Ink is the new black. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is estimated that 45 million Americans are tattooed, and a poll from Harris finds tattooed men are now outnumbered by tattooed women.
Tattoos have become common in advertising and pop culture and have taken over the current media scenery. Many TV shows, commercials and ads are based on the tattoo industry. They are springing up on major networks, social media pages for tattoo culture are numbering in the millions of follows, and you would be hard pressed to take a walk on the street and not see several people sporting a tattoo or two. Tattoos have become a mainstream part of society, but it’s not long ago when tattoos were taboo and banned in many environments.
Tattoos have been around almost as long as man has walked the earth. Tattoos were used by tribal cultures to mark major life milestones for centuries. Even Mjoave Indians have tattooed their chins to ensure safe passage into the afterlife since time immemorial. Women in Myanmar’s Chin province began getting facial tattoos hundreds of years ago to discourage tyrannical kings from kidnapping them, but their facial art has since become a mark of beauty. For the past 200 years or more, Japan’s Yakuza mafia men have sported full-body tattoo art that to this day is applied with the primitive “hand-poked” method, which utilizes non-electrical hand tools and needs made of sharpened bamboo or steel.