When tattoo lovers get a buzz in their ear

New York There’s a joke among tattoo artists that whenever Rihanna gets a new tattoo, droves of twenty-something women will soon come asking for the same.

A few years ago, the singer adorned the upper portion of her left ear with the outline of a star. Not many came asking then, but, in what seems to have been a self-fulfilling prophecy, more are now.

My wife has had an ear tattoo for years and she probably gets more comments on it than any of her other work. It seems that even heavily tattooed people are surprised to see an ear tattoo, but I guess that is changing.

The changing face of female tattoos

In past decades, if a woman had a tattoo, it was likely to be discreet or hidden from public view. Multiple, prominent tattoos were more likely to be seen on men.

But now anecdotal evidence suggests the number of women getting large amounts of ink on their bodies is sharply on the rise.

BBC News spoke to artists and visitors at the International Tattoo Convention in London to find out about the latest trends in female body art.