From circus performers to Lutheran ministers. From Olive Oatman, the first woman to publicly display her tattooed body for money (after being kidnapped in 1851 and assimilated into the Mohave tribe), to Kat Von D, who became celebrated not only for the ink she sports but also for her skill with a needle. Throughout history and crossing all class boundaries, ladies have been getting ink for some time. Read Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo to learn about these amazing women and many, many more. From author Shelley Jackson, who is “publishing” her short story, one word at a time, on different volunteers to Maria Jose Cristerna, a woman so transformed she is known in her native Mexico has The Vampire Woman, all these women have interesting stories to tell.
And if you want even more stories involving tattooed characters, real or fictional, come check out our first floor display of fiction and non-fiction. It’ll be up for two weeks!