It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when or how tattoos and body piercings started to enjoy their current popularity. Although they’ve always appealed to the rebel crowd, they became more mainstream as more celebrities started wearing them. Popular stars, not just the obscure, were not only getting tattoos and piercings, but were displaying them proudly. Suddenly, the status of body art had dramatically improved and its stigma was fading fast. By the year 2001, the demand for body art had morphed into a virtual frenzy. To this day, it still remains one of the most-searched items on the Internet, and polls have suggested that 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are tattooed. But is the frenzy subsiding?
Paris Hilton says tattoos are “unoriginal”.
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob both had to have tattoos removed that they had gotten to signify their “unending love”. Christina Aguilera has removed all but a couple of her body piercings. Since celebrities are pretty much the reason body mods became so popular, could this be an indication that body art is on its way “out”?
If it is, then all I can say is, “it’s about damn time”. Why? Wouldn’t someone like myself, who is obviously pro-body art, be happy to see it being so widely appreciated? Well, yes and no. See, the problem with fads is that people follow them blindly with little consideration to potential consequences. Usually the worst than can happen is a red face when you look back on a picture of yourself wearing the “in” hair and clothes of 10 years ago or more. How many times have you looked back on one of the memoirs and thought, “how on earth did I think that was cool?”
Well, the problem with tattoos, unlike banana clips and polyester suits, is that they can’t just be taken off and thrown away.
They are intended to be permanent and if you really want them removed, you’re looking at a lot of money and a lot of pain in order to do it. Granted, piercings aren’t as permanent, but scars are almost always left behind. Body art is not intended to be fashionable or trendy. Those that treat it as such are the ones who end up regretting it later.
If body art is dwindling in popularity, don’t expect it to just go away. The good news is that during this period of evolution from stigma to acceptance, scores of true body art supporters have come out of the woodwork. Closet freaks, if you will, have been able to show pride in their body art. Senior citizens, eyeing tattoos or piercings since their youth, have been able to fulfill their dreams without shame. Tattoo artists have been forced to improve the quality of their work in order to compete with body art prodigies that have swept through the industry. Enter a generation of super body art and its admirers. When the trend followers wash away, what will remain will be a community of strong and loyal people that will see body art through its evolution at every stage, even when it’s no longer “in”.