WITH Cheryl Cole’s new tattoo reportedly costing £900, we look at why people opt for such works of art on their bodies.
The pop singer revealed the butterfly-based design on her lower back for the first time on the red carpet at the National Television Awards.
The inking – which was said to signify a new start in her life, following her split from husband Ashley – reportedly took 11 hours to complete.
Michael Davies, from Classic Ink Tattoo Studio, Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, said he now saw more women coming in looking for tattoos than men.
So just what is it that makes women – like Mrs C, who has several other tattoos, including a tribal design on her hand and barbed wire around her thigh – opt for such a permanent expression of art on their bodies?
Michael said: “I think the appeal is it’s like having a work of art on your body. And these days people want something individual.
“People who have them seem to want to come back and have them more and more.
“Some people have something personal, with a meaning for them – perhaps a name of a loved one or someone who is deceased. Others just see a design or picture they like and fancy having that.
“Some people have a reason behind what they choose and others don’t.
“We get all ages, from 18 to 65, and I would say more women these days but perhaps because we are very female friendly.
“We have some nice feminine designs for women – popular ones include butterflies, flowers, black tribal tattoos with a thin line, floral patterns.
“For men, the most popular ones are tribal symbols, Japanese style symbols and black and grey angels.
“Tattoos do hurt – there’s no two ways about it. The needle is going into the skin at a very rapid rate.
“But it very much depends on the person and where the tattoo will be. Some people have a higher pain threshold.
“Some people will be screaming the place down, and you could do the same tattoo in the same spot on another person and they might say they can hardly feel it.
“For most people they can stand about two hours maximum at a time, so for a complicated tattoo, we do it in stages. “For a whole arm or sleeve it can take anywhere between 20 and 60 hours.
“I love tattooing. It’s not a job to me, it’s a passion. It’s that creative element and when it’s done you can look at the finished design and feel proud.
“You get such a buzz. A customer recently emailed to thank me and told me it wasn’t a tattoo, it was a work of art, and others he had in the past just didn’t compare.”
North Shore woman Samantha Brierley has a rather special meaning behind the feather tattoo on the nape of her neck.
The 27-year-old battled back from the brink of death, after she was struck down by meningitis, and now has a permanent reminder of what she went through.
She got sponsored to raise money for The Meningitis Trust to have the charity’s symbol of the feather tattooed on her neck.
She said: “I don’t regret it, although it did hurt a lot.
“I wanted something which would be a reminder of how lucky I was. When people ask me about my tattoo, I can use it to raise awareness.”