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So o why has the wo orld gone tat too crazy?

Byline: Polly Hudson

Nearly in th A thir "Bo sailors and hooke are popping up o country, and the people are admitt Helen Mirren). y a third of young people e UK today have a tattoo. rd. How did this happen? ody art" used to be purely for ers, but nowadays tattoo parlours on posh high streets all over the e most surprising bit, unlikely ting they've got them (see Dame w that a quarter of those who get lly regret it - and that's exactly o me. Age 16, I had three stupid d on to my arm for life, and about 10 seconds later I realised mistake.

Statistics show a tattoo eventual what happened t dolphins inked whaddayaknow, a I'd made a huge m Now I'm emba much of a coward apparently it rea Much of the bla must surely lie at most popular sta Cole (her classy arrassed, ashamed, but far too d to get them lasered off, because ally hurts.

ame for the popularity of tattoos t the door of celebrities. All the ars have got them - from Cheryl y new bum tat appears to be dripping down the back of her leg) to David Beckham (whose "sleeve" is now so crowded it just looks like one big mess.) Famous people use their inkings to send messages - who can forget Jordan confirming that her first marriage was over by having her 'Pete' wrist tattoo crossed out in thick black ink (which looked, obviously, great, and will be lovely for the kids to see now they're at reading age)? Or Kerry Katona signalling that she'd finally caught on to what everyone else on the planet had known for ages, by having the enormous 'Mark' on her back covered up with a huge black phoenix, to signify her rising from the flames or some such nonsense? The interesting thing about tattoos is that they're like a certain yeast-based spread that it's far too much of a cliche to mention - you either love them or you hate them. There is no in-between...

By Polly Hudson I want to claim my body by markin ng it .. what celebs think about their tat toos Angelina Jolie "I love them," Angelina, 36, says. "They're body art. I don't think it's abnormal that someone who spends their life in other skins wants to claim their own by marking things on it that matter to them."

She has also revealed: "I dropped my pants in a tattoo parlour in Amsterdam. I woke up in a water bed with this funky-looking dragon with a blue tongue on my hip. I realised I had made a mistake, so a few months later I got a cross to cover it. When my pants hang low, it looks like I'm wearing a dagger!" David Beckham David, 37, is no stranger to honouring his loved ones through inkings. He has previously said his tattoos are a way of expressing how he's feeling, explaining: "Most of my tattoos are memories and things that mean things to me. There's not one tattoo I've got on me that doesn't mean something."

He added: "I don't always plan on having a tattoo done, but then sometimes I wake up with an idea or an image of what I would like on me."

Peaches Geldof The words 'Ex Valentine' around the top of her left arm are understood to be a reference to old flame Faris Badwan, frontman with The Horrors. He also inspired another one of Miss Geldof's designs - an open book with a noose hanging over the page. "It's to symbolise me being owned by him," she once said.

The 23-year-old's back is also covered with a lyric from Nick Cave's song Into My Arms, which she had tattooed as a tribute to rock star ex-boyfriend Frederick Macpherson.

Last year, the television presenter said she wished that she had been dissuaded from covering her body with "art" work.

"Girls of 14 should not be allowed to have tattoos," she said. "The ones I have from that age are more like prison tattoos.

"I recently came to the conclusion that I regret every single tattoo I've ever had done. I have so many bad tattoos. Some of them I look at now and find them horrendous. If I could graft a completely new skin for myself, I would."

Cheryl Cole Cheryl's latest tattoo is a new jagged design running down her thigh.

Cheryl, 28, has previously unveiled tattoos including a tribal design on her hand, a barbed wire design around her right thigh, as well as the words, Mrs C, on the back of her neck. She procedure at the tim itself was pretty pain determined to get it hit. I didn't cry once." e said of the e: "The sitting nful but I was done in one " Penelope Cruz Penelope, 38, has alw on the reasons behin on her right ankle, di rumours that it has li Scientology or Nume She said: "It's not a Harley-Davidson. It's different things that I don't think anyone own tattoo." ways kept quiet nd 833 tattooed smissing nks to erology.

not the have been said. cares. It's my cifix She also has a cruc tattoo on her right hand.

I read the words and feel inspired Danielle Lineker says..

It was a discreet part of me rarely seen by anyone else. Now, after a slip up with a dress in front of photographers on Tuesday, my tattoo isn't quite so secret any more.

I knew not everyone would like it but I'm surprised so many have such a strong opinion about tattoos.

Like them or loathe them, tattoos are a form of personal expression that everyone is entitled to have. It's my prerogative to have one. My decision.

My body.

People have a right to not like them, too. But I think it's wrong to be rude about them, just as I wouldn't be rude to someone who didn't have one.

And when you criticise someone's tattoo you might as well say you don't like their nose or their smile - it's that personal.

And tattoos are so much more popular now, look at David Beckham's. They make him look edgy, whereas before he was a footballer the girls went gaga over. They totally changed his image and made it OK for men to like him. I love Angelina Jolie's tattoos the of her most. The map coordinates of her children's births are so deeply felt. And the Tennessee Williams quote: "A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages" says so much about her.

When I had mine done it hurt - a lot! But it was worth it. My tattoo has a very deep meaning for me.

Most people have a story or intense feelings behind each picture, number or word inked on their body. For some, their tattoos are mottos or mantras to live by. And I'm one of those people. After years of consideration, I chose a quote from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure: "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."

I love and hope to live by those words, which remind me not to listen to the doubting voices in my head and tell me to at least try to be the best I can.

It was the obvious choice for a tattoo because those lines really resonated the first time I read them and every time since. They really hit a nerve.

If ever I'm suffering from self-doubt I can read my tattoo and feel motivated, inspired and a whole lot better about myself.

I had meant to keep my arms by my sides, covering my tattoo, but my shoe got caught in the train of my dress and I had to move my arm.

Now, in a way, I'm glad my tattoo has been seen. I'm a huge Shakespeare geek but few people knew that. My tattoo shows a different side of me.

Before now, it's unlikely that anyone would come up to me and discuss Shakespeare. But at the party the other night I spent the whole evening other night speaking to someone from the theatre world about Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and, of course, Shakespeare. Tattoos can be a real talking point.

I've wanted a tattoo since I was a teenager but I'm so glad I didn't have one done then because I'd have had something ridiculous, a bit naff. I deliberately rebellious or a bit naff. I didn't brave a tattoo then as I was so terrified of what my parents would've said.

Thankfully, I waited until I was mature enough to find something that I really loved.

But let's not pretend every tattoo is profound. Some are ugly. Many people hate and regret theirs, which is why I took my time. But, when they're done well, tattoos say more about a person than any outfit. They are accessories in themselves, like a lovely haircut that never grows out.

As much as I say that, I won't be able to talk Gary into having one. We laugh at the thought of it. It wouldn't suit his nice-guy image!


Angelina Jolie Peaches Geldof Cheryl Cole REGRETS: Polly the last time she had her tattoo on show EXCLUSIVE David Beckham CONFIDENT: Gary and Danielle at The Thirty Club's dinner on Tuesday
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 11, 2012
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