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Are tattoos identity markers quickly out of date

In the mid-1990s, the Maori of New Zealand got exasperated when the whole planet fell in love with their tribal designs.

The beautiful season is coming back, nature is budding, just like the tattoos on the bare skin. The opportunity to see that this practice has become so widespread that it marks forever the time of his youth.

Sulfur, the tattoo? No longer really. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given in to this fashion. In 2012, he proudly unveiled the ornament of his left biceps during a shirtless photo shoot. Before detailing its meaning on Twitter: “My tattoo is planet Earth inside a Haida crow. I had the globe at 23, and the crow for my 40th birthday. Alas, if the 45-year-old head of state bears the emblem of the Haida, a people established in North America since the dawn of time, they have conspired him since he authorized the construction of a gas terminal on their land. Trudeau wears our ink on our bodies, but he stabbed us in the back, railed a member of the community at the end of 2016…

By the mid-1990s, the New Zealand Maoris had the same exasperation when the entire planet appeared to be infatuated with their tribal designs. Among the Maori, tattooing refers to a cosmogony and, when they saw all these people disembellished with their symbols, they felt it as a cultural plunder, the recovery of an aesthetic, but unethical.

Identity marker

Anyway, the tribal tattoo is completely outdated according to the followers of body art. Unless you go and have it executed in bamboo, in an exotic country, and not in a vulgar Western salon, with an electric needle. Because inking under the skin is so popular that it no longer escapes the whims of the spirit of the times.

For the discerning or inquisitive eye, it even shows a faded cultural enthusiasm: a dolphin on the shoulder of a cinchona? He’s the ex-fan of Béatrice Dalle in the movie 37.2° in the morning, in 1986. Or of the Big Blue, by Luc Besson, at the same time. A tribal ring encrusted around the arm of a forties? One can imagine its owner using his soles in raves that left in the early 1990s. Asian characters on the shoulder blade of a 30-year-old? It was probably grouped by Angelina Jolie at the dawn of the 2000s. And so on…

The tattoo has become an identity factory, but in a mass individualization. Millions of people echo their time by drawing from the same stock temporary fads for a style or a graphic.

If you choose a decorative tattoo seen on such a starlet, you will quickly tire of it… The tattoo is a rite of passage that must mark an emotion, personal values.

Pizza in the skin

How did this practice go from branding condemned or fallen citizens to such common fashion?

The tattoo appeared in the middle of the 18th century, when sailors discovered it in Tahiti, before distributing it in ports. At the beginning of the 20th century, tattooing was an anti-bourgeois practice prized by popular circles: soldiers, prostitutes …

In the 1970s, the arrival of tattoo artists with a more artistic style gave it its letters of nobility. The intellectuals and the actors yield to his art. Then all of society, from the 1990s.

Nowadays, skin chases follow one another at the same speed as the fads for wallpapers on the decoration market. Announced with fanfare in the media: “The most trendy tattoos for women in 2018”, “7 tattoo trends that will hit the headlines in 2019” , “Our 40 favorite tattoo inspirations!”…

If you choose a decorative tattoo seen on such a starlet, you will quickly tire of it … The tattoo is a rite of passage that must mark an emotion, personal values.

A client comes to ask for yin and yang, but she was encouraged her to look for her fondest memory, and she left with a baroque mirror and a flower, which reminded her of her mother. She will still love it in ten years. One woman got the words “Burn them all” on her wrist. Will she still like her shock phrase in 10 years? Perhaps…

Laure, 43, tattooed a rose on her hip at 18, and still assumes it: “the drawing is totally corny today, but it served to emancipate me from my parents, and I a deep tenderness for my youth, now that I’m getting older!” … Ditto for Agnes, quadra with a clown goblin with a red nose all washed out on the shoulder blade: “it was in my early twenties, I was doing circus. I stopped. I have a real memory left.”

The repentant reality show

According to a British survey, 30% of tattooed people regret their gesture. According to sociologists this repentance occurs by the collision between the instant and eternity. The paradox of the tattoo is that it lasts forever while it marks a specific moment in his life. However, most people get tattoos around 18, with references specific to their generation that are the quickest to be surpassed, such as the first name of a loved person who may soon be no more than a distant memory …

Professional development
can also be a problem.

So yes, studies show that tattooing has democratized, but not in all circles.

You can still get kicked out of a bank because of an overly visible drawing. In the cool tertiary professions, it would be quite the opposite. Showing your epidermal frescoes can even earn several points of distinction for the person who exhibits them.

But respecting an ever more sophisticated aesthetic code. Because the amateur will quickly distinguish between a Japanese motif executed by Filip Leu, a Swiss artist based in Sainte-Croix, and considered one of the greatest tattoo artists in the world … and a scribble engraved one evening of drinking in Amsterdam.

For the wearers of these, there is fortunately a new British reality show: Tattoo Fixers, where three renowned tattoo artists cover with more noble designs of the old cannabis leaves, dart arrows indicating the center of the pants, or Pokémon missed.

Except that the artists of this show are becoming the laughing stock of the profession on the pretext that they sold their art. Is tattooing a ruthless universe?

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