Photographs of beautiful tattooed women is one of the most popular search terms on the Internet. Though tattoos have become increasingly common and visible in modern days, this element of personal style is nothing new.
In fact, the tattooed ladies featured in the photographs above were rocking tattoos long before they were cool.
During the early 1900’s, full body tattoos were all the rage. Circuses even employed people with them to showcase to the public because it was considered such a shocking practice. But getting tattooed wasn’t just about becoming a sideshow act.
In Margot Mifflin’s book Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoos, she explains that women getting tattoos, especially full-bodied ones, was actually a “feminist gesture” for them to take “control of their bodies when they had little power elsewhere.” The book illustrates how tattoos went from being considered forbidding to chic.
The first recorded woman tattooist was Maud Wagner. Allegedly, she offered to go on a date with her future husband to learn the craft of tattooing.