Tuesday, November 24, 2015


by Alvaro Romero
Dr. Christine Braunberger, who is herself heavily tattooed on the ribs and leg, has been studying the gender dynamics of getting tattooed, being tattooed and being part of the tattoo subculture for several years. “When women [...] collect tattoos, especially when they become heavily tattooed and go outside the boundaries of 'feminine' tattooing, they begin to face social sanctions that remind them that they are not acting appropriately as a woman,” Dr. Christine Braunberger told us.
The association of visible ink with sexual promiscuity and deviant behavior somehow still lingers. Heavy tattoos aren't perceived as enhancing women's attractiveness; young, conventionally attractive tattoo aficionados especially report hearing annoying comments like "You're so pretty, why would you do that to yourself?" in reference to their body art. Yet the fact that they've chosen to ink themselves seems to signal sexual availability to far too many. Dr. Braunberger said, "Men on the street approach them thinking that they are easy women or into partying, having tattoos does not protect women from sexual attention, it increases it."

Still, choosing self-expression through bodily markings may be a natural choice for women, who are more visible than men, and less likely to have their actual voices heard. This talk was very intriguing to me because it explored to our HIA project. Our project was about the an individual's creative process. I related it to our HIA project because as an individual who like to express my creativity through tattoos; I find it disturbing that women are being harassed for basically being creative and expressing themselves. The average American may still associate extensive tattoos with biker gangs and, perhaps Suicide Girls but as the tattoo form has evolved in recent decades, women are challenging what it means to be covered in ink and what is possible in the form. It's about time the rest of society started to get used to it.

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