Being Cool Before It Was Cool
To some, wearing ink sleeves is the definition of edgy & modern, and in this age of nameless, faceless people, our tattoos can be comforting labels of individuality. Though there's still a mark of distinction in being a walking canvas, the bad news is that, like most things new, it's been done before.
The photo above from the early 1900's shows Deafy and Stella Grassman, tattoo artists (and attractions) with shops in New York City and Philadelphia throughout the "Roaring Twenties" and beyond. Stella was well known for her body of art and made appearances in shows and circuses until 1941, gaining the attention & respect of many people.
Except this guy:
Meet Ötzi, the original king of cool. Found in the glacial ice of the Alps between Austria and Italy in 1991, his body is covered in over 50 tattoos, from ankle to wrist. The lines and crosses weren't produced with needles but by means of fine incisions into which charcoal was rubbed. As if the method itself wasn't hip enough, Ötzi goes further to capture the trophy of trendsetting by having his tattoos done around 5,200 years earlier than Stella.
And even cool people will tell you, that's pretty cool.