I convinced several of my boyfriends to get a tattoo. As a little girl I thought it was extremely cool to have a dad with a tattoo, which he gained as a young sailor in far Asia. My brother is covered with tattoos. And I…. am chicken. Making excuses like “A tattoo is bound to go ugly, when I get all old and wrinkled.” Wrong!
Stumbled on these pictures of former circus ladies of the early twenties – Betty Broadbent, Maud Wagner and Irene Bobbie Libarry – I wished I had the guts to become a Laced Lady. It’s stunning! Everyone is getting old and wrinkled, but how stunning is it when your old body is covered with ‘here-to-stay-lace’!
Betty Broadbent worked as a piece of art, riding steers, horses and donkeys in the famous Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. Maud Wagner was the first female tattooist by 1911 and traded dates with her soon-to-be-husband (a tattooist) by tattoo lessons.
By the early twenties tattoos were to be considered stylish amongst upper class women. The roaring twenties called for something outrageous and liberating in femininity. These women were taking control of their body, since they had none or little power on anything else.
Since we have little to fight against nowadays…I’ll probably stay white. Blank like a sheet of paper. Stainless.