The Tattooed Lady: A History
10:44 AM
The Tattooed Lady.jpgI regularly like to search for new tattoo tomes, and funny enough, the one that looked the most fun is a recommended companion buy with my own book:

The Tattooed Lady: A History  by Amelia Klem Osterud explores the lives of tattooed women who tantalized Americans across the country performing in circuses and carnivals in the early part of the century. These foremothers paved the way for Suicide Girls and "Hot Inked Chicks" whom we ogle online just as eagerly today. But back then, with opportunities limited to women, the life of a tattooed attraction provided them, not only with income, but travel and experiences beyond the kitchen. Here's more from the book description:

"Living in a time when it was scandalous even to show a bit of ankle, a small number of courageous women covered their bodies in tattoos and traveled the country, performing nearly nude on carnival stages. These gutsy women spun amazing stories for captive audiences about abductions and forced tattooing at the hands of savages, but little has been shared of their real lives. Though they spawned a cultural movement--almost a quarter of Americans now have tattoos--these women have largely faded into history.
Combining thorough research with more than a hundred historical photos, this social history explores tattoo's origins, women's history, and circus lore."

I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon, which is due out later this month. For further reading on the history of tattooed women, from sideshows to riot grrls, read Margot Mifflin's classic Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo.


i especially like the what ive heard about Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo.

ive gotta get this for my GF for Xmas...

... then i can read it too!

The women that were part of this world were way ahead of their time. Pretty radical considering the times.

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