METRO PLUS

Going ga-ga over TATTOOS

A shop owner displaying the various types of tattoos.

A shop owner displaying the various types of tattoos.  

Five thousand years ago, an Egyptian form of body art "tattooing" zigzagged across the globe to appear, disappear and reappear time and again in fashion circles. Tattooing has acquired a new dimension, thanks to the ingenuity of the fashion-savvy who have innovated on the art and lent a new definition to it. Tattooing is no longer painful, cumbersome and, more important, an indelible print on the body.

Now dress yourself in tattoos, the way you do with your clothes, matching them with the occasion, trend and the mood!

What started off as child's play— coming as freebies with chewing gums, stick-on and mehendi, tattoos are beginning to tag themselves onto teenagers in the fashion circuit.

"Stick-on tattoos are convenient to apply and even make a better alternative to mehendi. These tattoos are instant unlike mehendi, which is cumbersome to apply, takes hours to dry and days to have it off your body," says an aspiring model and actress, Devaki.

Stick-on tattoos are fast becoming fashion frills with more and more gift outlets in the city showcasing the new brand of tattoos. Easy on the wallet at Rs.15 to Rs.60, the tattoos come in a breathtaking array of colours and designs: dragons, lions, serpents, flowers and even with Cupid's heart and arrow. They suit any mood and any part of the body— the sinewy biceps of the young men and the soft arms, shapely and even cleavages of girls. Some bold ones are getting far more creative with tattoos, leaving little to imagination. Teenagers can be seen flaunting their tattoos at parties and discos in the city.

Says Yeshwant Parekh of Darlings Paradise, a leading gift outlet in Waltair Uplands: "Youngsters of Vizag are a bit hesitant in experimenting too much with the new trends and have to keep their crazy ideas under wraps from their parents. A temporary tattoo comes as a safe option for the young crowd. Mehendi tattoos are very popular among girls, and the sale of sticker tattoos is also on the upswing as these can be peeled off and used again."

Going ga-ga over TATTOOS

Mehendi tattoos last a couple of days; the armband ones are just for the night and the stick-ons applied more than once.

Like most new styles, tattooing got its kick-off from the Indipop hits, `Kaanta Laga' and `Chadthi Jawani', which featured tattoo-splashed models. Bollywood stars were not far behind what with Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan sporting cool tattoos and setting off the trend among the youth. Tollywood biggies, Nagarjuna and Venkatesh, were quick to bring them home.

Says Rajiv Kumar, an MBA student and part-time model: "Tattoos give a wild look to your personality and wearing them is good fun, too. A good physique is an advantage as this allows you to wear bigger and freaky tattoos."

The fashion fad has made a silent entry in Vizag, and with Christmas and New Year eve round the corner; it is set to get into top gear!

SHAZEEL M. BASHA

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