In modern mainstream society tattoos are becoming more and more acceptable, and even popular for our generation. Despite the rising popularity and acceptance of tattoos the stigma of "heavily tattooed" or very visible tattoos still exist. This stigma is especially present for women who are considered "heavily tattooed."
"Why would you ruin piece of your skin like that?" asked a guy friend of mine when I told him about getting a tattoo on my back. When questioned further he admitted he didn't have problems with tattoos but found it weird on women especially when it took up a big space. Little tattoos, however, are apparently fine. Thanks Omar.
This conversation really illustrates how such stigma can exist for women in the tattoo world. Tattoos, being typically portrayed as masculine can seem weird to those who are perhaps more traditional or are more likely to adhere to gender roles. They are unable to understand the beauty of tattoos or why a women would get one. This may be because of traditional associations of tattoos with "whores" or "trashy" such as the traditional tramp stamp tattoo. Obviously tattoos also arouse a sense of masculinity, an image of a strong biker man or images of original tattooist like Sailor Jerry or Lyle Tuttle, which is why I believe women have had a hard time breaking through to the mainstream as a heavily tatted women or as a tattooist. These gender stereotypes negatively affect women as seen in the documentary where friends would ask them to cover up their tattoos or people would judge them, especially as a mom. It seems unfair that in today's modern era that women still feel the need to cover or abstain from a certain activity in order to fit in with the norm. These gender roles and traditional associations with tattoos are not the only reason that women have heavier stigma attached to their tattoos. As a woman in the white capitalist patriarchy that supports and feeds into the sexual-commodification industrial complex women's bodies tend to be valued less and judged more. Because women's bodies tend to be in the spotlight more, people, I think, feel more comfortable on commenting on other women's bodies or approaching women rather than men. Perhaps because of this, women are more likely to face public backlash than a heavily tattooed men.