Are tattoos on women becoming more mainstream?

X Factor, whether you like it or not, is mainstream Saturday night TV. So it’s great that Rita Ora consistently shows her tattoos on the show.

Rita Ora tattooed bicep

Rita Ora tattooed wrist

OK, so Cheryl is known for having tattoos but, aside from the one on her hand, they’re generally hidden from view (what with her not getting her bottom out on TV, as much as I’m sure some people would like her to!)

Cheryl Cole tattooed bottom

Rita has quite a large and visible inking on the inside of her left bicep, as well as her right wrist, amongst others.

Not only that, I’ve recently noticed a tattooed McDonalds worker in their new advert. I can’t recall seeing any tattooed females in an advertisement before.

McDonalds advert tattooed girl

Tattooed males have been mainstream for quite a while, and represented positively in the media (not the bad boys they once were). David Beckham is lauded as a family man and ambassador for Great Britain and he’s extensively tattooed, including his hands and neck which at one time was for the realms only of the real hardcore of society. Most young boy bands have visible tattoos these days, with sleeves seemingly de rigeur. One Direction have a large collective collection of inkings and their fan base runs from very young girls through to fully grown women (although possibly for different reasons!)

In the past, public representation of tattooed females tends to be quite extreme – those who have a lot of coverage (like Jodie Marsh). It’s good to see a woman in a workplace on TV (I know she’s an actress, but even so).

One of my main bug bears has been the lack of tattooed models on everyday websites. ASOS, for example, uses a majority of tattooed male models (including, most recently, one with ink on his face) yet there never seem to be any women. This reinforces the stereotype that tattooed women are very much an exception, and can’t be used to sell an image or product. Why is that? Does it suggest that tattoos are off putting and undesirable? Strange, when beautiful women like Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie are inked.

So I was pleased to spot a couple of female fashion models with tattoos recenltly. Small, but it’s progress.

Boohoo featured this model on an eshot (note the not huge but nonetheless visible wrist ink).

Boohoo tattooed model

And H&M went all out with multiple ink locations, including fingers, on an email advertising party wear, no less!

H&M tattooed model

What are your thoughts on female tattoos? Are you offended by seeing them? Are tattooed men more “acceptable” than women? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Thanks. as always, for reading! x

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