15 November 2011

Tattoo toys for children

There has been a remarkable surge in the popularity of tattoos during my lifetime, most of it seemingly in the last several decades.  Sociological Images examines how the trend is influencing children:
The most recent children’s tattoo toy to come under attack is the collector’s edition “Tokidoki Barbie,” which features prominent arm, chest, and neck tattoos. This is the first Barbie to come out of its packaging with tattoos already applied...

Toys like these have been released every few years since the 1990s, when tattooing was ranked as the 6th fastest growing industry in the country. But we are now seeing more children’s tattoo toys spring up, dovetailing with the increasing popular interest in the craft... Whereas tattooing was once largely reserved for working-class men, sailors, carnival performers, and exotic dancers, we have since seen the practice become widely popular amongst all races, genders, and classes...

...we have seen the cultural cache of tattooing shift in favor of middle-class notions of identity work; that is, towards seeing the body as a vehicle for expressing oneself, towards actively controlling and crafting the body as a form of empowerment, and towards the development of “distinctive individualism” through appearance...
 More information and extended commens at Sociological Images.


  1. My daughter was at a large party in Phoenix at a friends house. Some sort of SWAT team bust in and took PHOTOS of everyones tatoos then left.

    Facebook and tatoos hold them same place in my heart in our current police state.

    After the above described incident it didn't take long to find out about the extensive criminal tatoo database. Our poor children have been led straight into a trap,and the most common objection I've heard from any mother was "That will be ugly when they're older."

  2. Well, what's mom going to say... "That will make it far easier for you to be identified when you knock over the convenience store"?

    Really, I like decorating my walls with my personal taste and style. But I'd hate to think if I had to keep the same painting up forever, without being able to change it as my tastes change. Same with my body.

  3. And the harder people try to look different, the more they end up looking the same at times. I would have trouble distinguishing a guy with a full sleeve of tattoos from another guy with different sleeve of tattoos. They just look like guys with a tattoo sleeves...

  4. Ahhh! Finally we may be approaching the collapse of a massive fad (according to Norm's law of cool).

    when an "cool" activity popularized by inner city blacks or college students filters down to kindergardeners and preschoolers, and is advertised alongside Captain Crunch, it's just about toast. This will be a good test of the theory.

  5. I used to get temporary tatoos out of Cracker Jacks boxes when I was a kid.


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