Beauty

Can We Talk About Tramp Stamps?

“The tramp stamp is well and truly no longer a tattoo to hide.” — Slyvie Pyne

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Can We Talk About Tramp Stamps?

“The tramp stamp is well and truly no longer a tattoo to hide.” — Slyvie Pyne

There are a few ’90s and ’00s trends that come to mind when the words “provocative” or “controversial” come into play, but nothing rings bells like the notorious tramp stamp. It rose to mainstream fame stamped on the lower backs of Britney Spears, Nicole Richie and Christina Aguilera, to name a few, right above their low-rise jeans.

The tattoo trend initially was either loved or hated by the masses, quickly gaining divided opinions, being dubbed “sexy” and a sign of feminine power on one end and seen as “trashy” or a “bull’s eye” on the other. Regardless of either stance, the iconic tattoo trend made its mark on ’00s beauty and fashion trends. Now, Gen Z is set on reclaiming it.

A search through TikTok shows several Gen Z creators showing off their new lower back art, vlogging the tattoo process, and sharing their personal and stylistic reasoning behind their choice. Tattoo artist Slyvie Pyne says, “I think the new generation of tramp stamp huns wear them with pride and a nod to the past, but with a fun and creative twist—from simple butterflies or bold botanicals, the tramp stamp is well and truly no longer a tattoo to hide.”

In fact, they’re putting their own touch on the stamp by adding colorful ink to the traditional bold black text, butterfly and heart designs. They’re also opting for smaller “barely there” designs and words written in a thin script font for an added sense of mystique.

 

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As with many other topics, Gen Z isn’t afraid to openly voice their opinions on the tattoo trend, notably questioning why the art is labeled as a “tramp stamp.” A little digging in the crates of women’s history and, as explained by Pyne, “the fact that [tramp stamps] were sexualized, seen as trashy or given a derogatory label just shows how (unsurprisingly) sexist people’s responses to tattooed women are.”

Which is why we’re here for the next generation of tattoo lovers and IT girls reclaiming the lower back art and standing tall against its outdated stigmas. London-based tattoo artist Tosca Honey shares this sentiment, stating: “Women have a lot more autonomy now and although change is slow, we are moving into a much more accepting space where women choose what to get tattooed and where to get it without fear of discrimination.”  All in all, we love to see the once “provocative” tattoo become mainstream again sans the stigma and triple the body autonomy.

Free the tramp stamp, period.

For more beauty news, check out our coverage of Megan Fox in her hair chameleon era.

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