View Full Version : How Tattoos became mainstream....

bernie's bender
04-21-2010, 08:52 PM
I mentioned in another post that one of my son's teachers (a PE teacher) was discovered to have 'the tramp stamp' tattoo across her lower back.

Tattoos have become mainstream. 40 years ago, having a tattoo would have limited career opportunities (at least in the US).. the guys who had tats were bikers, non commissioned military guys and carnival barkers....

Now, it is doctors and lawyers and teachers etc... How'd that happen? My son asked me and I said one word.


There was a movie with Bruce Dern and Maud Adams called Tattoo... it didn't do well in the theaters but lots of magazines wrote about it and it was scandalous... this was around the time that Cher was involved with Gregg Allman and then Les Dudek and had started doing her 'trashy, trampy' look which included tats.

Because America loved her from her TV show... they kind of accepted it... from there... it seemed that biker chic became de rigeur... and now with the whole nation covered in Tats it seems like it is no big deal....

Do the fans of Eagles have ink?

why do you suppose tattoos got so popular?

04-21-2010, 09:10 PM
I am too old to even consider a tattoo and if I were younger I wouldn't. They are supposed to represent some sort of 'personal identification' but so much of what you see with misspellings, apostrophes in the wrong place, etc, is just cliched. In this country a lot of men who originate from the Pacific Islands have tattoos because it's a cultural thing. A lot of rugby league players have them. Their whole arms are covered in the things. A lot of times you hear stories that they get what they think is the Chinese character for 'peace' and it means something totally different.

I am all for people doing what they want to do but I wonder how they stand the pain involved and I wonder how they feel when they change their mind. On women over 50 with sun-dried skin tattoos look very sad (in my opinion).

I remember British comedian Alexei Sayle once said 'I've got WAR' on one hand, 'PEACE' on the other & 'The Brothers Karamazov' tattoed down my spine'! I thought that summed it up.

bernie's bender
04-22-2010, 02:43 AM
I was thinking of getting one that said "welcome to the bahamas, have a nice day."

(sorry, this is the punch line of an old joke.)

04-22-2010, 08:19 AM
I have 3 and proud of it!!! :hilarious: Seriously, I love my tats!! I started with a small one on my ankle of a heart and a rose (in honor of GNR -I tried to find a pic of the crossed guns with the rose in the middle to have it done--really glad I didn't now---hey it was the 80's and I LOVED Slash & Duff-still do!). And one usually leads to another and another in my case. And my daughter and I were just discussing this the other day, she wants us to go get matching Zeppelin tats-the individual emblems for each member. No problem! Even at the OLD AGE of 46, I don't have a problem with that. Hey, I'm just that kinda girl! :hilarious:

Funny story about my last one. I wanted a tat with my kids names worked into it so being the romantic we are, my hubby got me a gift certificate for Valentine's day to my favorite tattoo parlor. :thumbsup: We went in a couple weeks later and I found one I liked with 2 hearts and showed it to Larry. He pointed out that it only had 2 hearts (well duh--2 kids!!). Then I realized he wanted his name stamped on me also. :hilarious: I looked around and found a new one with 3 hearts worked in, one larger heart in the middle and 2 smaller hearts, worked into kind of a tribal design. It's on the lower part of my leg. Oh--And Larry got the BIG heart!

04-22-2010, 10:37 AM
I don't mind tattoos as long as they're tasteful. I hate them all over peoples arms or whatever. Those people that have covered themselves in tattoos.......yuk. I don't understand that at all. One here and there and smallish is ok.

I heard that you shouldn't put your sig. other's name on yourself or vice versa because it causes bad luck and then you're stuck with it.

I kind of wanted one, but never got up the courage.

My son called me from his senior trip and asked if he could get one on his upper arm. I said no and he told me he already did. I wanted to strangle him at the time. :rolleyes:

I guess it's just a personal preference thing.

04-22-2010, 10:58 AM
Both of my boys have tattoos.

Tom has 6 or 7 of various sizes. His subject matter is stupid and I know some day he will regret it. I cringe every time he gets a new one and my husband throws a fit.

