One a 90s girl fad, putting leopard spots on your skin is back in fashion. There’s very little info on why this marking became so popular, but the fact that the marks are small and abstract in their own design may have something to do to it. They’re popping up in popularity once again thanks to fashion but why do people get them other than for their looks?
Leopards are Predators
There are very few feminine tattoos that have a powerful appeal. Leopards are tough, vicious predators and their spots can be empowering to a woman without having to get a tattoo that has an overly masculine feel to it. Big cats are beautiful, sleek, svelte, and dangerous, all the traits of the average femme fatale. These large felines have been prized for their beauty by humans for centuries and since body modification is an attempt to beautify the body it’s a natural progression to have leopard spots and tattoos together.
Fashion is almost always to blame for fads. People have been wearing fur since the beginning of time but high fashion embraced the spots in the last century with them peaking in popularity in the 80s and 90s. Stars like Liz Taylor were photographed in leopard print and it soon became mainstream before making it to the tattoo parlor sometime in the 90s. Even now you’ll still see plenty of fashion with leopard spots on it from hair accessories to shoes and purses.
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While this might sound like a joke the disease toxoplasmosis which passes from feline fecal matter to humans has been linked to disabling our natural fear of predators and in fact making us more inclined to be friendly towards them. In other words, even if you think you just like cats, it could be a parasite in your brain making you think that way! About 1/3 of the world’s population is infected and it’s thought that the parasite is the entire reason we domesticated cats in the first place. Being drawn to cats and big predators could have something to do with the rise in getting the spots tattooed.
Some clients suffer from something called Clinical Lycanthropy where in extreme cases they think they’re becoming the animal (google tiger man and you won’t be disappointed) and will go to extreme lengths of body modification to transform themselves. While this may not be due to a parasite it’s certain that it has something to do with their brain chemistry.
While leopard print tattoos seem like a standard design they’re anything but. Since every spot is different for a leopard most people’s tattoos are the exact same. They can also add a variety of colors or stick to just the black parts without losing what the tattoo is. Some clients also pick their favorite color to personalize the spots some. If you’re thinking of getting a leopard print tattoo then let us know why and how you plan to make it unique!