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From ‘tramp stamps’ to traditional sleeves: A feminist autobiographical account of tattoos

Nash, M ORCID: 0000-0002-7429-4924 2018 , 'From ‘tramp stamps’ to traditional sleeves: A feminist autobiographical account of tattoos' , Australian Feminist Studies , pp. 1-22 , doi: 10.1080/08164649.2018.1542591.

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n this article I use a feminist autobiographical approach to present my ‘tattoo narrative’ as a gendered, embodied account in which I map out key moments in my life over two decades through the images inscribed on my skin. Specifically, I examine how my bodily modifications have magnified the social responses to my body as a woman. For example, as a teenager, I acquired a naval piercing and trendy ‘feminine’, discretely located tattoos to satisfy a heterosexual male gaze. In contrast, as a woman in my late thirties, my tattoos satisfy a different purpose. They are larger, bolder, and more ‘masculine’ in line with the evolution of my feminist politics. However, as an academic, the social responses to my tattoos are more complex. In class defined social spaces such as the university where I work, my tattoos cause trouble because they challenge gendered and classed norms for femininity. I conclude by calling for women to engage in autobiographical writing about bodily modification as a critical feminist political act.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Nash, M
Keywords: tattoo, feminism, academia, body modification
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Feminist Studies
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 0816-4649
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/08164649.2018.1542591
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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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