Question: Tramp Stamp Do’s and Don’ts

I don’t know what to do. I really want a lower back tattoo design but I’m afraid I will be called a tramp because that’s basically what tattoos in this area have been called. Do you have ideas or suggestions for this placement? Should I avoid it to prevent regret? Signed, I’m Not a Tramp

Answer: Dear I’m Not a Tramp,

I know exactly what you mean. It’s very difficult to answer this question because it really doesn’t matter what I think. If you want a lower back tattoo and are convinced this placement area is the best for your design, then that’s what you should do.

Tramp stamps earned their name partly because of the location. Women and younger girls would opt for a tattoo there and then bend over or wear revealing clothing that would show off their tattoos.

Clothing choices would sometimes be tacky, and some gals would go as far as to show off their panties and thongs in addition to their tattoo. This looks trashy and that’s sort of how these designs became tramp stamps.

In addition to the revealing clothing worn to show off their tattoos, most of the designs themselves were generic and larger in size, with no particular regard to the curvature of the lower back. This made tattoos in this area look like large “stamps.”

With all of this said, if you desire a lower back tattoo design, I suggest you tattoo something that is enhancing your body shape. Look for a design with curves that will flow with your body in an artful manner. Go with a unique design and find an artist who will help you, that also has an eye for detail.

I suggest you look at portfolios and get a feel for designs that will work in this location. You should also consider the tattoo art style that you’ll be wearing. Do you want an old-school tattoo or a black and grey design? Study some of the more popular genres and you’ll be better off in making a permanent decision.

Size is another thing to consider with a lower back tattoo. This area provides a decent amount of canvas, so anything too small will look rather pointless. Especially if it is placed smack dab in the center of your lower back.

Since the lower back is a really nice surface that can be sensual as well, you should place something of substance in this spot. I do not mean a large tribal symbol or anything that looks dated, but something that is wide enough to cover at least half of the lower back. If you want a small tattoo, reserve those design ideas for small areas such as the wrist, side of your hand, or collarbone. Tattoo designs and size should coincide with their placement areas for best results.

Last, I wonder why you want a tattoo in this location? If this is your first tattoo I would really advise against it. Your first tattoo should be placed somewhere that you can actually enjoy it and see it for that matter. Your forearm, thigh and hip and just three areas I can suggest that are both sexy and revealing yet offer you the pleasure of viewing as well. If this is not your first tattoo and you have plenty others at that, you may be deciding on the lower back because it suits the larger picture of your body art placement. If that is the case, I believe you should go for it, provided you have kept everything else I have suggested in consideration.

Further, don’t own the name tramp. If someone wants to call you a tramp because of your tattoo placement, then let them. You don’t have to answer to it.

Best of luck in your decision.

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