Tattoos are an old form of body modification that is made by inserting ink into the dermis layer of the skin.

Tattooing is a old practice that is seen as far back as Otzi the Iceman, who dates around the 4th or 5th millennium BC; he had about 57 carbon tattoos consisting of dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle. Other mummies bear tattoo-like markings from the 2nd millennium BC, such as the Mummy of Amunet from ancient Egypt.

There is record of body marking written in Joseph Banks’ journal from 1769, “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition.”

The tattooing process has been practiced for years all across the world, stretching from the indigenous people of Japan (Ainu), who practiced facial tattoos, rubbing cuts with ashes. The tribes in Turkey, Borneo, Cambodia, South America, Africa, and all over the world are seen with tattoos. There is even notes from Great Britain of “people of the designs.”

Explorers in the 18th century brought back tattoos from Polynesian tribes and people, who spread the practice across Europe and the Western world.  

Throughout history tattoos have been used to signify status, person identification, and for religious purposes. Some tribes believed in tattooing symbols to help in the afterlife, whereas others noted warriors and chiefs with tattoos.

As a modern-day practice, tattoos gained popularity in the 1990s. They are a part of mainstream and Western fashion of all sexes and classes. Even Barbie got her first tattoo in 2011.

There has been a lot of controversy over tattoos throughout the modern day, but as more people partake in the practice, there becomes more leniency.