Tattoo's : a Permanent Mark on Pop Culture Essay

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The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian "tatu" which means "to mark something." It is arguably claimed that tattooing has existed since 12,000 years BC.
The purpose of tattooing has varied from culture to culture and its place on the time line. But there are similarities that prevail form the earliest known tattoos to those being performed on people around the world today.

Tattoos have always had an important role in ritual and tradition. In Borneo, women tattooed symbols on their forearm indicating their particular skill. If a woman wore a symbol indicating she was a skilled weaver, her status as prime marriageable material was increased. Tattoos around the wrist and fingers were believed to ward away illness.
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The tattooed in the western world today include many people from various walks of life including doctors, skateboarders, artists and teachers, punks and bus drivers, lawyers,bikers, convicts, mothers, fathers, grandparents, gang members, professors, students, street performers and even dentists. Tattoos today seem to cross all boundaries, cultural, political and socio-economic. The act of tattooing, one of but many forms of intentional body modification, has been enveloped by the mainstream into the popular culture of the new millennium. Tattoos have become contemporary symbols of western identity and individualism.

1Atkinson, Michael. Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003. As elements of mainstream, consumer culture, tattoos today have essentially become fashionable art. Those that tattoo are ‘tattoo artists;' those that get tattooed bear ‘skin art.' This has not always been the case. The introduction of tattoos into popular culture has been a very recent phenomenon. Tattoos were once the exclusive domain of sailors, bikers, convicts and punks, and were considered, through the eyes of the mainstream, a deviant behaviour, a low culture. In fact, tattoos for most of the twentieth century in North America existed solely at the sub- cultural level When

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