The first tattoo, which goes back to at least 1,000 B.C., was the first tattoo of the ancient Sumerians. The ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for “tattoo” until the mid 1500s, and the word “tattoo” only became common in the 19th century.
The last century saw great advances in tattoo design technology that made permanent tattoos almost as commonplace as a single eyebrow and cheek tattoo when those were first used in the 1800s.
In the past, tattoos came to include more complex designs, or the inclusion of the body image, usually a character or part of the body (often a head or the hands, feet or even the body to represent some aspect of the mind), usually a symbol or a face. In 1868, a British woman named Jane Seymour began to practice “crying on the body.” This practice was taken up by an American, Emma Lazarus, in 1903, and in 1913, by the Japanese artist Seijun Suzuki. In the 1920s and 50s, tattooed women became famous in films and advertisements, particularly in The Blond Lady and the films of the period, The Woman With the Dragon Tattoo , The Girl in the Red Suits and The Three Musketeers . During this time, a new style of tattooing spread, called “Gillibrand.” It was very popular as a way to mark female sexuality and a form of tattooing that was not easily removed. Tattoos were common in the 1950s and 60s, but were still considered relatively “impractical.”
Over the past 30 years, the number of tattoos has exploded and spread throughout the world. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, there is an estimated 15.7 million tattooed adults in the U.S. Of these, 10.2 million are tattooed women and 17.3 million are tattooed men. Over 65% of all adult women in the U.S. have a visible tattoo.
The tattoo industry continues to be a money-making venture for tattoo artists. For many years, the industry was dominated by tattoo artists who were trained in overseas or home markets rather than in the U.S. and many of the new and emerging tattoo artists started small or quickly changed their designs in favor of more permanent work. As such, there is a significant gender gap among tattooed artists today.
Most of the tattoos are done by experienced and seasoned tattoo artists who have