Other than the coronavirus, there seems to be another epidemic that is gaining momentum: Face tattoos. Since January, there have been a lot of celebrities and musicians who have been putting ink on their faces as a form of expression. When did people wake up and decide to ink their faces? Since January, there have been many celebrities who debuted their face tattoos. When you search #facetattoo on Instagram, you will see scores of people showing off their fresh face tattoos.
Just a few years ago, tattoos on the face and neck were unspeakable. So much so that tattoo artists call them “jobstoppers” according to this article. They automatically put you at the back of the bar. Try to get a job interview with a face tattoo of a cross on your forehead and you probably won’t be able to get an appointment.
But young artists are coming out of the shadows and making it look cool. Post Malone already has some big Billboard 100 songs. More than the hits, the other reason people are drawn to him is his face tattoos. He has a barbed wire across his forehead, outlining his hairline. Just as you thought that was enough, he added the words “Always” and “Tired” under his eyes. Now, more and more celebrities are putting ink on their faces like it’s this year’s hottest accessory.
There are several reasons that make face tattoos such an undesirable thing. In Roman history, only slaves had them. Those slaves were branded with the crimes they committed. Those who tried to free themselves from their masters were marked on their foreheads as a sign of punishment.
A few decades later, slavery was abolished. The tattoos on their faces were used as religious symbols by certain sects and groups.
In other parts of the world, tattooing the face is a known practice of indigenous people.
The Rise of Hip-hop Culture
Perhaps the most recognizable artist who popularized Face Tattoos is the rapper, Lil Wayne. He is a product of the underground rap and hip-hop artists that became popular on the music streaming app SoundCloud. The brand of SoundCloud rap launched the careers of Migos, 21 Savage, and Travis Scott. Their popularity gained momentum by producing hit songs that entered the Billboard charts. Soon after, there were more and more recognizable artists that show off their face tattoos in the mainstream media.
More recently, artists like XXXTentacion, Post Malone and Gucci Mane came out with their own face tattoos, making it sort of the new normal.
Is it too much?
However, not all people are fond of this new trend. Some people are concerned that a permanent ink on your face is likely to scar you for life. It will bar you from getting as many opportunities. It is also expected to reduce the chance of improving their economic status significantly.
There is a 2018 study that supports this claim. The survey conducted showed that six in 10 hiring managers are less likely to hire someone who has a tattoo on their face. With the ink being permanent, some people fear that young people who get face tattoos will later grow up and regret their decisions. It will be too late by then.This is why the British Tattoo Artist Federation (BTAF) is proposing that the government enact a law that raises the legal age limit of getting a tattoo from a minimum of 18 to 21.
Another study in 2013 highlighted the effects of facial tattoos when it comes to bias in courtrooms. Tattoos in general are associated with criminals and violent gangs. In prison, it is known as a way of showing off that you are not someone they want to mess with. It signifies strength and aggression which easily scares other prisoners away. Then there are the popular criminals in modern-day history. Charles Manson, infamous for being a cult leader and criminal, had a Swastika tattoo on his face.
2020: The Year of Face Tattoos
Whatever the opinions are about face tattoos, they are definitely here to stay. This year, many celebrities are coming out on Instagram with their own brand of tattoos. Check out some cool designs at HandofGloryTattoo.com.
Celebrity Amber Rose recently tattooed the names of kids “Slash” and “Bash” on her forehead. Shortly after this, her current boyfriend tattooed the birthdays of both children on his forehead too.
The brother of model Kaia Gerber and son of Cindy Crawford also joined the bandwagon. Presley Gerber surprised everyone with a statement tattoo that says “misunderstood” on his right cheek.
Former Nick Jr. star Amanda Bynes decided to be a little subtle and put a heart tattoo on her left cheek. Singer Aaron Carter opted to create a bigger impact by tattooing almost the entire left side of his face with a photo inspired by Rihanna.
Meanwhile, Chris Brown decided to put a Nike sneaker near his right sideburn, a “cool” addition to a number of other smaller but still noticeable face tattoos.
People are feeling less worried about getting tattoos on any part of their body. The fact is that tattoos, regardless if it is on your face, are not necessarily permanent. The rise of tattoo artists also guaranteed the increase of options for laser tattoo removal. The technology has become widely available and more affordable as well.
Should you finally join the club of people expressing themselves through face tattoos? It is entirely up to you. The risks of getting backlash for having an aggressive-looking tattoo are real. You might want to experiment with a few simpler styles first when you are still in your early twenties. As you grow older and wiser, you will feel more comfortable about putting more ink on your skin.
Also, consider your future job prospects. Not all industries are as welcoming to people with face tattoos. This is a sad reality that cannot be ignored. There’s no shame in starting small with having tattoos. Put ink in parts of the body that can still be hidden.