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April 12, 2011

The Age Of The Tattoo

My first and only tattoo experience consited of my father taking me to Tay's Playa (oh the horror) on Crenshaw and Vernon in Los Angeles when I was 15 years old to get tatted.  After months of begging my parents and eventually breaking them down, I couldnt believe that they were actually going to allow me to get body art.  I thought long and hard about what permanent marking I was going to get, where it would be placed and how bad it was going to hurt.  I eventually settled on the yin/yang symbol that originates from a Chinese scientific and spiritual philosophy known as Taoism (See Yin Yang - Taoism).  I was excited and nervous at the same time but the pain and nervousness was well worth it.  I couldn't wait to show it off.  Fast forward 15 years and I am still as in love with my tattoo as I was when I first received it.  It has actually guided me on a spiritual journey that began as soon as I found out the true meaning of the symbol and started to apply the principles to my life in general.

We've all seen countless tattoos since back in 1995 that range from beautiful and artistic to ratchet and just plain ghetto.  It was a pretty big thing back in the 90s to get a tattoo, especially if you were in high school.  Now I look at kids in high school and tattoos are almost like a right of passage.  You would be hard pressed these days to go to a high school and find a student without tattoos (I could be over exaggerating, but you get my point).

The latter part of the evolution of the tattoo came with the sleeve, where ink addicts started not only getting tattoos that covered up a few inches of their bodies, but now, kids are getting their entire arms, and backs tattooed (I blame 50 Cent) as well as their legs, chests, neck, and even their faces inked.  Even reality TV has gotten in on the fun by featuring shows in tattoo parlors and showing the drama that ensues in popular tattoo shops in Los Angeles and Miami.

Back in the day, lol, parents would tell you not to get tattoos because of the negative connotations people make when they see them inside and outside the workplace.  However, now, I wonder if the same connotations still exist.  Do people judge you based on your ink?  Have you or anyone you know ever been denied a job because your tattoos were exposed?  I know as they become much more prominent, the rules seem to be more lenient.

I am in no way too old-fashioned or washed up so let me say that I have seem some wonderful tattoo art that I actually adore.  My girl Britanie Girard who is a model and piercing artist in New York and Los Angeles exemplifies true body art and expression.  All of her "pieces" have meaning and she has spent years covering her entire body.  You have no idea how beautiful her art is until you see her up close and personal, but I have some pictures you can view to get an idea:

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I also have a good friend, Isiah, in Philly, who incorporates some of his own creative art on his body.  His art is also a work in progress. Check it out: I have tattoo envy :-) Feel free to share some of your tattoo stories and experiences and I'm dying to know what doors your tattoos have open or closed.


  1. I don't have any tattoos yet. But, I did get a piercing done at Tay's when I was 16. I actually went by there a couple of weeks ago to see about getting my 1st tat, but they were closed...

  2. me personally not into tats but ole girl in the pic is sexy as hell. got damn!

  3. those are definitely works of art.... i am waiting to get my first tat soon...

  4. Can you post some pics of old ladies with tatoos? Just to give women an idea of the long term look ;P

  5. I got my first tatoo in 2004 now i have four i love my tats, I want a couple more with lots of color.

  6. The tats are hot. I got my first tat, secretly, in someone's garage! I have cover-ups, professional ones and even a ghetto Tay's tattoo also! Each piece NOW has a meaning and I think that is what's most important. The new day has opened doors to self expression overload and some tattoos make you wonder about the mindstate of people when they get them. For example, people who get tattoo's of their favorite rap artist....But it all comes back to individuality. So, if it keeps you smiling then hey do you, right?


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