Peter has 3 -one is a cross with text from the Bible (my strength comes from above) in Latin. Considering how much time the boy spends in the gym and playing sports-I'm glad he appreciates where he got those talents. The other two ironically are Eagles. The bird not the band.

04-22-2010, 11:06 AM
Our son Dillon always wanted a tattoo as a teen. And ONE of his parents foolishly told him that if he saved up the $$ to pay for it, his Dad would sign (I refused). Well shortly after his 16th birthday, Larry found himself signing for permission!! Grrrr! It's right on his wrist and it's just a peace sign so not to bad or big. We made the poor kid wear long sleeves every time he visited his grandmother for 2 years....even when it was 90 degrees out! :hilarious:

Brooke--by the time I tattooed Larry's name on my leg, I was pretty confident it was going to stick (we'd been together for 16 years at the time!:thumbsup:).

04-22-2010, 01:11 PM
Being a younger member (since i am only 18) i dont really mind tattoos. Being that i am catholic and i find that to be important to me i have gotten the praying hands with the rosery on my left shouder blade.

My cousin is a tattoo artist and did mine. His parents each have some done by him (my aunt a hummingbird and my uncle has the West Virginia Mountaneer with mountains and "almost heaven" written above it as well as two pick axes a miner's helmet and the flying wv on it) they didn't get theirs until they were in their late 40's. Tattoos are fine as long as they are tasteful.

04-22-2010, 01:42 PM
Brooke--by the time I tattooed Larry's name on my leg, I was pretty confident it was going to stick (we'd been together for 16 years at the time!:thumbsup:).

Well, maybe I could then since we've made 37 years this July! :eyebrow: :hilarious:

04-22-2010, 04:08 PM
I've never gotten a tattoo - first off, it hurts - secondly, it's way too risky that I'd regret it.

My life-long best friend (since third grade!) got a beautiful tattoo of a turquoise yin-yang around her belly button. She's really pretty and the guys loved it when she would sport a bikini and show that thing off! I always thought "Wow, wish I could pull off something like that."

Then she got pregnant... and that thing looks horrible now! She told me it never once occurred to her that the location of the tattoo might cause problems later. That's the kind of thing I'm afraid of!

Still, I'll shell out for a henna tattoo every time I go to the Renaissance fair. ;)

04-22-2010, 05:18 PM
I don't mind tattoos as long as they're tasteful.
There's no such thing as a tasteful tattoo IMO. :hilarious:

Still, I'll shell out for a henna tattoo every time I go to the Renaissance fair. :wink:

Now that's my kind of tattoo!

04-22-2010, 05:23 PM
Sure there is Cathy. An I Love Mom one ;)

04-22-2010, 05:46 PM
I like tats. As long as they are on someone else!

Now, for you ladies who have tats....do you get offended when some guy you don't know is starring you down while examining your tats? I mean, the locations of some I've seen would result in the examiner being arrested unless the party displaying the artwork wanted them to be examined.

tbs fanatic
04-22-2010, 05:50 PM
My 18 year old son has various tatoos (and no he didn't ask me beforehand :enraged:). The dumbest ones are on his hands :brickwall: I keep telling him 'Who is going to give you a job with all that crap on your hands?'. Grrrrrr! Personally, I would not do it but I think they can look okay if they are tasteful and are not plastered all over your boobs :eyebrow: :hilarious:

04-22-2010, 06:15 PM
I have 11 tats, an ankle bracelet on my right ankle of hearts and flowers, an angel on the moon on my left calf, a treble cleff the nape of my neck, a music note with wings ,also on the nape of my neck, a tiny butterfly on my left shoulderblade, a flower on my right shoulder blade,the name Madison with a rose under it on 1 side of my lower back, a butterfly on the other side of my lower back, a flower(tiny) on my chest, a pink music note on the inside of my left wrist, and the initails of a friend (who passed) with a music note inside a heart on my bikini line. I want to get a star on the top of my foot next :)....All of my tats have special meaning to me and none are very large....

bernie's bender
04-22-2010, 06:34 PM
like a lot of stuff.... it looks awesome on some people and less awesome on others...

as one of my coworkers frequently says "choose your flotation device amigo"

For me, I lean toward cowboy type stuff, jeans, cowboy boots etc... but I have a bunch of friends who love it.... a woman I know says it makes her feel alive....

