The psychology associated with people altering the appearance of their bodies for self-expression is quite interesting. From people scarring their skin in a certain pattern to defy society to people considering it a form of art, you will find many interesting reasons behind even the tiniest of designs.
Peer pressure has largely influenced the growing base of clients in the tattoo industry. Some people do it to ‘’fit well’’ among their group of friends or fans will get a tattoo that resembles that of their celebrity crush. But, of course, there is a darker side to this, there are some extreme cases where getting tattoos becomes an addiction. People feel the “need” to get tattoos constantly; this can drive people to extremes in the act of body modification.
The human mind is a labyrinth of thoughts, ideas, perceptions, and emotions. Not everyone follows the same direction, where yourself expression may translate into words on paper, others may express through their tattoo designs.
According to research, 21 % adult Americans have a tattoo between the ages of 30 to 39. Another study questioned people without tattoos and gathered data on their opinions of tattoos. The conclusion stated that people who do not get tattoos consider people with tattoos more rebellious and outgoing.
About 31% of the people with tattoos considered it as an enhancement of their personality and expressed that getting a tattoo made them feel and look sexier. Tattoos are slowly posing as a runner-up the widely popular act of getting ear piercings.
Ear piercings are the most popular form of body modification in the U.S. This can be attributed to the idea that lobe-piercing is considered acceptable at a very young age, whereas, getting a tattoo is a choice made by adults in their older years. Psychologists say that most people will get a tattoo to coup with a traumatic experience or they will get it define themselves a new person after an emotionally challenging situation.
There are several stances on why someone gets this type of modification. One is the pure reason of aesthetics. People do it for fashion and making a statement of being edgy and fierce. Others will get one because Rihanna has a few. Whatever the justification for getting a tattoo may be today, there was once tradition (still is in some parts of the world) backing up this face of art.
Tattoo Placement And Its Meaning
Tattoos are artful representations of pain, happiness, sorrow or a story. Beyond this where you place the tattoo also has significance and symbolism attached to it. The placement of the tattoo speaks volumes about the personality of an individual. There is a history attached to the significance of each part of the body that has been tattooed over centuries.
This signifies the person’s inner being. If the chosen tattoo is symbolizing strength, then this indicates that they have a strong resolve. If it is delicate, it indicates that they are tough on the outside but vulnerable on the inside.
If placed on the front of the neck, this tattoo signifies the person’s disregard of the societal pressures and that they are not afraid to openly express themselves. The nape and back of the neck that can be covered by hair, especially among girls signifies them being opinionated and not being afraid of changing their opinion if they have to. This is one of the most painful parts.
This is usually placed behind the ear and is a delicate design, symbolizing the inner self of the individual and their love for privacy.
These are a few examples of how the placement of a tattoo resonates with the personality of people.
Some Ingenious Recommendations For Tattoo Placements
In some cases, the client will come asking for the least painful place to get a tattoo, but you should also consider how the shapes and bends of your body compliment your dream tattoo. Consider the following places to get a tattoo
The curvature of the calf compliments certain types of tattoos especially of the design changes proportion from top to bottom. This is relatively painful and also takes some time to heal, but if you are someone who likes their privacy and wants to share this with close people only this is the place for you.
Behind the ear
This small space is perfect for delicate designs, but it is totally up to you to choose a skull as a tattoo design for yourself. Although a significantly painful ordeal, this placement grants you the freedom to keep your tattoo a secret or display it whenever you want
This placement has a lot of significance in the tattoo world. People get designs, names or symbols that are closer to their heart and hold a special meaning for them and someone they share a bond with.
This placement garnered fame among women who chose to rebel against societies expectations of shaved or waxed armpit hair. But, it slowly became an interest among tattoo enthusiasts who were running out of places to get a tattoo. This is one of the most painful experiences that anyone can have. Not all tattoo artists can perform this as this is a tricky placement. Moreover, it utilizes techniques that only pros can handle. If you are looking to get your armpits tattooed find a place that caters to these kinds of tattoos and books an appointment with the best.
Unless you are a swimsuit model, there are a few chances that anyone other than your closest people will see this. If you are a strong believer in energies and centering your chakras, this is the perfect place to get a symbol for your beliefs. From the spot where the hearts location ends to the lower part of your body beyond the digestive system, this area can signify so much. The aftercare of this placement is quite challenging, and these wounds will take time to heal.
