The social image of beauty has been ever changing – as well has the notion of art. Only in the 20th century has what people thought to be beautiful or artistic changed several times.
Towards the end of the 20th century especially younger people started to find permanent tattoos beautiful and had them “painted” on their bodies.
Much to the rejection of the older generations.
However, as tattoos become more established, their image is changing. This change includes some characteristics that are arguments not only for the beauty of tattoos, but also for them being a kind of body art.
Tattoos = freedom of expression?
One of these characteristics is a freedom of creativity that tattoos offer. The place where the tattoo is put can be just as creatively chosen as the actual picture that is tattooed.
These pictures, symbols or even texts can be either chosen from an existing catalogue or can be personally designed.
That means that every individual is able to add something to its body that makes it more beautiful, more complete in the individual’s eyes.
This way a tattoo is able to top off personality and natural beauty and therefore it not only expresses something individual, but also conveys a message that can be decoded.
If the body of a person bears tattoos, the way they are arranged and the things they display reveal something about the personal concept of the individual. Decoding a message like that is exactly what other things that are considered to be art demand, too.
Tattoos ok for Celebs
One part of society already recognized this artistic character of tattoos: The celebrities. Most of the rappers, pop stars or actors – like Eminem, Robbie Williams or Angelina Jolie – have tattoos all over their bodies and they proudly display them.
The tattoos can even be considered as part of their personal “brand” as those tattoos are typical of them.
Another example is the fashion label “Ed Hardy”. It provides clothes with colorful prints of tattoo-images.
Celebrities like Madonna or Michael Jackson wear those clothes and even buy them from their children. Therefore it can be said that the VIPs already celebrate tattoos as a part of their glamorous lifestyle and treat it as a kind of art.
Can tattoos be art?
Having considered two characteristics of art – creativity and popularity – it can be said that tattoos are more and more considered to fit this characterization.
Therefore the claim that they should be regarded as a form of body art is justified. However, not all tattoos are tastefully chosen, designed or arranged.
But art can cause this impression, too. The art of tattooing is still too young to have escapades concerning beauty.
However liberated and brave tattooing may seem, and despite the fact that the way of acceptance has already begun – it starts with those things that are easy to accept and it will surely take a while until every form of tattoo will be fully accepted.