Men like sporting skulls, snakes, and female figures on their bodies, whereas girls like to make butterflies and unicorns.
Tattoos have a long history but now they have become a part of fashion and body tattoos are increasingly popular in Pakistan for 2 to 3 years. Tattoos are usually seen as aesthetically appealing form of adorning one’s body. Tattoos have become a rage as society becomes more accepting of the notion of ‘mutilating one’s body’ as they call it. Yet, for teenagers it is means of being able to assert their identity as they try and rebel against parental authority and social stereotyping. Like following other fashion trends, some young girls feel forced to get their bodies tattooed as they become a means of identifying being part of a certain group.
Talking to the owner of Xtra Tattoo House in Lahore, Naveed Ahmed, we found that he has a female clientele which is larger than males. He said that many people want their names or the names of their loved ones tattooed. Tattooing names of the spouses offers young people a sense of stability and permanence in relations, which is otherwise lacking in reality.
Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi have all been taken by the tattooing fad. However, there is still the generation gap factor, as many have to hide them in fear of parental unacceptability. And as Sadia puts it, “I got it specifically on my shoulder, as it’s easier to hide”. Religious scholars have also reacted to it with wrath, pronouncing it haram in Islam, saying “One can’t offer prayers with pictures tattooed on one’s body”. But we know tattoos are used in many parts of our country as an essential part of tribal customs”.
All that aside, Tattoos definitely look appealing and aesthetically beautiful. In Lahore you can get them from the “Xtra Tattoo House” located next to Zenith in Mini Market. They are offering one tattoo per square inch, every one square inch costing Rs 2500 and Rs 1500 per square inch if you get more than one.