Hand-Poked Body Art Is Going Mainstream, Worrying Health Experts.

By Allie Shah
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Call it homemade, DIY or stick-and-poke, this kind of body art has always had an air of danger to it. Long associated with criminals in prison who had only primitive tools to ink themselves with, stick-and-poke tattoos were an underground practice. But like tattoos in general, they’ve gone mainstream.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

About this time last year Madie Ley did something daring.

Or foolish, depending on whom you ask.

She lay on a couch while a friend gently stuck a sewing needle dipped in ink into her arm. Over and over, the friend poked the needle into her skin until, at last, six small but meaningful letters appeared: GRLPWR.

Ley, 22, has been proudly sporting her homemade tattoo ever since.

“I like the look,” the St. Paul woman said. “Some people say it looks dirty or uneven. But I think that’s part of the whole experience.”

Call it homemade, DIY or stick-and-poke, this kind of body art has always had an air of danger to it. Long associated with criminals in prison who had only primitive tools to ink themselves with, stick-and-poke tattoos were an underground practice. But like tattoos in general, they’ve gone mainstream.

Celebrities have helped popularize the edgy look. Harry Styles and Miley Cyrus are fans of stick-and-poke tattoos.

Instagram showcases the inventive designs of a growing number of acclaimed hand-poke artists. The appeal of a homemade tattoo, fans say, lies in its simple aesthetic and in the intimacy shared between friends who give them to each other.

For those under 18, there’s one more lure: Getting a stick-and-poke tattoo is a trendy end-run around state laws that prohibit tattoo parlors from inking minors.

Step-by-step instructions for how to give yourself or a friend a tattoo are easily found on the internet. It requires only a few supplies, namely a bottle of India ink, a sewing needle and rubbing alcohol, and those, too, are easy to track down.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *