It may be super trendy now, but a face tattoo hasn't always been a trend that was widely practiced or hugely popular. Here's how face tattoos evolved over time.
Face tattoos are starting to become a lot more common. There is a rise in the number of celebrities that are getting inked on their very recognizable faces. In some cases, it only adds to the uniqueness of the celebrity. What caught on really fast was the rise in the number of singers and social media influencers that also chose to get inked on their faces. It may be super trendy now, but a face tattoo hasn't always been a trend that was widely practiced or hugely popular. Here's how face tattoos evolved over time.
In New Zeland's Maori culture, the act of getting a fact tattoo meant that the person associates themselves with the culture itself. The tattoo, known as a 'moko', is regarded as the ultimate statement of one's identity. The culture also believes that the head is the most sacred part of the body, which is why wearing a moko on the face is to bear an undeniable declaration of one's identity.
The Konyaks are a Naga headhunting tribe located in India. This tribe would often use tattoos as a way to mark a boy's passage into manhood. The greatest honor for this tribe would be to become a warrior and get a face tattoo. But the warrior would only be honored with a face tattoo when they returned with the head of an enemy. The practice has slowly declined because of modern times.
The Berbers of North Africa are known for their beautiful women. Most Berber women have distinct tattoos on their face, usually, stark dark lines and patterns set against their pale skin. But the tattoos were not just fancy embellishments to their already stunning faces. The Berber women would tattoo their faces as to protect themselves from demon possessions as well as to ward of ill-will towards them.
Just like how tattoos are considered markers of life's biggest events in some tribes, they were often sported by criminals to denote the kind of crime that they committed. Teardrops, a cross, and spiderwebs were the most commonly-seen tattoos which represented the time they served, the kind of crime they committed, or if they belonged to a specific crime syndicate.
Even when it came to street criminals, getting a face tattoo was akin to the kind of crimes they committed. Many street gangs would often use face tattoos as identifiers of their fellow gang members. It often played a vital role in distinguishing other enemy gang members as well. A very common street gang tattoo was of the Latin Kings gang, which was a five-point crown.
The rise of the internet started a rather unique trend for people who wanted to make a quick buck. Because websites wanted clicks on their links, they would often pay people to willingly get their domain name tattooed on their faces. The most notable person to get a dot com ad inked on their face was Karolyne Smith, a woman from Utah who sold her face to an online gambling site called Golden Palace for $10,000 in 2005.
The most recent trend has been a huge wave of social media influencers just going to tattoo parlors and getting inked. These media 'moguls' have often used getting a face tattoo as a gimmick to get their fans' attention. Following in the footsteps of their favorite rapper or singer, this community also reflects on their feelings with ink on their face. But many Youtubers get fake tattoos because who wants to etch on their money maker, right?