Tattoo Popularity
March 14, 2015

Like many cities, my hometown of Portland Oregon is full of tattooed people. Tattoos are an art form and I try to appreciate it.

I can break down tattoos into age groups. This is not to say that tattoo style popularity can be seen in all ages but these are just my observations.

The 50 -60 year olds have small tattoos. Women sport a tatt on their ankle or shoulder or maybe above their breast. Their tattoo is maybe of a flower, a butterfly, or a bird. Men have one on their arm or their forearm or chest. Their tattoos are often a name or an animal.

The 40 year olds have tribal tattoos on their arms and legs. They also sport bands around their upper arms and ankles. This age group may also have some significant to them tattoo on the inside of their wrist or between their fingers. Many women have the tramp stamp. Both men and women may have their backs illustrated.

The 30 year olds have vibrant color tattoos. Women will have colorful bodice tatts. Men will have colorful arm sleeves. Legs, backs, necks and midriffs are all a canvas for some tattoo art.

The 20 year olds seem to embrace writing more than images or abstracts for their form of tattoo expression. If you find yourself reading someone’s skin I would guess he or she is a 20 something. Most of the writing is in cursive.

I have had to ask people what their tattoo reads because the penmanship is lousy.

Sometimes the person is pleased to read to me their tattoo. Recently I encountered my grocery checker with full sleeves, finger tats and a script across her bodice. When I asked her what her bodice said she told me it was a long poem. I have to hypothesize that it starts at her neck where it is visible to the public and continues down her torso.

What has been your experience reading or looking at skin art? Do you have a tattoo that you share with the world? Jewish friends, how do you feel about tattoos in Hebrew?