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14 Dec

The return of the Tramp Stamp: Y2K’s most divisive

most divisive fashion statement

most divisive fashion statement With Y2K fever plunging waistlines to crotch hovering heights, it was only a matter of time until the era’s much-maligned ‘tramp stamp’, or lower back tattoo, made its return.

From Christina Aguilera’s scripture to Britney’s fairy and Jessica Alba’s floral motif, the late Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s trend was as ubiquitous as Juicy Couture tracksuits and Motorola Razrs, peeking out of backless dresses and Juicy Couture tracksuits all over the place. It was so popular, in truth, that even Barbie had a tramp stamp by 2009.

As the last decade progressed, nevertheless, the trend fell victim to rampant misogyny and tabloid fodder. The aesthetic fell from grace, becoming the goal of sexist jokes, body-judging and slut-shaming. By 2013,

Nicole Richie had gotten her lower-back tattoo removed, with others rushing to do the identical. “It just means a certain thing, and I don’t wish to be a part of that group,” she said on the time.

But now the tramp stamp is back, reimagined for a fresh generation of stylish youth. Just like the return of the 90s tribal tatt, this wave of tramp stamps are less clunky and more abstract than previous iterations, evoking each the trashy exuberance of noughties style and Grimes’

post-human ‘alien scars’. Miley Cyrus revealed a fresh lower-back tattoo last summer, while fashion influencer María Bernad flaunted a flaming butterfly. Paloma Wool released a capsule collection that nodded to lower-back tattoos of the 90s, while Collina Strada debuted belts inspired by the trend for its spring 2022 collection.

On condition that tattoos generally are more acceptable than ever before, the triumphant return of the tramp stamp makes quite a lot of sense, especially for a generation of youth who’ve spent the previous few years cooped up indoors,

and are actually desperate to point out some skin (see: the ye-ssification of Julia Fox). Plus, faraway from the sexist (and sexual) connotations, the lower back is prime real estate.

The tattoo’s resurgence also goes hand-in-hand with the resurrection of the bimbo aesthetic, a misogynistic stereotype once used to explain hot but dumb blondes. Today, these aesthetics are reclaimed against the sexism of the era. Belly button piercings and ‘whale tail’ thongs are optional.

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