The Oddities in the News Page

On this month's Oddities in the News Page:

Beauty Queen asked to resign over tattoos


Not Dead
Donald Trump Look-Alike
A Real Killer Clown
New Dinosaur
Elisa Lam



Beauty queen resigns title rather than cover tattoos

PHELAN, Calif. (AP) — A beauty queen in the Southern California desert community of Phelan has given up her crown rather than cover up her tattoos.

Sierra Leyde didn't have tattoos when she was named Miss Phelan at age 17.

But she celebrated her 18th birthday with tattoos of flowers on her upper arm and shoulder, and a shark on her forearm. “I did it mostly for myself,” Leyde, who apart from a tattoo of flowers that spread from her upper arm to her shoulders, had one of a shark on her forearm and another one on her back of a hand, said.

The Phelan Chamber of Commerce then asked her to sign a contract saying she would keep the tattoos covered while in her sash and crown.

Leyde tells KCBS-TV she doesn't think she should have to cover up because tattoos are now normal, but she decided to drop her title.

The Chamber of Commerce told CBS2 they “have no issues with their Miss Phelan representatives having tattoos, other than asking them they must be covered during official chamber events.”

Mother and daughter said this seems to go against what the pageant is meant to represent.

“For them to base the pageant around diversity in our community and then kind of squash diversity made no sense to me,” said Lisa. “It just felt like it was really unfair.”

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The History of Tattoos

The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian "tatu" which means "to mark something."

It is arguably claimed that tattooing has existed since 12,000 years BC. The purpose of tattooing has varies from culture to culture and its place on the time line.

In recorded history, the earliest tattoos can be found in Egypt during the time of the construction of the great pyramids (It undoubtedly started much earlier). When the Egyptians expanded their empire, the art of tattooing spread as well. The civilizations of Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia picked up and expanded the art form. Around 2000 BC, tattooing spread to China.

William Dampher is responsible for introducing tattooing to the west. He was a sailor and explorer who traveled the South Seas. In 1691 he brought to London a heavily tattooed Polynesian named Prince Giolo, known as the Painted Prince. He was put on exhibition , a money making attraction, and became the rage of London.

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Tattoos Today


How Tattoos Went From Subculture to Pop Culture

Today, 36 percent of Americans aged 18-25 have at least one tattoo, according to a report done by the Pew Research Center. That’s more than one third of America’s young adults! It comes as no surprise that the tattoo industry is the sixth fastest-growing retail business in America, as determined by the U.S. News & World Report. This has obviously translated to online interest as well, as there are more than 147 million tattoo related searches each month on Google.

How did this industry achieve this status though? Tattoos have certainly been scrutinized in the past and a visible feature that was once taboo has now become... normal?

Not too long ago, our society held prejudices against tattoos and, while some people were getting them on their own, no one would say tattoos were a part of pop culture. What changed this? The moment tattoos stepped into society’s limelight can be pinpointed to a very specific event: the launching of the first popular tattoo TV show, “Miami Ink”. A legendary shop on South Beach, “Miami Ink” housed a unique mix of talented and charismatic tattoo artists. Before this show, only the minority of people with tattoos knew what the inside of a tattoo studio was like. People weren’t privy to the amazing work being done there or to the dynamic personalities and various styles of different artists. It made for good TV though, so Miami Ink owner, Ami James, linked up with a major network and ran this reality TV show in his shop. It was a huge success and it changed everything.

Every person can have their own unique tattoo. Having a tattoo can be an expression of who you are. Or what you believe in. Or something you cherish. Or just something you thought was fun. The prejudice, not having disappeared completely, is certainly greatly diminished.

So what’s next? The internet will naturally allow the tattoo industry to continue evolving in ground-breaking ways in order to deliver the best possible content and services for the millions of tattoo-culture followers out there. The gap between the tattoo fan and the artist will get smaller and smaller with these new internet-based platforms and we can already see this trend in sites that offer crowd-sourcing for tattoo designs, such as Tattoodo, where people are linked to artists from all over the world in order to obtain customized tattoo designs. Together with the growing mainstream tattoo community, we anxiously await to see this industry continue to develop.

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