100 Years of Americana Tattoos: An Evolution of Art and the Body

Digressing a little from my usual travel and food entries… I thought this video on 100 Years of Americana Tattoo is too beautiful not to share. 🙂 All the designs are amazing, and you can see how the styles have evolved over the last century. My favourites are the black rose design inspired by Charlie Wagner (1910s),  Guy Aitchinson’s Lotus (1990s) and Nikko Hurtado’s realistic and colourful cat portrait (2010s).

This lady is really brave. One tattoo for me was painful enough, but 11 in a week? 

People with body art often have to face social stigma, especially in Asian societies. My parents are both quite traditional and tend to have set ‘perceptions’ about people and things. ‘If you’re tatted, you’re bad – I don’t need to interact with you to know that.’ To them, getting a tattoo was what gangsters did, otherwise, why would you mutilate a perfectly good body with ‘art’?

So imagine how much of a fit they flew into when I got tatted for my 25th birthday.

Wasn’t even a big one. lol. 

I don’t blame them. They grew up in a society where tattoos were not the norm. I don’t expect them to understand stuff about ‘expressing one’s self through art’. To me, I wanted to get a tattoo as a way to take control of my own body and my life. It was symbolism: of breaking free from the ‘good daughter mold’. I was always too afraid of what my family thought of me that it held me back from doing the things that I wanted to.

They’re cool now though.

Coz they see that it’s still me.


“I think it’s great that we can use our body as a canvas. If your body is a temple, then you should be able to decorate it the way you want, right?” – Casey Lubin 

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