Saturday, February 3, 2018

Fade In Fade Out


In the course of our lives we've seen numerous fads come and go. The definition of a fad is an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short lived. A trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing and has a much longer life span. Trends are also called a movement and fads are also referred to as crazes.

Fads can be categorized into different groups, one in particular is fashion. Tie-dye shirts, butterfly collars, suspenders, bell bottoms, denim, polyester, checkered print pants, guys wearing sweaters around their necks, fanny packs, nylon track suits, penny loafers, London Fog windbreaker jackets and unisex clothing were all part of the industry of yesteryear.

Remember when watching movies at drive-in theatres was in demand and well liked, or about folks experimenting with the South Beach and/or Atkins diets? Novelties like the hula-hoop, yo-yo, Rubiks Cube, superball and the Troll dolls were ingenious marketing schemes. Flag pole sitting was a craze in the early to mid 1920's, and telephone booth stuffing was popular in the 1950's.

Water beds certainly had their heyday. Their popularity sky rocketed in the late 1970's and into the 1980's but quickly dwindled by the 1990's. In 1989 an article in the L.A. Times said water beds were a $2 billion a year industry...that kind of money back in those days, WOW!

And of course we can't forget about hairstyles like the afro, shag, ducktail, pixie, the Roaring Twenties look, mullet, perm and males exhibiting longer hair than women are now appearances of the past.

One fad that has flooded the market in recent years is the sleeve and body tattoo. First though, let's talk about the regular or customary tattoo. What I mean by that is one or two tattoos on an individual's body, not one-half, three-quarters or their entire figure plastered with ink.

An article in Tattoo Artist Magazine stated the annual revenue for the tattoo industry in the U.S. (United States) is $2.3 billion a year. Some historians claim Otzi the Iceman (dating between 3370-3100 B.C.) had the earliest tattoo. The following statistics from show the age demographics of tattoo: Millennials 18-35-47%, Generation X 36-50-36%, Baby Boomers 51-69-13% and older 70 plus-10%. Fifteen per cent of Millennials have five or more tattoos and almost one-third of all people ages 16-25 have a tattoo.

The first documented professional tattoo artist was in the U.S. in 1846. He was a German immigrant named Martin Hildebrandt. He tattooed many soldiers who fought on both sides of the American Civil War.

Throughout decades past, tattoos have always been popular with armed service personnel, especially the navy. A lot of criminals have tattoos to signify and enhance their psychopathic that comes to mind is Charles Manson and his swastika tattoo on his forehead.

A tattoo artist can charge $150-$250 an hour and have a minimum fee of $100. However sleeve tattoos can cost $1,500. A sleeve tattoo is a large tattoo or collections of tattoos that "supposedly" have a unified theme that covers most or all of an earthling's arm, shoulder to wrist. A body tattoo is a tattoo that covers a person's front and/or back of their body. How can people afford this ridiculous rage? I think it's money foolishly spent, but those same folks may say I waste money on beer.

Ms. Maud Stevens Wagner was one of the original women to have sleeve and chest tattoos. She was a circus performer and in 1904 met Gus Wagner who was a tattoo artist. Later on they married. Her husband would teach her the art of tattooing and she started her own tattoo business. Her daughter received her first tattoo when she was nine years old.

For some odd reason, sleeve and body tattoos are extremely popular in professional sports, specifically soccer and basketball. One reason could be the players can "show them off" to the spectators. Professional athletes such as A.J. Burnett-baseball, Jeremy Shockey-football, Brent Burns-hockey, David Beckman-soccer and Chris Anderson, Dennis Rodman (retired) and Lebron James-basketball have spent mega bucks on "painting" their bodies, mind you, they can afford their senseless mania blanketing their bodies with strange matter.

It's always amazed me why someone would want to grossly plaster their limbs and/or body with tattoos. It looks like a large hideous birthmark. According to, some of the reasoning is people love the art, to be trendy and stylish, express creativity and produce self-expression and individuality. I can think of other ways to convey my imagination and display my identity and making myself heard. It sounds to me these folks have a low case of self-esteem and want to attract attention. Also a very expensive way to be with the "in crowd".

People can express their creativity and reveal their fondness rather than "decorating" their bodies with designs. Writing, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpturing and music are methods of publicizing a person's creativity and self-expression. Maybe a hidden talent will be launched. Crafts such as knitting, quilting, pottery, glass, embroidery and woodworking are also excellent endeavors of showing identity and making oneself heard. Again an unknown skill could be discovered.

Over the years the purity of tattoo parlors and equipment has developed into a safer hygienic environment, but there are still medical uncertainties and risks if folks choose to be inked. The Mayo Clinic states people receiving tattoos may acquire the following repercussions:

  • allergic reactions
  • skin infections
  • blood borne diseases (contamination of blood), hepatitis B and C,
  • M.R.I. (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) complications
  • scar tissue and
  • possible H.I.V. (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

The tattoo removal business has escalated 440% in the past ten years in the U.S. to over $1 billion. According to 25% of all tattoo recipients say they regret obtaining a tattoo, women make up 73% of all tattoo removals and there were 45,000 medical procedures in 2013 for tattoo removals.

In an interview with N.B.C. News, Shelly Novello, founder and C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officer) of Ink-B-Gone Precision and Tattoo Removal said an average client will spend $800-1200 to have a tattoo removed. She also stated a typical tattoo takes one and one-half years to remove...some come out at on time but most take five or six must take years to remove a sleeve or body tattoo. Ms. Novello's Denver office sees 200 people a month.


Most things don't last forever. Notice I said most things. Unfortunately taxes and deceitful politicians will never disappear, they will be around till the end of time. Fads, trends and styles leave us but not necessarily forever. Aviator sun glasses, record players, vinyl albums, Chia Pets, women's jelly sandals and 3D movies made or are making a reappearance. Some items and activities are just premature departures . We can always say farewell for now but maybe we will see you again. As far as sleeve and body tattoos, we'll see if the next generation has more sense of respecting their bodies instead of defacing and uglifying them and of course misusing and wasting their money.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project

Puritan will return with "The Wrong Direction: About Face"

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