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The Rise, Fall, and Rise (Again) of “Tramp Stamps”

lower back tattoo on a mattel barbie totally stylin' tattoos doll

Featured Image: Mattel

First Wave: 1990s-Early 2000s

Christina Aguilera at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in a dress with a low-cut back, showing a lower back tattoo
Photo: Chris Polk/FilmMagic

Lower back tattoos, typically located centered near the underwear line, were commonly flaunted in the ’90s and early 2000s. Celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Aaliyah, and others showed off their own. The tattoo trend came during the perfect time of low-rise jeans and crop tops, which allowed people to show off their lower back tattoos. 

The Fall: Early 2000s

Two people with lower back tattoos wearing crop tops and low-rise, embellished jeans
Photo: Pinterest

Like all trends, this one had to come to an end. Once the early 2000s hit, the lower back tattoo trend started to die down. It was considered “trashy,” and it collected its nickname “tramp stamp.” Some believe a 2004 “Saturday Night Live” sketch shaming the tattoo placement led to the popular belief that a lower back tattoo was undesirable. Many thought the placement to be promiscuous and erotic.   

The Rise (Again): 2022

A person in a light pink matching sweatsuit is bent over, showing a lower back tattoo
Photo: oliviahepzibah on Instagram

Also like all trends, lower back tattoos have come back around. Finally, in 2022, we are seeing a rise in “tramp stamps” again. So, who brought back the controversial tattoo, and why? We don’t know, but we do know it is time people stop viewing women as promiscuous because of how they choose to style themselves. Let’s start viewing the tramp stamp as a symbol of power — and, ultimately, cool style.         

Posted in Blog