I say.. whatever works... it is ironic that Cher made it acceptable for the middle classes.

04-22-2010, 07:46 PM
I like tats. As long as they are on someone else!

Now, for you ladies who have tats....do you get offended when some guy you don't know is starring you down while examining your tats? I mean, the locations of some I've seen would result in the examiner being arrested unless the party displaying the artwork wanted them to be examined.

Years ago, Larry, I and some friends were at a bar and I had gone up to the jukebox. Some guy came over, crouched down and was checking out one of my tattoos on my lower leg. He actually put his hand on my leg :shock:and I was just about to say something to him when Larry materialized out of nowhere and the guy got up, said something and walked away. :hilarious: I was flattered, Larry wasn't! :hilarious: But I gotta say, I thought that took a lot of nerve to actually wrap his hand around my calf. It wasn't a very busy bar so I'm thinking he should of seen us all come in together. :headscratch:

bernie's bender
04-22-2010, 08:27 PM
As several of you know, Kym has been staying with me since Jan and will be moving out next month as her "fortunes" have taken a good upswing finally. As for the tats, to each their own, they are tiny and I seldom notice them(I'm not very observant anyway). It's that damn belly button piercing of hers that makes me squirm, something about a belly button and hanging a piece of jewelry in it gives me the queen of all goose bumps.....

I think the belly button piercing thing is hot.

04-22-2010, 08:49 PM
I have had my belly button pierced for years and I love it....

04-22-2010, 09:18 PM
Well Willie, I can almost get away with "looking"...sometimes...but I'd have to be awfully wasted to reach out and touch someone! I'd also have to be ready to pay lawyers a huge fee non-related to anything having to do with music unless it was a death dirge!

Bellybutton piercings: My Son's ex-girlfriend had her bellybutton pierced. Our grandson Miles was facinated with it. Every time he saw her, he would try to lift her blouse and demand to see it. I think he's going to grow up to be a real Caution.

bernie's bender
04-22-2010, 11:35 PM
Distracts me completely, can't take my eyes off it, so that kind of kills any conversation going on with me.


But, I'm just an ogling, knuckle dragging male of the species!

bernie's bender
04-23-2010, 12:35 AM
I was working as a consultant a few years ago (hired through my company) and I got to be friends with this guy who was in charge of the project... we spent a bunch of time together and over time, he took me into his confidence...

Now, I will readily admit to being an idiot and I frequently answer questions without worrying about the context or cause of the question...

anyway, one day we are driving to lunch and we see a couple of attractive young ladies getting ready to cross the street (we were downtown in his city) and we both commented at how attractive the girls were.... not lewd or foul or anything... just the usual "my my" kind of thing. Anyway, out of the blue he asks me "So, what do you think of, you know, like belly button piercings and those tattoos on girls lower backs?"

And, like a total idiot I just blurt out typical 'boy truism # 23 and # 24' which is that if you date a girl with these attributes the time from first conversation to complete sexual activity is decreased dramatically. (but stated much more crudely.) He literally puts his head in his hands and tells me "oh man, my daughter got the piercing and my wife got the tattoo, what does this mean?"

Then, in an even stupider response, I said, "I think you are safe unless they smoke too." and he groaned even louder.

I capped off this flurry of Faux's Pas by saying "oh man, don't take it too hard, just remember, good girl's go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere!"

04-23-2010, 03:38 AM
I can't stand needles either but did manage to get my ears pierced but nothing else. When my husband was 18 and in the Navy he got 3 tattoos, one of them has the name of his first "true love". For 47 years I have looked at his tattoo with Connie on it and thougt what the heck was he thinking but it has never really bothered me. I finally net Connie about 5 years ago and she is a nice lady. Does anyone know if any of the Eagles have tattoos??? I've never noticed any on their arms.

bernie's bender
04-23-2010, 05:19 AM
Sweet, sweet Connie was doin' her act.....
She had the whole show and that's a natural fact

04-23-2010, 10:41 AM
bernie, your story made me think of this:

Quite a few years ago a co-worker of mine, a very smartly dressed, quiet woman who is pretty much old enough to be my mother approached me at my desk and with a grin on her face asked me to guess what she did that past weekend.

