Groundhog Day at the Beeb

The BBC occasionally shows a keen interest in tattooing, and when they do it’s always a great read. Today, they have teamed up with my pal Matt Lodder, to talk about how tattooing has been perceived since printed publications started talking about tattooing. This is probably Matt’s favourite part of tattooing’s history to talk about, which makes this a really good read. From the article:

The story – that tattooing has “entered the mainstream” – is just one of a number of tattoo tropes recycled relentlessly over the decades, suggests Dr Matt Lodder, art historian and tattoo expert at the University of Essex.

Others include:

  • Everybody seems to be getting tattooed, should we not be concerned?
  • Surprise at women, the young or the old getting a tattoo
  • The pain during a tattoo
  • The issue of regret at having a tattoo

In the late 19th Century, Princess Waldemar of Denmark’s tattoo was big news. As was the inked skin of Queen Olga of Greece, King Oscar of Sweden and the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. These were the celebrity figures of their day.

Modern day equivalents might include David BeckhamCheryl Cole or David Dimbleby. Although the names, faces and places might change, the stories remain largely the same.

In the article, there are loads of different headlines that Matt talks about, and there’s even a little bit with advice on getting a tattoo that doesn’t talk down to the reader and gives some solid advice!

I’d definitely encourage you to take five minutes out today to have a little read of this- check it out here!


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