A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. Tattoos fall into three broad categories: purely decorative (with no specific meaning); symbolic (with a specific meaning pertinent to the wearer); pictorial (a depiction of a specific person or item). Tattoos have historically been regarded in the West as 'uncivilised', and over the last 100 years the fashion has been associated mainly with sailors, working men and criminals. By the end of the 20th Century many Western stigmas of the tattoo culture had been dismissed and the practice has become more acceptable and accessible for people of all trades and levels of society.
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Memorial tattoos are a great way to commemorate those we loved and have lost or even those that are still with us. I lost my older brothers to drugs when I was younger and decided that a memorial tat would be extremely fitting (one of my brothers was a tattoo artist). I miss my brothers everyday, and they have been gone for over 20 years, but my tattoo makes them feel that much closer to me.
Contributed by Virginia Loupe
I am 18 years old and I have thought about getting a tattoo numerous times. Many of my friends have gotten tats, but I feel that a tattoo should REALLY mean something to you. I feel like you have to know heart and soul that a tattoo is meant for you. One of my good friends got a tattoo of a beautiful lion on her shoulder to remind her to stay strong. I feel like most teenagers haven't lived enough or experienced enough to ink themselves for life and not regret it later. Especially when it is a spur of the moment idea. Please, if you get a tattoo, make it worthwhile and have it be a reminder or something that evokes a deep feeling in your heart every time you see it in the mirror.
Contributed by Hunter Haynes
They are not signs of rebellion anymore. They are works of art that you keep with you for the rest of your life. I wear them all the time, showing their beauty to all who behold. They aren't to be judged (unless they are truly awful), but appreciated.
Contributed by Jenni Pearson-Delaney
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