Saturday, October 15, 2011

Emo tattoos

Emo tattoos
The emo culture celebrates personal expression, so technically there are no real rules as such for what makes an ‘emo tattoo’. Emo tattoos are not usually graphically sexual, or following common cultural symbols (pop icons, roses, Celtic bands etc). They are more personal statements, and tend to vary widely from person to person, but there are a few common motifs such as stars, hearts and skulls. Emo tattoos also tend to be on certain areas of skin, particularly over the heart, wrists and shoulders. A lot of emo tattoos are very personal to the individual who has had them done, and often they will draw their own designs. Coloured tattoos are also popular, in tones of blue, yellow, red and grey, as well as just simple black writing done in gothic styles that spell out meaningful statements, quotes and poems.
Tattoos have long been associated with rites of passage, pledges of love and fidelity, and symbols of belonging and identification, and this resonates strongly with the deeper, emotional side of the emo culture. The symbolism and psychological impact of tattoos appeals to those people who are interested in delving into the human psyche and this combined with the cosmetic, fashionable aspects of tattoos makes them very popular in the emo scene.
Tattooing methods vary across the world and traditionally tribal cultures would cut the design into the skin, and then rub the dye into the wound. Hand tapping was also used, by dipping sharpened sticks or animal bones into ink and then inserting them into the skin. Both these methods were very painful, and were an integral part of many rites of passage ceremonies. The most common method of tattooing in contemporary culture is using an electric machine, which inserts ink via a series of oscillating needles into the skin. These needles are punched rapidly in and out of the skin, up to 150 times a second and this makes it possible to carry out highly coloured, accurate and intricate designs in a short space of time. Disposable gloves are worn by the tattooist, and each needle is disposed of after use and the equipment sanitised, which greatly reduces the risks of infections and the spread of disease.
Dyes and pigments that are used for tattoos come in almost unlimited shades these days, and tattooist often mix their own colours to produce ’signature’ dyes, which they incorporated into all of their designs. Pigments can be sourced from nature (such as ash, coal dust, powdered jet) or from a vast range of organic and inorganic materials such as titanium dioxide, iron oxides and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS plastic). There are some concerns over various red pigments used for tattooing, as these are commonly made from certain iron oxides and cinnabar, which can cause allergic reactions and scarring in many cases. Magenta is a safer red dye, but is not considered as lasting as the other red pigments.

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