History of Body Piercing and Tattooing.

Essay by morch76University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2005

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Body Piercing and tattooing date back thousands of years. Body piercing can be traced as far back as the 9th Century BCE in Iraq, and as early as 2000 BCE in China (History of Body Piercing). Evidence for the practice of body piercing among Mayans, Aztecs, Romans, Egyptians and Victorians is also prevalent. According to the History of Body Piercing, the Victorians pierced out of firm religious beliefs and to signify a rite of passage and often times as a sign of royalty. While body piercing is seen as one of the most ancient practices of body modification, which includes "art forms" such as tattooing and branding, virtually all forms of body modification can be traced back to ancient times. According to Katheleen McCloud (2002), tattooing can be dated back to 12,000 BCE, and was extremely popular among the Maori, Polynesians, Mayans, Egyptians, and the Chinese. However, for many years, tattooing was shunned by the Anglo Saxons, under the belief that tattooing was a "freakish act."

Recently, there has been a resurgence of body piercing and tattooing in the mainstream. Now a days it is even hard to find a celebrity who is not pierced or tattooed. Celebrities such as Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee, Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thorton, Britney Spears, AJ McClean, and many more sport tattoos. Christina Aguilera, and Spears are also extremely popular pierced celebrities. Traditionally, in the United States, piercing has been dominated by females with pierced ears. However, today not only are many men getting pierced, but the locations of the piercings have migrated throughout the body. According to one study of college students in America, among college students 42% of men and 60% of women had body piercings. However, it has been suggested that these piercings are sought out of the...