I apologize if my first post is somewhat simple - it comes from a vested interest (as I have two tattoos) and a genuine curiosity of people's responses. This post is in regards to the experiences I've had, but I wish to hear feedback to the more general idea. Tattooing has been around since, according to some quick research I did, 3300 BC. It seems as though it began as a religious practice or something of the like; this would seem to be more artistic than criminal. Since, however, tattoos have become what many view as criminal. However, this "criminal" view of tattooing became particularly evident to me as I walked into a tattoo parlor on Friday night for a consultation I wished to carry out in regards to a tattoo I'm getting for my mother. I'm a goofy 18 year old girl who, apparently, doesn't exactly fit the mold for these places. I received funny looks, confused questions, and genuine shock at the fact that I wanted to get a tattoo. Why was that? Tattooing carries a negative (I would dare to say criminal, but I don't doubt I'll be questioned) connotation - those who have tattoos can attest to this. I've been questioned, mocked, and told I won't get a respectable job because I chose to tattoo myself. But, like I said before, it sounds as if the most respected individuals - those who chose to carry out their lives in the way God prescribed for them - were marked with a (albeit simple) tattoo gun. Where did this transition from art to crime begin? What changed the way tattoos were viewed, or thought of in the public image? Most of us can distinguish between a poorly done prison tat, and a more refined and professionally done piece. In this sense, I think tattoos can represent an interaction of crime and art: the symbolism of a tattoo may be artistic, but the manner in which it is done is criminal. But why the generalizations? Obviously, not all tattoos are done in prison - why, then, do they still carry a negative connotation? I'd be interested to see if anyone might be able to find an article or something that might explain this - again, this is written out of a genuine interest in the topic!