This placement is regarded as sensual for both men and women. This is one of the most popular tattoo placements among teenage girls and men who exercise and are not shy. This placement can be a private affair or a public on depending on what the choice of tattoo signifies for you as an individual. Tattoo artists claim that most people ask for this place when they have a quote or a memory that needs to be printed on their bodies in words.
This placement usually holds sentimental value and also a mysterious. If you have a somewhat introvert personality, this is the place for you. This gives you an opportunity to express yourself or commemorate something that you want to keep to yourself and only show on occasion. Currently, this is one of the biggest fashion statements in the tattoo industry. However, tattoo artists are speculating that this will soon be one of the most common places to get a tattoo.
This is a bold choice and for people who want the world to see their story or want a constant reminder of something. This is considered as the most popular place for people suffering from anxiety, depression or any other disorders. This is a constant reminder for them to keep them safe from self-harming practices. You will find phrases such as “stay strong” or “stay positive” written over the wrists of most individuals with wrist tattoos.
The upper arm
This placement signifies strength and commitment towards a goal or a purpose. This is commonly seen placed on people who are into fitness motivation and health. This also shows that you like to keep a part of your life to yourself and enjoy living by your own rules at times.
This is one of the most upfront placements that anyone can get a tattoo on. This is a symbol of the inner self. Most people choose either dainty symbols or fully-fledged art pieces for this placement.
This placement is usually used for placing very significant and meaningful tattoos, such as the heartbeat rhythm of a loved one or a name. It is a painful ordeal but a constant reminder of the good in your life. Some people will get arrows to help them remember always to move forward. It is also one of the most common places to get a tattoo for aesthetic reasons.
Clever Spots To Get Tattoos On
If you are the mysterious type or do not want to display your tattoo for sentimental purposes openly, then we have got just the perfect places you can get a little something inked onto
1. The Bottom Of The Foot
You can get anything you like tattooed on the bottom of your feet. This is one place that no one will be looking at, and you can maintain your privacy. Celebrities such as Cara Delevingne have gotten tattoos on the bottom of her foot.
2. In Between The Fingers
This placement has gained a lot of popularity over the years, and people will get tattoos here for many reasons. Although these tattoos can be spotted on occasion, they will stay hidden between the fingers.
3. The Ear
If you want to sneak in a tattoo without many people noticing it, then this is the perfect spot for you. People will spot this only if you want them to and it is nothing a concealer cannot hide today. Take some inspiration from KatVon D and here starry tattoo on the ear.
4. The Inner Lip
While hipsters may be flaunting this all over their social media pages, you can choose to keep this tucked away. This is usually placed on the inner side under the lips and beneath the chin area. These tattoos, however, fade pretty quickly, but if you are a Miley Cyrus fan, then this may be a fun thing to try.
5. The Ankle
A delicate tattoo placed on the ankle can be quite gorgeous and appealing. Katy Perry is one of the stars who flaunt their ankle tattoo.
6. On the Neck
For aesthetic or sentimental purposes this is the perfect tattoo for someone who doesn’t want to share too much with people around them. Ariane Grande has been flaunting this style for some time and only the OG followers may know of this
7. On the Inner Bicep
The inner bicep tattoo can only be seen if you are flaunting your bicep transformation. Otherwise, people may just catch a few glimpses of this tattoo. Miley Cyrus has a few, and she certainly flaunts them.
8. The Side Of The Foot
If you are a Lea Michele fan, then you might like a design on the side of your foot. This can easily be hidden under covered shoes, and you can flaunt it when you choose to.
Tattoos have been around for centuries. With the earliest recording dating back to 12000 years B.C, as to why people go these tattoos, there were varying reasons. From the being marked as culture and tradition to being a college girl’s fashion statement, the basics of tattoo design have remained the same.
If you turn to history for research, you will find that tattoos have been a part of traditions and rituals for a long time. The women of Borneo tattooed their specific a kill onto their forearms. These skills included being skilled in the art of weaving or an expert cook; these symbols were tattooed to increase their chances of getting a suitor. These “skills” rated their position on the “marriageability scale.”
They also engraved tattoos on their fingers and wrists to keep illness and plague at bay. You will also find that people in ancient times, got tattoos to define their identities or belonging. A certain tribe would require each member to get a specific symbol carved on different parts of their body to signify their inheritance or their loyalty to certain groups. This is a prominent practice even today; people do it pledge their allegiance to their group of friends or even to a specific self-proclaimed gang. Movies often show that one crime lord living his life in peace until a rival spot his tattoo and all hell breaks loose.
