Once a tribal rite of passage, a signifier of dangerous associations, or a mark of freakish deviance, the tattoo is now commercialized, ironic, often tacky or maudlin, rarely edgy, and widely available at low cost, all of which bodes ill for the future of ink.
Interesting story, but I don’t agree with the conclusion. One type of criticism aimed at modern day tattoos is the idea that they are no longer edgy, no longer reserved for bad-asses and have become too commercialized. I don’t disagree, but I also don’t believe this will lead to the downfall of the tattoo industry. Tattoos are constantly evolving, the inks are improving, new styles and techniques are always on the horizon.
The idea that tattoos are no longer edgy is what has allowed them into mainstream culture. While a rebellious teenager might think twice about getting inked after his parents come home with new tattoos, the tattoo industry is happily making more money than ever from a larger demographic than ever before. Only time will truly tell, but I just don’t see a sudden decline in tattoo popularity any time in the near future.