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From Past to Present: Women Revolutionizing the Tattoo Industry

 In honor of Women’s History Month in the US, we wanted to dedicate a piece to females within our industry. Whether you just got your first tattoo, you have been inked for nearly your whole life, or you are one of the badass women breaking barriers and working as a tattoo artist — we applaud you, we thank you, and we celebrate you! Thanks for staying true to yourself and for being a part of this spectacular community. There has been a huge growth in the number of women getting inked and the number of females becoming tattoo artists. Seeing this momentum and push for self expression has gotten us to start thinking about the evolution of tattoos for all females. Yes, a tattoo might not have always been seen as the popular choice or decision a few decades ago, but now, without a doubt, tattoos are being showcased and praised as a form of art, beauty, and self expression. For this, we are so grateful and can not wait to see what the future holds. But for a moment, let us look and see how far we have come...


Let’s start with the history and social stigma of women with tattoos

Prior to the 1900s, tattoos were commonly seen on men who were sailors, cultural markings, or as acts in a show or on circus performers. An article from Grunge, discusses more in detail about these eras, but for women, the 1960s and 1970s are the decades when tattoos really rocketed for all types of women in all economic backgrounds.  


Interestingly enough, politics and gender roles pivoted tattoos being mainly for men to being for both men and women. These two topics still remain motivators for tattoos and have become themes for tattoos among individuals and large groups of women.


According to an article in Time.com, feminism movements lead to an increase in tattoo numbers for women in the 1970s and after that, tattoos became extremely popular for breast cancer survivors in the 1990s. However, the 2000s and pop culture and tv shows changed perspective a bit as women began being seen somewhat negatively for tattoos and associations with being promiscuous became more common.


Then something huge happened. Despite all stereotypes, in 2012, according to a study by “Best Ink” and Lightspeed Research, more women had tattoos than men (Reuters.com).


Since 2012, we have seen tattoos flourish for the female community and create more of a safe space for females. As previously noted, political movements that create turmoil or a push for passion and standing up for beliefs has led to women paying homage to female icons or lines that are being read at protests or in the Senate. We have seen women banning together and using tattoos to embrace independence, empowerment, and their rights. 


Tattooing and identity are intertwined. There also seems to be a very apparent connection between confidence and tattoos. Tattoos are becoming statements. They are a form of expression, not rebellious like they might have used to be seen as, but a strong statement of passion that shows the way a woman is living her life and what she believes in. 


Although they weren’t the most popular choice for women a few decades ago, tattoos are here and here to stay and tattooers should be ready for new designs.


Tattoos are not just a one size fits all type of deal

Queue the other stigma that gets displayed all over social media - girls love tiny tattoos, somewhat hidden, always on a wrist or ankle. These are the only tattoos that they want to get inked. 


WRONG. Ever heard of sleeves? Ever heard of larger script tattoos? Ever heard of a realistic tattoo? Have you seen a black and white only tattoo or a watercolor tattoo? There is not just one type of tattoo that all females have. There is not just one type of tattoo that anyone has for a matter of fact! The great part about getting a tattoo is being able to take the time to think and decide what you want. Or maybe you don’t even do that! Tattoos are freedom. Tattoos are self expression. You decide what you want inked on your body and go forth and show it off! 


Let’s say that maybe you are a female, maybe from New York or Brooklyn, and you have had a smaller tattoo placed on your wrist at the tattoo parlor. Guess what? That is great. We advocate for doing what you want and never feeling pressured to do what other people say or think you should be doing. 


A big round of applause to all of the tattoo artists out there - especially our female artists 

We could never write a post for Women’s History Month without mentioning the amazing female tattoo artists that pathed the way for many other and future artists to become who they are. Although we do not have definite numbers about the number of female tattoo artists or female tattoo shop owners out there, we know that this number needs to keep growing! Luckily, we have seen this number start growing and attribute it to the popularity of tattoos among all females. Females supporting females is powerful. Some notable artists that have helped guide this community and encourage other females to pursue their passions and become tattoo artists are: Kat Von D, Hannah Aitchison, Rose Hardy, and Megan Massacre. This list could go on and on. We continue to be impressed by the talent and ink masters that continue to appear among the tattoo artist community, the male counterparts and male tattoo artists included.


Mad Rabbit supports and advocates for the entire tattoo community. We love being able to be a voice in this industry and to be supporting all artists and tattooed friends across the tattoo world, especially during the trivial times we have all had during the pandemic. We support self expression and confidence. With our various products, we strive to be a part of your daily routine and life and to enhance your tattoo experience. We consider all tattoos stories and masterpieces and our products have been designed to be a source of support through your journey. We recognize and praise all of the women who went against stereotypes and pushed forward with a tattoo. We know there is more movement to be made but we are excited to see where the future takes all of us.


Celebrate Women’s History Month with us and pay tribute to your favorite women artist, tattoo studio, tattooist, or past, or present female that you look up to in our tattoo community. Tag us on Instagram — we love hearing from you! 


Sources and some other awesome articles to check out!

https://time.com/4764723/post-election-feminist-tattoos-history/

https://www.grunge.com/165096/the-strange-history-of-tattoos/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tattoos-women-idUSTRE8241SF20120305

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