Analysis: Tattoo 1


j wearer: female
j location on body: upper arm
j colours: red, green, black
j design: heart with flowers and leaves
j text: Jonnie, 1970
j approximate size: 10 cm x 10 cm
j probable method/materials: electric tattoo machine; ink

j visibility: visible to wearer; can be easily hidden under sleeve (depending on type of shirt); display of tattoo at the wearer’s discretion
j‘classic’ tattoo design
j how perceived: love for Jonnie (boyfriend/husband/lover)

j historical/cultural context: 1970s Western Europe; expropriation of typically male tattoo design on a female (women’s rights?)
j symbolic meanings: a permanent marker of a relationship; relationship ‘etched in blood’; a love letter reproduced on the skin; a private and public symbol of love (i.e. like a wedding ring); a contrast to the otherwise non-tattooed arm.


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-image: Tattoo Peter, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 197os (Schiffmacher 1996:422)-