Social Media sites like Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest are flooded with tattoos of delicate script, minimalistic infinity signs, and feminine anchors; tattoos like this are all huge trends at the moment. We all know someone who has one or more of these familiar designs and what many who decide to get these tattoos do not seem to realize is that the style will eventually fall out of fashion. Don't believe me? Let's not forget that lower back tattoos (or tramp stamps as they're derisively referred) were once all the rage! Khloé Kardashian and Cheryl Cole both fell for the tattoo trend of lower back tattoos during the 1990s and early 2000s, and like many thousands of women they either got their tattoos removed or covered up. Lower back tattoos dominated the tattoo world and were one of the first tattoos that women were able to wear as their own without being branded as masculine. Yet over time the trend has collapsed on itself, earning the aforementioned nickname. But what about the women who still live with tattoo trends from the past? How do they feel about their tattoo five or 10 years after the trend has long blown over?
Many who get lower back tattoos are happy with the decision, because it is just another piece of tattoo real estate. "I love my tattoo. It's one of my favorites still," says Drave Suicide, a body piercer and model with Suicide Girls since 2005. "My lower back tattoo, which is A Perfect Circle symbol, was actually my first tattoo. I got it because A Perfect Circle is one of my absolute favorite bands and a lot of their songs have got me through a lot in my life. I decided to get it on my lower back because I already knew I was getting angel wings on my back and I wanted to put the symbol inbetween the wings," says Drave. Drave sees her lower back ink as strategic in its placement, as opposed to designed to fit the 90s style trend and despite the backlash that this type of tattoo has received in the media, she is proud of the design. Yet many women do not share the same views of their own lower back inkings.
Although many women stand by their lower back tattoos, there are also those who regret their decision to get inked in this once trendy location. "I got the tattoo when I was about 22, when it was all the rage,"says Tarion Suicide, a model with Suicide Girls since 2008. "At the time I was living in the UK, and I wanted it as a memento of the time I had spent there. I though it looked cool back then. I also used to think tribal was nice...
"I will be honest I think it's possibly the worst tattoo I've got," Tarion contiues. "It's a horrible tribal design, very thick black lines that are difficult to cover. I've grown to really hate it, and I desperately want to cover it. My design tastes have changed so drastically I really wish I had waited and not been tattooed until I was a bit older." The biggest reason that lower back tattoos came and went out of style so quickly was because people got them to be trendy. At the time, celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears were the style icons of the time and everyone wanted to be hip and rebellious like them with a tattoo. Of course, trends are always bound to go out of style and wearing a lower back tattoo in 2015 can be just as dated as embroidered jeans and belly chains. Many tattoo artists try to discourage clients from falling for taboo tattoo trends, and Courtney Raimondi of Undead Ink in Oceanside, New York gives us a tattoo artist's perspective on trendy tattoos.
The lower back tattoo was known as the first trendy tattoo for women, which largely became popular because of the music super stars who owned the trend. Today, we can see this pattern repeating itself but instead of just having celebrities as trend setters for tattoos, we also have social media promoting trendy tattoos. Social media sites like Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest are chock full of today's trendy tattoos. The difference today is that instead of focusing on a trendy location like the lower back, we see common imagery like dream catchers, infinity signs, feathers breaking into birds, and anchors. "Pinterest is a blessing and a curse for tattooers. That site has so many great nature photos but if you look at tattoos they are all trendy little things that have been done a million times, but that is what the common person is exposed to," says Raimondi on her experiences as a tattoo artist dealing with clients who find tattoo inspiration through social media. "I think they gravitate towards them because they are looking for simplistic, dainty designs. From what I can tell those clients aren't usually interested in getting lots of tattoos." It's clear that based on the history of the lower back tattoo and the patterns that we see with these new "Tumblr inspired" tattoos is that the issue with trendy tattoos may be the thought behind it.
Many women who got lower back tattoos back in the 1990s and early 2000s did so as a first tattoo and a lot of them didn't anticipate that they would get any more tattoos. The lower back tattoo was something that could be done on a whim, because for the most part they were small and easy to cover up for a job, and those same two qualities apply to the tattoo trends of today. Often times people tend to get these tattoos because they are quick, easy, simple, and are small enough to go unnoticed by parents or employers. This is by no means the case for everyone who has one of these tattoos, but these designs do tend to be what people gravitate towards when they are just started to think about getting a tattoo. Both lower back tattoos and the trendy tattoos of today have aided in getting more women interested in tattoos without having to be bonded to the idea of being a tattooed person, but the "safety" of a trendy tattoo may be what leads to them falling out of style. The lower back tattoo gained popularity as a stamp of rebellion and as style changed, it gained the reputation of promiscuity because people thought that a tramp stamp was a permanent reminder of young girls breaking away from their good girl personas with a "bad girl" tattoo. The tramp stamp was an easy and accessible way for a girl to be a rebel but the lack of originality made innocent girls looked down upon because they got a trendy tattoo. And we can already see the trendy tattoos of today beginning to receive bad reputations because they are so easy and common. The newest versions of a tramp stamp, the skank flank (the ribs) as well as the sternum are areas that women are increasingly getting tattooed on with thanks to trends advertised on social media and by celebrities. Like the lower back, these are areas on the body that are becoming increasingly popular for women to get tattooed because they highlight the feminine form and allow for a small, quick, and easy tattoo, but unfortunately women with these tattoos are being criticized for being sleazy and basic.
The important thing to take away from the trend of lower back tattoos is that you need to be careful with trendy tattoos. They may seem cool and hip now, but who knows how you will feel about them later on in life. The distinction between getting a tattoo because it is trendy and a tattoo that is your own original idea is that you are more likely to be happy in the long run with a tattoo that is all your own. It's hard to know what you will be interested in or passionate about in ten or twenty years, so think carefully about whether or not you'll still love this tattoo if it is no longer fashionable.