Tattooing is an art form that has been used for thousands of years everywhere around the world. Mummies dated as far back as the 3rd and the 4th centuries have been found with tattoos on their arms, legs and backs – including the women. In Caesarian myths for example, Bretons were described as being tattooed. Judged to be a pagan ritual, tattooing was ended around the 7th century on religious grounds, thus attributing for the first time a negative connotation. It was only during the fourteenth century that the tattoo re-emerged on the European continent, courtesy of James Cook’s explorations. Cook’s discoveries would lead to the first apparition of the word “tattoo” in the Dictionnaire de l’Académie française in 1798.
Today, how can we view our bodies as an object for the purpose of consumption? In which way do the act of consumption manifest itself as a participant in the construction of identity? Does aesthetic choices, such as body art (including tattoos), establish a class, a gender? Are we facing a standardized new aesthetic norm shaping individuals of our Western societies?