Peak Tattoo

A couple of years ago I read an article which said that we wouldn’t reach ‘peak tattoo‘ until 2025. In other words the trend for getting them is still growing.

When normal, middle-class people started getting three-inch long dragons on their shoulders, back in the early ’00s, I thought we’d peaked. When they started having huge Celtic-inspired designs across their chests in 2007, I thought we’d peaked. When pretty girls in floaty Laura Ashley dresses began appearing with tattoo “sleeves” covering both arms from shoulder to wrist, I gave up writes Alex Proud in The Telegraph.

That trend is also evident in Second Life, where many people now sport numerous tattoos, and of course naturist sims are the best place to display them.

I still don’t like them and don’t see myself ever having one. But I’ve been intrigued by the way in which many of my SL friends have gone from a clean, bronzed skin to tattoo-heavy (male and female alike) as the the whole process of inking spreads.

Like the real life models in Alex Proud’s article, it’s ‘middle class’ avatars and ‘pretty girls in floaty dresses’ avatars who’ve begun ‘inking’ in SL. When you converse with people in SL you find that it’s users are, very often, middle class, intelligent people. The way they will converse gives it away. They’re professionals, they’re educated. And they’re embracing tattoo culture in SL.

Wolfgang began life as a tattoo free avatar, although he had a penchant for genital (and nipple) piercings in SL as, apparently, he does in RL.

Many SL friends who thought as I do…no tattoos!…are now adorning their avatars for the alternative, Second life they wouldn’t contemplate in first life.

I’ve also got some SL friends (Charlene, above) who thought she’d never have a tattoo. But having worn one on her avatar for a long time (Avada, Fly Free tattoo L$125) she has eventually gone and got the same tattoo done, in the same place (her underboob) in real life!!!! :-O

Yes, people you wouldn’t envisage tattooing in real life are now getting inked, using their body as a canvas to tell their own story.

I still think many tattoos are awful, unimaginative and plain silly, but it’s evident to me that as tattooing grows in popularity people are often spending a lot of time thinking about the design and placement of their ink, and the quality, imagination and actual storytelling behind them does actually mean something to so many people. The days of just getting a ‘tramp stamp’ on a whim are over. I still won’t get one, but I’ver certainly warmed to the idea that people plan them carefully and with some thought, much more, these days.