17 women show their tattoos

17 women show their tattoos

Almost every fifth person in Germany has a tattoo. But there was a time when tattoos were only for seafarers and prison inmates. At that time there was still something disreputable and forbidden about the skin. If tattooed men were considered seedy, the sight of tattooed women was an outright scandal.


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In the 19th and early 20th centuries, tattoos were still something exotic. So it’s no wonder that tattooed women were considered a particularly big attraction. “Tattooed Ladies” was the name given to the artists who displayed their painted bodies in circus, theater or dance performances. The ladies in the following pictures were among the most famous of their guild.

1. The tattoo artist Stella Grassman.

2. Stella was a major attraction in the 1920s.

3. Stella had many tattoos done by her husband Deafy.

4. The burlesque dancer Mildred Hull started her own business and opened her own tattoo studio.

5. The body becomes a canvas.

6. Many tattooed ladies worked at the circus.

7. Bettie Broadbent, also known as “tattooed Venus”, got a tattoo when she was 14 years old.

8. The artist Irene Woodward wanted to show that tattoos are not only for men.

9. Nora Hildebrandt was one of the first successful tattooed ladies.

10. This lady is promoting a tattoo artist.

11. Artoria Gibbons was one of the last successful tattooed ladies and performed in front of an audience until the 1980s.

12. A circus artist prepares for the performance.

13. The artist “Princess Cristina”, 1910.

14. A tattoo artist at work, 1930s.

15. Photos of tattooed ladies were popular motifs for postcards. The artist Wallona Aritta can be seen on this.

16. Charlie Wagner was one of the most sought-after tattoo artists until his death in 1953. His ornate skin images earned him the title “Michelangelo of tattoos”.

17. The German Emma Schuster performed under the stage name “La bella Angora” in the circus. She was also called “the queen of the tattooed”.

Even if the golden age of tattooed ladies is long over, the ladies in these pictures have lost none of their fascinating beauty.

You can find more exciting, inspiring and funny pictures of tattoos here:

Thumbnails: © Pinterest / RASUL FAHIM © Facebook / Divino Dolor Tattoo Piercing

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