This surge in popularity of celebrity tattoos began in the 1960s. Lyle Tuttle the forefather of American tattooing tattooed Janis Joplin. Time was when tattoos were the preserve of those on the fringes of society but now it is not uncommon to see celebrity tattoos. Even super models such as Kate Moss and Sarah O'Hare strut around flashing their body art on the cover of glossy magazines or on the cat walk.
Actor Johnny Depp ranks as heavily tattooed for his caliber of talent and breadth of acting work. His tattooed arms are as often painted to be blank flesh as left with their own tattoos showing and incorporated into the character.
Vin Diesel is covered with a mix of modern tattoos styles, as befitting an underground government secret agent in the movie xXx. The character he plays agent X has one full sleeve, one partial sleeve, chest work and tattoos on his stomach.
As vampire slayer BLADE, Wesley Snipes has tribal blackwork on his arms, chest and back, as well as the sides of his head and the back of his nect. Pamela Anderson had her arm tattooed for real with a barbed wire armband for her role in the movie BARBWIRE. Following her split from husband Tommy Lee, (who is heavily tattooed) she had the "Tommy" tattoo on her finger edited to read "Mommy" in reference to her two sons. She also has tribal tattoos on the small of her back and a tattoo on her ankle.
Musicians have traditionally enjoyed more freedom than actors when it comes to body art. For movie stars having to transform into a different character each time they shoot a movie can be limiting especially if they are playing historical figures. But that has not stopped a lot of actors from getting tattooed in very visible places.
Historically rock stars were renowned for getting tattoos. The band Red Hot Chili Peppers are an example where the band members have a well-developed collection of tattoos. Singer Henry Rollins began his tattoo collection as the lead singer of Black Flag. Eminem continues to add to his tattoo collection but some critics have claimed that it will inhibit him if he wants to play a bigger acting role. Eminem's tattoos are a combination of a style that is typical of Hip Hop and R&B artists such as Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent and Pharrel.