The cult of the Celebrity tattoo



Beckham Tattoo

Any footie fans glued to their sets these last few weeks will not have missed the fact that body tattoos are not just a fashion accessory for celebrities and teens. Body art was on full view throughout the World Cup as the sport’s greatest game witnessed players swopping shirts and stripping off in the burning Brazilian sun. Chilean striker Mauricio Pinilla even had his missed goal tattooed on his back. Great – but why would he want to carry that around with him for the rest of his life? Don’t get that one.

I am not saying I understand everything about the joy of tattoos. There seems to be two sides: the body art that is seen as a tattoo and reflects your personality, identity and enhances your physical beauty, and the kind of tattoo that we create here at Skalp which by it’s very essence is not so much to be seen as a tattoo but offers a fantastic way to master hair issues, build confidence and create a modern fashionable appearance and beauty.

An explosion of tattoo parlours

Over the last decade there has been an explosion of tattoo parlours across the UK to meet the demand for the new cult fashion. It has been estimated that over 20 million people across Britain now boast having a tattoo. Notice the word “boast” – there was a time when it was something that should be hidden except from the nearest and dearest. Now it is a statement that is shouted from the rooftops!

Tattoos in history

But don’t think for a second that the art of the tattoo is something that has only become available in modern times. You can go back to 700 AD to find the very first artwork. This lovely piece of body art can be seen at the British Museum exhibition, “Ancient lives” where the Archangel Michael is seen to have a tattoo inked clearly on her thigh.

King Harold, who fought at the battle of Hastings, had his wife’s name – “Edith” tattooed on his chest in 1066. Other great leaders like Winston Churchill and US president Theodore Roosevelt also sported their own body art. However, up until very recently tattoos have been linked with prisons, and people on the margins of society. How things have changed!

A celebrity craze?

It’s always a chicken and egg question really as to whether in these modern times celebrities facilitated this new modern craze or whether they are merely reflecting the changes in society. Either way, Naresh Bhana, the owner of “Flamin’ eight” tattoo parlour in London, in an interview by the Daily Telegraph, stated that the innovative ideas celebrities come up with are quickly mimicked by their fans. He also feels it has helped to change the image of the tattoo wearer so it is seen as modern, cool and fashionable.

So there tends to be crazes within crazes as individual celebrities create unique tattoo styles of their own. An example of this is David Beckham’s blue and grey detailed tattoos which have their roots in American rap and hip hop.

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