Tattoos and other similar forms of body art have been in existence as long as the human race. Artwork from ancient Sumerian and Egyptian tombs indicate that the art was already well established during the 2nd millennium B.C.E. While much of this lifetime body adornment has been for religious and similar purposes, it has also been a form of art and even beauty for many, especially in more modern times.
Modern tattoo art came into its own during both world wars when both sailors and soldiers of many countries had tattoos inscribed on their bodies, usually on their forearms and shoulders. Many lonesome military personnel often had the names of their sweethearts inscribed on them, along with various romantic symbols. Some guys, especially sailors in both naval and merchant marine fleets went even farther and had tattoos of either partially of fully nude women, often with a name of a girl friend or famous film star, drawn onto their bodies.
Women as well as men have had tattoos put on literally all parts of their bodies, sometimes in the most “interesting” places. While most women’s tattoos are smaller and less revealing than men’s that is not always the case; and some “illustrated” women have the most intricate designs drawn on large sections of their physique.
Once done in what were known as tattoo parlors, often in sleazy or run down neighborhoods, tattoo emporiums can now be found even in the most upscale areas. Many Hollywood movie stars have tattoos, and some of these designs have even caused the actor or actress to gain more popularity. The art is no longer the exclusive adornment for sailors or bikers (motorcycle gang members), but is now even popular with men and women of the highest economic strata. There are tattoo societies, forums, magazines and conclaves, where recent developments in the art are portrayed and discussed, and new designs are shared. Tattoo conventions take place annually in many American states as well as in countries all over the globe.
Costs of having tattoos applied vary considerably, and depend of the intricacy of the design, including how many colors are used, and where the tattoo is done. Many tourists to countries such as India and Thailand wind up having tattoos made due to their low costs in these countries.
A word of caution, though. Tattoos done in unsanitary conditions can result in serious infections which can lead to complications, such as a condition known as M.S.R.A., Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, which often results after having a tattoo applied in unsanitary conditions and can cause serious skin diseases and even death. It is most important that strict hygienic measures be taken care of, including proper cleansing of the area where the tattoo is to be applied, since it does involve piercing the skin with a needle-like applicator.
Tattoo Magazine and other similar monthly and bi-monthly periodicals keep tattoo aficionados up on latest news and information on upcoming events. This information is also available though numerous internet websites.