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Tatoos Essay

3105 words - 12 pages

CHAPTER ONE.INTRODUCTION."Tattooing is an art form.I mean the sailor's tattoo is gone"Margo DeMelloDuring my seven years service in H.M armed forces I thought that tattoos were an extended part of the uniform and a display of male machoism.Tattoo's like "death before dishonour,these colours never run" and the obligitory nude women were common place.However having left the armed forces and coming to University I was amazed at how many men and more so women have tattoo's.I came to learn that tattoo's have become more accepted throughout society.As to when they exploded on the scene for younger people I am not sure ?Therfore when it came to setting a question for my research project and its relevance to society it was easy."Why have tattoos become more acceptable in society" ?Initially I though that tattoo's were about male masculinities and class.However since I have started to research this project I have uncovered many interpratations as to the meaning of tattoo's and their wider meaning and relevance to society.The aim of this research project is not to provide an outright answer about tattooing but mearly to add to the debate.There are links between class,patriarchey, consumerism and control of ones own body either through reclamation or self harm.This project hopes to discuss all of these issues with the presentation of evidence.This evidence will be submitted through secondary sourcing and my own research.With the presentation of this evidence we will then be in a position to discuss a conclusion and also to provide a forum for more discussion about this topic.1.1 HISTORY.Throughout history tattoos have been prominent in societies. From the Ancient Egyptians to Captain Cook and to present times. Tattoo trends can often be led by celebrities. Tattooed celebrities include Robbie Williams, David Beckham and Eminem thus reviving a resurgence in their re-appearance (Featherstone,2000).Even Barbie had temporary tattoos at one point.Tattoos are steeped in history.Body modification and adornment are nothing new. Many civilizations have attempted to change their body in order to fulfil their cultural construct of beauty, religious and/or social obligations. Body adornment and modification is a very broad subject, ranging from tattoos to body piercing. It could be argued that in modern society many people today are looking more like tribal warriors from New Zealand Maoris (Hirst,2002). In fact many of these modifications actually do come from many ancient cultures. Body modification is becoming more acceptable in the West (Hamilton,2002),but why? Dissatisfaction with ones appearance and fascination with alteration may be a reason for one to modify their body. Turner argues that "as a society the image of the body is being constantly transformed for aesthetic reasons coupled with diet the body is being developed for longevity and sexuality" (Turner ,1994,47).Transformation can take many forms plastic surgery, tattoos and body piercing ,seeing a revival...

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