In the early 2000’s, almost every girl had a Playboy tattoo.
Then it was a butterfly on the bottom of their back. Or anything on the bottom of their back, for that matter.
Then came the dolphins, the stars, the flowers. They were part of a trend.
But now, in Sydney in 2017, I’m not sure I’ve seen the same tattoo twice.
Tattoos used to be a right of passage. You hit 18, went to Ibiza, got a drunk tattoo and passed out in a hedge.
Now, you hit 14, get a contour kit and make yourself look 30. (Girls, stop it. Being a grown-up sucks. Stay young forever.)
Tattoos are now an extension of our personalities, a piece of art that outwardly shows what’s on the inside.
I have 4 tattoos thanks to a recent addition: an 8-pointed star with 4 sparkles for my amazing family, a sunflower for my amazing friend who lost her life too young, a treble clef to remind myself to never stop singing and a paper aeroplane to remind myself that I can go anywhere.
Whenever people hear that I have a star on my back, they always say “tramp stamp!”. Tramp stamps don’t exist anymore. So many people have tattoos on their back that it’s ridiculous to group us all together. Yes, it was originally the more promiscuous girls that had lower back tattoos but that’s not the case anymore.
When I was walking around Sydney, I saw a woman with the most beautiful doe surrounded by a wreath, and it was bang in the middle of her thigh. I’ve seen crowns hidden behind ears, planets on arms, suns on ankles… You don’t get a trendy tattoo anymore, you just get what your heart is telling you.
If you ask someone in their twenties why they got a particular tattoo, they’ll say “because I wanted it.” We know that it’s a permanent addition to our bodies, but we’re in a time where it’s acceptable to be different and find who you are without fitting in any boxes. Or maybe there are just more boxes to fit in to.
If you’re looking at getting a tattoo, here’s my advice. Follow your heart, unless your heart is telling you to get a Playboy bunny on your shoulder blade. Then you can tell your heart to shut up. It’s not your friend.