When I said I couldn't guess, she proceeded to "whip out" one of her boobs and show me her new tatoo. :shock::shock:

Once I had recovered from the shock-I started laughing. She was so proud and it seemed so out of character for her-it was totally hysterical.

I told her I was grateful that she didn't have anything pierced. ;) Coz that, I absolutely didn't want to see!

04-23-2010, 10:47 AM
I like the belly button piercing on gals that are "in shape". I hate any other body piercings. eta: except ears!

ETA: bb and Molly your stories are hilarious! :rofl:

04-24-2010, 03:12 PM
My daughter Rachel (who several of you know from the Eagles concert in Myrtle Beach) has two quarter-sized tattoos of a ying-yang and a peace sign, one on each wrist. She got them on her birthday when she was 20 and 21. While I'm not fond of them, it was her lip piercing that really sent me over the edge. Rachel is an honors student in college, bright, hard-working, and as nice as she can be--but that @#$% piercing just really irks me. Next fall she will be a senior in college so I am hoping she will finally tire of it when she graduates, because no matter how mainstream tattoos and piercing may have become, I still don't like them--and I'm afraid potential employers may not, either.

04-24-2010, 04:48 PM
I'm with you on this subject, but she probably has nothing to fear about future employers as they are younger and in all probability have tats and piercings(covered)themselves. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many working in high places.

I don't know about that. Many places are still old-school about employees' physical appearance. For instance, one of my friends had to shave his very bushy "mountain man" beard in order to get a job as a documentation writer down South.

Especially in this economy, unless you've got so much going for you that you're a shoo-in regardless, the person with the piercings and tattoos will probably lose the job to another applicant with comparable qualifications who doesn't have the body art. Not ALWAYS, but most of the time - especially in the Midwest and South.

There's a reason it's a rule of thumb that you wear a suit/nice clothes to job interviews... to appear professional. The tattoos and the piercings don't broadcast "professional." Is it fair to the person with the tats, who might be a very good worker and just as professional (if not more so) than the next guy? Not in cases like Rachel's, but it's a reality in many industries nevertheless (again, not all, but many). This is especially true if your job will involve a lot of interactions with people outside of the company. Even if the CEO has tattoos, what he/she can do isn't necessarily what the new applicant on the bottom rung can do. Hypocritical but true.

I was once told a story about something that happened during Amelia Earhart's time as a professor at Purdue University. At that time, girls had to wear skirts to class, but Earhart wore pants. When some girls tried to emulate her, they got in trouble. When they pointed out the hypocrisy, they were told, "When you've flown solo across the Atlantic, you can wear pants." Times have changed, but the idea that the higher-ups have earned the right to break the rules while the lower-rung people have to stick to them remains.

Of course, Rachel's such a clever girl she'll probably be OK (say hi to her for me DF) and some companies/interviewers couldn't care less, but I'm speaking in generalities.

04-25-2010, 06:23 PM
Thanks for saying that about Rachel, Soda, but what you said is right on target. The higher-ups can have tattoos but the new hires usually cannot.

10-25-2011, 10:48 AM
I revive this thread ,
I don't have a tattoo yet but I get one soon!I want stars, 2 large (which stand for my deceased grandparents) and small ones ( for my parents and my sister)!I think the tattoo should on the inside of my right wrist!

10-25-2011, 05:56 PM
You have more courage than I do. But they will bring back happy memories, so do it.

10-26-2011, 08:45 AM
Very cool, Koala!!! I have several of my own and even tho I'm "old" now, I don't regret them.

10-26-2011, 09:04 AM
I want a tattoo for a long time!I knew only not where but now I've finally decided, I think it's a good place, although I fear, a little bit, that it will be a painful place if the tattoo becomes stung!

Ive always been a dreamer
10-26-2011, 09:29 AM
Good luck, Koala.

Me - I'm too chicken ... I'll never willing submit to pain. :lol:

10-30-2011, 03:51 PM
Well, some things are worth the pain...:hilarious: It just depends on what's important to you as to how much pain you're willing to bear.

I rarely like tattoos that I see on other people, and I can't think of anything that's important enough to me to have it permanantly inked onto my body. If I've got something to say I'll wear it on a t-shirt! ;)