Tribes in the ancient world or even to this day believe in the power of images to draw energy. For believers of this path, an image of a tiger or a lion carved over their bodies can grant them the eye of the tiger or the strength of a lion.
There are records or Egyptian civilization adopting the art of tattoos around the time the pyramids were being constructed. From here on, the people of Crete, Greece, and Rome accepted this form of art and carried it on. China accepted the art of tattoos around 2000 B.C.
There were several perspectives towards tattooing varying from civilizations to civilizations. Where Greeks used this as a form of identifying their high ranking spies, Romans did the opposite. Romans used tattooing as a means of marking their slaves and criminals.
After tattoos became a practice in the Greek and Roman world, the Japanese were influenced by it next. They began practicing the art of tattoos as a ceremonial and religious practice. Early Britons also accepted the art of tattooing and began practicing it as a way to symbolize a certain family. Till today the Saxons, Norse, and the Danes practice the tradition of tattooing their family crests on their bodies.
This is where the idea of a tattooed individual began being frowned upon as Pope Hadrian banned this practice around 787 A.D. However, the practice of getting tattoos was still quite favorable despite the ban until the Normans invaded and completely changed the image of tattooing in the western world. They were able to eliminate tattooing from the west between 12th and the 16th centuries.
Centuries passed with tattooing gaining popularity in different parts of the world. It was introduced back to Briton around 600 years from the ban.
Depression had a negative impact on the tattoo industry, and most tattoo parlors moved to shady parts of cities where rent was low or near army bases. Then came World War II and after it the hepatitis epidemic which destroyed the tattoo industry in the U.S.
Even though most tattoo parlors displayed sterilization machines in their shops, they hardly used them. This prompted newspapers to publish articles regarding hepatitis, blood poisoning and other diseases spreading as result of irresponsible tattooing.
The U.S government decided to give tattoo businesses a chance to form alliances with regulations and laws, despite the disdain attached to the idea of tattoos. The tattoos industry was unable to comply which resulted in various renowned parlors being shut down.
Despite its drop from the height of fame, tattooing is making quite a strong comeback and people are welcoming it. The stigma attached to the practice is slowly melting away, and it is becoming popular among the common man and style icons equally.
Are Tattoos A Form Of Art?
Art challenges people to question norms, to alter perceptions and create incredible visuals. When observed closely, tattoos do the same for an individual except, the canvas is the human body.
The debate between people viewing tattoos as an art form and those who believe otherwise is ongoing. Assistant curator of exhibitions at the New York Historical Society, Cristian Petru stated that tattoos are art if the individual who is getting it wants it to be art. He recently curated an exhibition named Tattooed New York. This exhibition was centered on the journey of tattoo art throughout history in the Region.
This show influenced Cristian so much that he got his first tattoo which reminded him of his mother. A dainty piece with flowers and birds is almost nostalgic for him.
As the World is becoming more accepting of tattoos, people are now seeing it as a work of fine art. Tattoo enthusiasts are creating “collections” on their bodies from various renowned tattoo artists. Another Multi-disciplinary artist reviewed tattoos as a un-adultered art form that has not been influenced by money or by the conventional art.
It is considered the purest form of art among artists and is one of the most powerful visual languages used by humanity. This art form is different and unique for each individual, and you will not find the rich and powerful trying to store it as “their” property. This is what makes tattoos the purest form of artistry. As long as the person who has this form of art on their body, lives and breathes it will be free for all to see and admire without spending thousands of dollars at art exhibitions just to catch a glimpse of heavenly art.
Tattoo artists believe that the human body is an art itself and tattoos only enhance this great creation. Tattoos are also surrounded by similar questions as a painting would be. How does placing a tiny water sign or a rose on the forearm differ from its placement on the torso? How does it affect the person who is the canvas for this masterpiece?
The techniques will vary from artist to artist as some still believe in creating art using the traditional poke method with chopsticks and needles. While there are others, who have resorted to newer methods of performing this practice. However, each time the artist’s needle touches the body, it brings out the soul and displays it for the world to see.
Every tattoo that you get signifies a meaning whether it is for aesthetic purposes or a story. Take to your tattoo artist about the significance of the placement and aftercare before you get inked.