Many tattoos serve as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, amulets and talismans, protection, and as punishment, like the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures. Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person.[13] Today, people choose to be tattooed for artistic, cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs (see criminal tattoos) or a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture. Popular verses include John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, and Psalms 23.[14]
A menacing skull peeks beneath a hooded cloak, a yellow and black snake lies coiled, ready to strike, and a trail of red roses litter a climbing vine. These make up just a few of the designs available in an instant with tattoo sleeves. Within minutes, the arms display unique and colorful body art without the pain and perpetuity of authentic tattoos. Creative shoppers looking for distinctive tattoo sleeves find a wide range sporting colorful objects, figures, and designs from reliable sellers on eBay. Consumers can choose pairs of sleeves or entire sets featuring artwork from light and delicate to bold and graphic. Try one sleeve or two paired with a chunky, leather and metal cuff for a look that says "tough and independent." Striking tribal tattoo sleeves in black, navy, or dark green make a statement worn under a white or black T-shirt, and a full tattoo sleeve shirt offers an amusing look for parties or clubbing. People looking for a more permanent solution find a variety of tattoo patterns for inspiration, and post-tattoo essentials like Tattoo Goo for successful after care.
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Since the 1970s, tattoos have become a mainstream part of Western fashion, common among both genders, to all economic classes[citation needed] and to age groups from the later teen years to middle age. For many young Americans, the tattoo has taken on a decidedly different meaning than for previous generations. The tattoo has "undergone dramatic redefinition" and has shifted from a form of deviance to an acceptable form of expression.[61]
Mainstream art galleries hold exhibitions of both conventional and custom tattoo designs, such as Beyond Skin, at the Museum of Croydon.[5] Copyrighted tattoo designs that are mass-produced and sent to tattoo artists are known as "flash", a notable instance of industrial design.[6] Flash sheets are prominently displayed in many tattoo parlors for the purpose of providing both inspiration and ready-made tattoo images to customers.
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