As tattoos are slowly but surely gaining acceptance and popularity amongst most of the American population, it is interesting to note how widespread the appeal of this practice is becoming in other countries around the world. It is also interesting to consider how various other cultures view this practice, and whether those views have changed over time as has been the case with the United States.
In America the main source of familiarity with Oriental symbols and other artwork comes from viewing this lovely, traditional art in tattoo studios all across the United States. It may, therefore, be surprising to many Americans to know that, due to the significant influence of Buddhist and Confucianist religions both the Japanese and Chinese societies take a very negative view of tattoos. In these societies, tattooing was a means of branding criminals; it was not acceptable for citizens to engage in the process. In today’s society, tattoos are still unacceptable. Although their younger generation usually takes a more liberal view of tattooing, the youngsters who have them generally keep them covered.
Tattoos have long been a part of life for royalty in Great Britain. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors King George the fifth and King Edward the seventh, one of today’s most well-known royal figures, Prince Charles, also sports a tattoo. Unlike in the distant past, however, tattoos in Great Britain are no longer limited to the class of royalty; during the past few decades, tattoos showing up on their rock stars has brought the practice to the mainstream population. What was once a status symbol for wealthy public figures has become a widespread part of everyday life for the younger generations.
In Mexico, tattoos were originally thought of as a symbol of courage. The early explorers who arrived in Mexico in 1519 believed the practice to be the influence of Satan. In a recent survey, more than half of those polled who were over age thirteen stated that they would consider getting a tattoo. While most expressed a preference for designs such as flowers, religious symbols, or names, some said they would like a tattoo of their favorite brands of soda or beer. This is assisting in marketing to some degree, as many people in Mexico City now consider tattoos to be a fashion accessory, not only widely acceptable but in style.
In Vietnam, tattooing is still currently illegal, and is rarely done except in prisons. For those who insist on having some type of body modification in light of the laws against tattooing, cigarette burns are used instead. It is rare that anyone other than gang members utilize this practice.
Considering both the Biblical prohibitions against tattooing and the still-present memories of the Holocaust, it is not surprising that most of the older generation in Israel continues to hold a negative view of tattoos. It is a little surprising, though, that the younger generation not only does not always share this viewpoint, and actually considers the practice of getting tattoos of religious symbols to be a visible sign of pride in their Jewish heritage and identity.
In assessing both the historical aspects and present-day points of view, it’s not difficult to see that for many countries around the world culture plays a significant role in whether or not tattoos are thought of as an acceptable form of self-expression. In most cases it is also clear that with or without cultural influences, times change and with the changing times comes different ways of looking at the subject of tattoos. What took a very long time to gain widespread popularity in the United States has proceeded in a similar fashion in most other countries also.
By Charlene Sakoda
Pastor Zack Zehnder, from The Cross Mount Dora church in Mount Dora, Florida has made good on an offhand promise to pay for his congregation members’ tattoos. As reported by WOFL Fox 35 News, in his recent sermon about acceptance, the pastor said, “If anybody would like to go out and get a tattoo of the logo of the cross that we have for this church we will find money and pay for that.” It was something that Zehnder said he mentioned “flippantly,” without actually thinking anyone would collect on the pledge.
Jeremie Turner is a congregation members who was excited by the proposition, “We definitely took him up on his offer because if he’s going to hand out free tattoos, he’s got a crowd that’s going to accept them.” WOFL reported that at least a dozen church members have taken advantage of the deal and went to Bill Gold’s Tattoo Shop to get inked. “If I wasn’t so dang sarcastic in my sermons, I don’t know that we would be here,” said Pastor Zehnder. “But we got some crazy people that have said they wanted to do it so I kinda gotta, I made the promise. I kinda gotta back it up.”
The pastor hopes that the church members’ new ink will serve as a conversation starter about religion. “People’s perception of church has probably never been as negative as it is today and so if we can do something to kind of flip that script and interact with them and do something in a unique and creative way, we’re going to do that.” The Cross Mount Dora member, Holly Stratton told the station, “I think that we’re in a different time and a different place now and I think it’s wonderful that we think outside the box a little bit.” William Trigg admitted that churches and tattoos don’t usually go together, saying, “Wouldn’t really expect, a little unorthodox for a church, but you know…leave it to anybody, Zack would be the one to do it.”
Zehnder isn’t the only church leader to make the unexpected connection between church and the body art. Jamie Bertolini, a senior pastor at Greer MillChurch in South Carolina, is also the owner of Trinity Tattoo Company. Bertolini told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that one of the reasons he invested in the tattoo shop was because it would be an, “…absolutely wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ.” Another church leader and tattoo fan is ordained minister, Eddie Smith of Oklahoma. He’s been tattooing for over 20 years and opened Sacred by Design in December 2010. He’s hardly fits the stereotypical idea of a minister, with his sleeves and distinct facial tattoos. In 2013, there was an even more literal side-by-side connection between a church and the art of tattooing. LifeQuest Church in Missouri held a fund raising raffle for members to get tattooed on stage during a sermon by Senior Pastor Chris Pinion.
