& Culture Body
It's a word that conjurs up the mysterious and exotic.
"Tattoo" is derived from the Polynesian word tatau -- meaning "to make a mark" -- a Pacific tribal tradition that was first introduced to the West by 16th explorers.
As warriors dressed their bodies for battle, tattoos were worn to send a message. Tattoos have a long history dating back about 5,000 years. Tattoos later came to express all kinds of human emotion -- from fierce war-like temperament to the iconic "I love mom" sentiments worn by American servicemen during World War II.
Once considered fit only for sailors or underworld figures, tattoos emerged into the light in the late 20th century to gain a certain hip respect among the glitterati. That's when famous musicians, Hollywood celebrities, and star athletes began sporting tattoos for all the world to see.
Now well-established within the pop culture mainstream, tattoos might be worn as a sign of rebellion against parents or a simple desire to stand out among the crowd.
Tattoos can express a deep religious feeling or passionate romantic love. They can be a bold statement about life or a whisper a timeless philosophy.
Stark, colorful, traditional or stylish, you can always count on tattoos to be as beautiful and varied as the people who wear them.