Circus/Sideshow Ladies of the Early 1900's
In 1925, Life Magazine stated that less than 10% of the United States population was tattooed. However, there were over 300 people that were completely tattooed with quite of few of them being women. These heavily tattooed individuals made a living by being on display in circuses or sideshows and they made an impressive living at it, $200 - $300 a week which is equivalent of over $2,000 in today's funds.
The tattooed ladies where a very brave bunch of women. They were baring skin in an age where women were covered from head to toe even at the beach. Also, they were baring their skin for a man to tattoo which was pretty unheard of at the time
The tattoos at the turn of the century and through the early 1900's were not the fine artist works that they are now but they were impressive considering how few people got tattoos or were tattoo artists. Tattoo supplies were mostly homemade and primitive.
And just in case you thought women of the 1800s were too delicate to withstand the rigors of tattooing, Lady Randolph Churchill, the prime minister's mother, started the fad of dainty tattoos among fashionable women of her day. She had a coiled snake around one wrist. When tattoos went out of vogue at the turn of the century, she concealed it by wearing a heavy bracelet. (quoted source)
Today's tattoos, when done by top tattoo artists, are some of the most intricate forms of art around. It is amazing how detailed artists can get with ink on skin. Even the basic "flash" can be fairly detailed compared to the old style tattoos when done by a professional which you should always choose whenever getting a tattoo for aesthetics as well as for safety concerns.
Women today have more choices when it comes to getting tattooed. Work closely with your tattoo artist to insure that you get exactly what you want, where you want it and that you will have a piece of art that you will love for years to come.
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