How Women Are Rethinking the Tattoo Parlor

By Laura Neilson | The New York Times |

Chic décor and a comfy lounge are more suggestive of a day spa than a tattoo parlor, but a new shop in Brooklyn aims to change that perception. At Nice Tattoo Parlor in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, the concept — a tattoo shop with a friendly staff of female artists in a welcoming, judgment-free space — is both simple and a striking departure in the tattoo world. While Nice Tattoo welcomes all genders, women make up the majority of its clients.

“No egos, no intimidation,” said Jes Dwyer, one of Nice Tattoo’s owners and its lead artist. “I feel like that’s such a big issue in the industry. For so many women who are getting tattooed, it’s a very intimidating process.”

Over the last decades, tattoos have soared in popularity, a trend seen in celebrity culture, on reality television shows like “Ink Master” and on magazine covers, where tattoos are often no longer rendered invisible by a retoucher’s hand. Tattoos even got the couture treatment at last month’s Dior presentation, as models in floor-grazing gowns stalked the runway with tattoos bearing political one-liners across their collarbones.

Those high-fashion statements may have been temporary, but permanently tattooed women are more common than one may assume. As of 2012, according to a Harris Poll, there are more inked women than men in the United States. And yet the business remains an overwhelmingly male-dominated one: Just one in six tattooers is female, according to a 2010 study by Columbia University.

Read more at The New York Times.