The Social Acceptance of Female Tattoos

By | January 2, 2014

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Tattoos are ancient form of body art which have different meanings in different cultures and societies; a tattoo is a mark of tribal membership, gang membership, identification, a fashion statement and self expression, amongst other interpretations. Tattoos have both negative and positive associations; however, in recent years, a tattoo has become more socially acceptable for a woman, despite traditional connotations.

girls tattoos

Negative Associations of Tattoos

Tattoos have traditionally been the domain of men from ancient Maori tribes to soldiers and sailors; women who defied social convention and got a tattoo were often labeled as a ‘prostitute’ or a ‘loose’ woman. Many women used to get tattoos to appease a lover; however, the trend is changing, particularly in North America, and more and more women are now displaying tattoos on various parts of their bodies, through personal choice.

How Society Views Tattoos on Women

Tattoos amongst women are becoming more socially acceptable, particularly as it is becoming common to see celebrity women displaying tattoos in various places. Women often get tattoos on a part of the body which is easily covered up, should work, religion or convention dictate to do so; in addition, many view tattoos on women as ‘sexy’ and ‘individual’.

Temporary and Permanent Tattoos for Women

Tattoos do not have to be permanent; there are many varieties of the traditional tattoo including temporary and henna tattoos. Tattoos do not have to be restricted to the traditional parts of the body. Cosmetic tattooing is a new trend amongst women too, in the form of permanent eye and lip make-up; tattoos can also be used medically to alert people to a specific medical condition.

Reasons Women Get a Tattoo

A woman who decides to have a tattoo often does so for personal reasons; reasons a woman may have a tattoo include:

  • to express individuality
  • for spiritual reasons
  • to get over a relationship break-up or divorce
  • to start/end a particular phase of her life
  • to feel sexy
  • to honor a relative/loved one
  • to defy convention.

Top Five Sexiest Places for a Woman to Have a Tattoo

Women often have a tattoo to feel sexy; in recent years the trend has grown in where a woman places a tattoo. Popular sexy places for women to have tattoo include:

  • lower back – traditionally known as the ‘tramp stamp’, because it was worn by women who were sexually promiscuous, the lower back is slowly beginning to be accepted as a sexy, sensual place for a female tattoo. It is probably one of the most popular places for a woman to have a tattoo, as it can be covered up from disapproving eyes but be glimpsed and shared in a sensual way between lovers.
  • foot/toe – foot/toe tattoos are increasing in popularity amongst women; foot/toe tattoos can be delicate and simplistic and covered up when convention dictates. However, foot/toe tattoos can be sexily displayed throughout the summer months on the beach and in the bar.
  • ankle – ankle tattoos were popular before the increase in foot tattoos amongst women; ankle tattoos are sexy in much the same way as foot tattoos.
  • wrist – wrist tattoos are popular amongst younger women and can be hidden by a watch or jewelery if required.
  • shoulder – female shoulder tattoos are often delicate, intricate designs, unlike the shoulder tattoos displayed by men.

Female Celebrities Who Have a Tattoo

Female celebrities are promoting the social acceptance and sexiness of female tattoos by displaying tattoos on various parts of their bodies; female celebrities who have tattoos include:

  • Angelia Jolie –shoulder/lower back
  • Penelope Cruz – ankle
  • Kate Hudson – foot
  • Lindsay Lohan – wrist
  • Jessica Alba – lower back.

Tattoos for Women

Tattoos for women are becoming more socially acceptable in today’s world; it is even socially acceptable to see a bride choose a wedding dress which allows for the display a tattoo on her wedding day. Like sexy gifts and lingerie, female tattoos can be shared between couples – and be chosen to be displayed to the outside world too.

References:

  • Toe Ring Tattoos web site (accessed January 15 2010)
  • Vanishing Tattoo web site (accessed January 15 2010)

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