Skip to main content

The Sociological and Scientific Significance of Tattooing Dark Skin

Theres a Long History of Tattooing That We're Not Talking About

Over the last several years, television has dramatically impacted the world of tattooing. Starting off with "classics" such as Miami Ink, LA Ink, NY INK and giving rise to reality television competitions such as Ink Master, tattooing is for the first time in the living rooms of millions of Americans. The reality competition Ink Master has become particularly celebrated amongst fans and people outside of the community have been given an inside look into the world of tattooing. There are more individuals than ever who are beginning to understand the dynamics of the tattoo community, as well as issues that continue to persist into the 21st century. For instance, only this past season of the show celebrated a female winner and the season focused heavily on sexism that continues to persist in the industry. However, one area of controversy that affects the community that has been showcased on every single season of the show is the reception of dark skinned clients. If you were to watch the show, you might notice that given the choice, an artist would prefer to work on a light skinned canvas over one with dark skin. However, what many don't realize is that there is more to this issue than discrimination. In a setting like Ink Master where the contestants are being judged and critiqued on their work, many artists prefer working on light skin because they have more freedom to experiment with colors and detail work. Of course, it is important to consider that Ink Master is merely a television competition that is staged to amplify drama—but, many artists in the working world do not feature work done on dark skin in their portfolios. The tattoo industry itself is just as competitive as a television show, if not more because there is often much more on the line than $100K. But does that mean that tattooers shouldn't feature work on dark skin because they don't believe that it showcases their skills? The answer is no.

Photo via Instagram

One Artist Who Creates Beautiful Tattoos on Both Light and Dark Skin is Miryam Lumpini

Tattooers like Nikko Hurtado, Miryam Lumpini, and Poch Tattoos are proof that showcasing art on people on all skin types is extremely marketable in a world where the industry is adapting to include all different types of people. If our industry can expand to cater to sorority girls and soccer moms, it can certainly make room to represent quality work on dark skin.