Tattoo in San Francisco, the first custom-only, appointment-only studio in the U.S.
  • 1979 
  • The three-year-old National Tattoo Association organizes the first National Convention of tattoo artists and fans, in Denver.
  • 1997 
  • New York passes a bill legalizing tattooing by a vote of 38 to 7. Officials estimate that 50 tattooists had been operating illegally in the previous few years.
  • 1997 
  • New York held its first tattoo convention.
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  • 2004 
  • The launch of Ed Hardy Vintage Tattoo Wear, a clothing line featuring the artwork of the famed tattooist.
  • 2005
    9/11 memorial tattoos became a distinct genre at tattoo competitions.
  • 2007 
  • Brad Pitt got a tattoo of Ötzi, the mummy.

The facts:

•The world record holder in a number of tattoos is Gregory Paul McLaren whose skin is 100% covered with tattoos.  After him, comes Tom Leppard, born 1934. His skin is covered with tattoos “only” 99.9%.

•Ancient Greeks and Romans tattooed their slaves and criminals so they would be easier to identify if they escaped.  Chinese also tattooed their criminals.

•If a tattoo ink has metals there is a rare chance that it will become hot during MRI tests.

•George C. Reiger Jr has special permission from Disney to have tattoos of their copyrighted material – specifically Disney’s characters. He has over 1,000 Disney tattoos, which includes ALL 101 Dalmatians.

•Ancient Egypt practiced “medical tattooing” among other forms. They, for instance, had tattoos for treatment of chronic pelvic peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum).

•Earliest tattoo inks were made of carbon and ash.

•Today, at least one-fifth of adults in the United States have at least one tattoo.

The debate:

Tattoos, unfortunately, create prejudices such as not being able to get a job and being generalized as unprofessional.  They then concern themselves with how the tattoos will look when they’re older.  Most of these ideas stem from older generations where they may hold stricter expectations from the millennial generation.

A lot of jobs require employees to be customer-facing and on client sites. Although tattoos and body piercings are becoming more normal and part of pop-culture, there are still many traditional workplaces that prefer a more conservative look and require all face piercings to be removed and tattoos to be covered up. It is important to recognize the type of profession you would like to go into because usually, the creative workplaces are more accepting of tattoos and piercings.

Via: Scpr

There are a number of clauses when it comes to employment laws. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against candidates based on age, gender, disability, national origin, pregnancy and a number of other categories so why is it not okay to include body art to the list?

While there are no current laws that prohibit discrimination against people with visible tattoos, body piercings, unnatural hair colors, unique hairstyles, and so on, there have been some efforts to include body art and body modification.  These have not yet been included. With the media being the most influential cause in society and the millennial generation, who knows what could happen?

On a lighter note, the current tattoo trends are as follows:

Most common tattoos:

According to the artists, hands and fingers are becoming one of the most popular tattoo locations. Underboob tattoos (below the chest line on women), and behind-the-ear tattoos are also highly requested.

Via: Custom Tattoo Design

One scrolls through the tattoo section of Pinterest, and it’s easy to pick out some of the most popular designs. Between classic icons like hearts and roman numerals to contemporary favorites like infinity signs, quotes, and arrows, there are some designs that have been tattooed at virtually every shop on earth. Or, at least, that’s how it seems. but just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re necessarily off-limits.  After all, these designs are commonly requested for a reason.

Image via: Tenor

Minimal tattoos

Although most fine-line tattoos are minimalistic and petite, the tattoo artists are most often tasked with “scripted lettering” in particular. (Side note: make sure you know the proper meaning of your tattoo before you get inked)

Image via: Super Tattoo Ideas

Finger tattoos

Although many artists refuse to do finger tattoos because they fade, the trend is still seeing increasing popularity as an appealing way to get a tiny tattoo.

Image via: Pinterest


Full-sleeves and large-scale tattoos

On the other end of the spectrum are those getting large tattoos, as the arms remain one of the most popular areas to be inked.

Via: Design of Tattoos

Traditional tattoos

With all of the new designs and techniques available, many tattoo artists are still partial to one style in particular – traditional tattoos. These are typically boldly-lined and done in all black or brightly colored.

Via: The Urban List

Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more common to express yourself in multiple platforms and we respect everyone’s personal opinions, with no judgment!

Happy inking!

Do you have a tattoo or would you get a tattoo? Let us know in the comments below!

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