As for The Cross Mount Dora congregation, in the end Pastor Zach Zehnder was happy about his unintentional comment saying, “I think it’s pretty neat that these guys are going to be walking out of here with a testimony and a chance to share God’s story with people that maybe I never would or maybe you never would, that don’t have tattoos.”
Illegal tattoo artist who used a dirty toothbrush to clean his equipment is jailed after huge Alice in Wonderland etching leaves a woman’s back covered in scars
Professionals: Thoughts on this?? Please comment…
- Tony Newlands drank while working in unsanitary conditions in his kitchen
- Court hears he used Old Spice stick deodorant to affix stencil transfer
- Environmental health officials acted after complaint from disgruntled customer
- She was left in agony after huge fairytale tattoo became infected
- Newlands was jailed for four months and had £1,000 of tattoo tools seized
An unlicensed tattooist has been jailed after his botched Alice In Wonderland etching across a young woman’s back left her in agonising pain and scarred for life.
Tony Newlands worked in unsanitary conditions in the kitchen of his home in Carlisle, Cumbria, where a lack of sterilising equipment created a serious risk of infection, a court heard.
He improvised around a lack of suitable equipment by using a ‘dirty’ toothbrush to clean his tattooing tools and an Old Spice deodorant stick to apply stencil transfers to customers.
Newlands’ illegal enterprise hit the skids after an inept attempt at an Alice In Wonderland tattoo which spanned most the back of a young woman in her 20s.
After two sessions on the detailed design, the woman was unable to bear the pain and asked him to stop. She fell sick when the etching got infected and was left with ugly scars.
At Carlisle Magistrates Court, Newlands admitted a single offence of failing to ensure his customers were not exposed to risk under health and safety law.
Clare Liddle, prosecuting for Carlisle City Council, described how Newlands’ victim contacted environmental health officials and told them that he had ‘wrecked her back’.
Neither the defendant, nor the property he was using in Ridley Road, Currock, were registered for tattoo work.
The woman revealed how she had paid up to £100 for two days of tattoo work.
‘The work was carried out in the kitchen of the property,’ said Mrs Liddle. ‘She described how during the tattoo, she sat on a kitchen stool and leant over the worktop.
‘There was a cat in the kitchen and the defendant was drinking. He also had a few cigarette breaks during the tattoo. He used an Old Spice deodorant stick to stick the transfer onto her back.
‘It’s likely that this deodorant stick was used on other customers, creating a risk of infection.’
The woman saw no cleaning equipment, though Newlands did use gloves and disposable needles, said Mrs Liddle.
After the second painful tattooing session, she added, the woman’s back became so badly infected the she could not sleep for a few days.
Both Donna Hastie, the environmental health officer who investigated the case, and legitimate local tattoo artist Colin Fell said the Alice in Wonderland tattoo was the worst they had seen.
By Sheila M. Eldred (Original story appears at: http://news.discovery.com/)
Thinking about getting a temporary tattoo over spring break, just for fun? Think twice, warns the FDA. Temporary tattoos don’t carry the same risks as the real deal, and they’re certainly not as painful to etch on your body, but tattoos marketed as “henna” can cause adverse reactions in some people… (more…)
By Miriam Jordan | The Wall Street Journal
In December, Hector Villalobos traveled from Colorado to his native Mexico for an interview, part of his application for U.S. permanent residency. Mr. Villalobos expected to be gone a couple of months to complete the process.
Seven months later, U.S. consular officers haven’t allowed the 37-year-old handyman to return home to his wife and three children. The problem: tattoos—some associated with violent Mexican gangs—on Mr. Villalobos’s body… (more…)
Just when you thought is was safe to turn your TV set on… Apparently The Learning Channel did not get the hint last summer when the tattoo community expressed glaring discontent for the network’s new special, Tattoo School. Instead of canning the project it looks like TLC will now pursue making Tattoo School into a series with a game show format… (more…)
TAM headquarters received the email below regarding a new crop of European shows. This email was sent from Miki Vialetto, a long time friend of TAM’s, publisher of Tattoo Life and Tattoo Energy, and mastermind behind the ORIGINAL London Tattoo Convention and the Milano Tattoo Convention.
We are publishing this email not to color the tattoo community’s perception of any given company, but to bring to light what is happening in our industry, so that each of you can make informed decisions on the shows, companies and people you support. (more…)