Conceal, reveal : tattoos and the dressed body

MCCREESH, Natalie (2018). Conceal, reveal : tattoos and the dressed body. In: BOULTWOOD, Anne and HINDLE, Sian, (eds.) Costume, Culture, Dress : The Proceedings of the 1st International Conference. Gold Word Publishing.

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Abstract

Tattooing, though a permanent modification of the body is subject to fashion trends in the same way as less permanent methods of self-expression such as fashionable clothing. Yet both are used in combination as means of forming personal identity. When we dress our bodies we are choosing a version of ourselves to present. We may choose to present ourselves in alternative ways with regards to the different situations we may find ourselves in throughout that day. For work, socialising, sport, we may wear different garments due to practicalities of use. There will however be a choice and some control over our outwards appearance. This study intends to evaluate how tattooed women and men choose to display their personal identities through dress and appearance. The early stages of this research involves a series of in-depth interviews and wardrobe analyses with tattooed individuals to discuss self identity, aspects of the self, the public / private body, continuing identities and identity constraints with regards to clothing and appearance. Though tattoos are permanent their meaning can be transient, changing and evolving with personal identity. Along with garments in the wardrobe tattoos can have periods of favour where they are chosen to be on display, in contrast they can also be seen as something of regret and chosen to be concealed. Over long periods of time and even on a daily basis, individuals have an evolving relationship with their tattooed bodies and the clothing they use to reveal and conceal it. In this short paper I will focus on the theme of protection in regards to the heavily tattooed female body.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tattoos, Women, Fashion, Body, Gaze, Feminism
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Departments: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Art and Design
Depositing User: Natalie Mccreesh
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 13:36
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 13:46
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18181

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