Thursday, April 13, 2006

When did tattoos become feminine?

Marketing spends far too much focusing on reaching “the influentials.” The truth is that humans will imitate whatever appeals to them, as long as their actions are not prohibited by their subjective worlds

The key to passing a meme is to manifest the meme in the objective world in a way that appeals to the subjective world. It may be impossible to tell from the outside whether a potential host will accept the meme.

After all, who would have thought 10 years ago that suburban moms would buy tattoos for their daughters as 16th birthday presents? Not that long ago, tattoos were the meme of sailors, soldiers and bikers. It was only when these moms saw the tattoos on other teenage girls in their own social strata that they set aside their Level 2 aversions and embraced the “let your daughter have a tattoo” meme.

Not only did they embrace the meme, they mutated it to “buy your daughter a tattoo.” Some even stepped up the meme by making the tattooing a mom/daughter bonding event, with each getting her own tattoo at the same sitting.

Other moms were unable to get beyond the Level 2 aversion to tattoos, but agreed to let their daughters wear temporary tattoos. Apparently, their aversion was not to the tattoo’s appearance, but rather to its permanence.

In any case, the tattoo is now considered a beauty mark, as much of the feminine as cosmetics.

But trends come and go. Memes mutate. What happens when the dominant meme becomes, "Get rid of the tattoo"?


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