Halsey. Miley Cyrus. Ariana Grande. These are just a few of the many celebrities who have added hand tattoos to their personal collections this year. While there’s been an obvious uptick in the placement’s popularity in Hollywood and, by extension, Instagram, hands have historically been one of the most popular areas to ink. But there’s a lot you need to know before you show up to a tattoo parlor asking for one.
For one, consider their history: Some archeological evidence and one 3,000-year-old mummy suggest Ancient Egyptian women frequently tattooed their fingers in dainty dots and shapes, although historians haven’t nailed down the exact reason why. During the crusades, Europeans tattooed tiny crosses on their hands to signal a desire for a Christian burial postmortem. And, of course, hand tattoos are ripe with tradition in Hindu and Sikh cultures, where henna tattoos are a sacred part of pre-wedding Mehndi ceremonies. And that’s just the beginning.
With all the rich historical context around hand tattoos, some tattoo artists decline inking the spot altogether to avoid cultural appropriation. Other artists might say no to first-time tattoos in that spot, given its highly visible (and still somewhat taboo) …read more