Body art, also called tattoos or tats, are a form of artistic expression that have gained mainstream popularity in recent years. Many celebrities have embraced the art form and have spread awareness about it through social media. Other people have done this voluntarily to gain publicity for their art. Tattoos are seeing a surge in popularity because they’re becoming more acceptable with time.
Early Christians and others viewed body art as a form of idolatry and paganism. They believed that tattoos would desecrate the body and lead to eternal damnation. Consequently, early Christian artists would cover up the hands of their models when portraying the biblical Old Testament prophet Daniel. Even today, some people have a hard time reconciling their faith with getting a tattoo. They find it blasphemous to disfigure their bodies in this way. However, the tide is slowly turning in favor of body art- even on religious grounds.
In the late 1900s, George Henson became known as the father of the modern tattoo machine and inspired more people to get inked. He began by using hand tools to create his designs on his customers’ skin. However, he soon invented a cheap and effective machine for tattooing human skin. This invention launched the modern age of tattoo culture and allowed more people to get tattoos without feeling bad about it. Even famous people now support getting tattoos- so long as they’re voluntary and artistic in nature. The once-subversive 1,000-year-old art form doesn’t fit in so neatly anymore.
Taking stock of where tattoos stand now, more people are accepting of body art and getting into it for artistic purposes rather than out of rebellion. Many famous artists use their bodies as canvases for tattoos- not as a way to shock or express individuality but for artistic purposes. Tattoos can be brilliant works of art that captivate the public’s attention but only when used effectively by talented people. Some people still use tattoos as a way to rebel against society; they get them on their bodies without regard for whether anyone else minds or approves. However, overall acceptance is making it easier and easier to be nonchalant about body art regardless of purpose.
Body art is growing in popularity thanks to increased acceptance over time- even among noncustomers who use it for artistic purposes. Tattoos can be beautiful works of artistic expression when used creatively by skilled individuals. Whether one gets them for artistic purposes or out of rebellion will no doubt affect how they view them in the future. However, popular culture is slowly accepting tattoos as an avenue for individual expression- even if it’s not necessarily out of disloyalty or rebelliousness anymore.
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