Temporary Tattoos

Tattoos have been an important part of human culture all throughout history. The purposes of tattoos have changed over the years, as has society in general. In modern culture, there are many mixed feelings about tattoos and their meanings. Some societies still use tattoos as tribal identification or for other tribal matters, but for the most part, it is more of luxury than a necessity. We do not have to use a tattoo to display what tribe we are from or to scare others during battle – as they were used in times past. We can use them to display our feelings about things or to let others know what is important to us as an individual. Temporary tattoos are the solution for many people who do not want to have a permanent design on their body or do not want to feel the pain of a needle. There are many types of temporary tattoos available today such as Decalcomania, Mehndi, Sun Stencils, and Airbrush tattoos.
Tattoos are usually permanent decorative images applied to the skin. In the case of the temporary tattoo, the image lasts for a short time only. Many temporary tattoos are for fun, like the type that kids get to put their favorite cartoon character on their arm for a little while. Adults have begun using these temporary tattoos and they are becoming more intricate as the market moves more toward adults. Decalcomania is a favorite way of making a temporary tattoo where a decal is applied to the skin. With these types of tattoos, screen printing is used to create a tattoo image on paper coated with a transfer film. When wet, this film will move off of the backing paper and onto the skin. After drying, the screen printed image will stay on the skin for several days. (Schueller, 1999) The beauty of temporary tattoos is exactly that, they are temporary. There will be no regretting the image as a person grows older or their habits and tastes change.
All types of temporary tattoos need to be made from ink because they are applied directly to the skin and may stay on the skin for quite a while. It is best if the dyes have FDA approval, but most are not approved – the same for permanent ink. There are other chemicals added to the dyes such as drying agents and extenders that need to be approved before using them. (Henley, 2009)
Another type of temporary tattoo is Mehndi. It is thought that the practice originated in India and Pakistan, although there is some debate about the origins of this ancient practice. It is often considered a type of body painting. The ink used in this process is a copper based ink made from the leaves of the henna plant. The Mehndi designs are usually scroll-like decorations, but as the practice becomes more popular around the world, the designs are beginning to change. The inks used in Mehndi tattoos can last for several weeks. (Jain, 2002)
Another emerging trend is Sun Stencils. The tattoo in this case is the pigmentation of your own skin. The use of stencils stickers lets UV radiation reach part of the skin but not all parts during tanning. This produces an image that can take the form of many different images as well as allow you to make simple letters and numbers. There is also swim wear available that lets you create a tattoo as you hang out at the beach with simple images of hearts and circles. (Hardy, 2009)
Airbrush tattoos are becoming a popular type of temporary tattoo and airbrush tattoo stencils come pre-packaged in many different varieties. These stencils are reusable and can also be individualized. There are many colors of airbrush ink available and a lot of companies use FDA approved materials. (Kirk, 2009) These air brush tattoos are becoming popular at festivals and carnivals like face painting has always been.
Tattoos are very popular in today’s society, especially for people under 35. (Kirk, 2009) Temporary tattoos are becoming more and more popular because permanent tattoos can be expensive and painful. Temporary tattoos offer people a way to express their personality and let the world know about their interests without having to worry about the fact that it will never come off. It looks like temporary tattoos are going to be a permanent part of the tattoo world with their quick application, lack of pain, and affordability.

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