"Inked Well" is an article written by David Kirby; he describes the general public's view on tattoos, and how the opinion of tattoos has changed over the years. Kirby begins by taking about man who tried to sell stolen motorcycle parts on the internet. The thief was described as having tattoos on his feet, proving Kirby's point that most that all tattooed people are lawless rebels. In the second paragraph, Kirby expands that he believes that tattoos are a "mark of primitive cultures", so any person in the modern age with a tattoo is "either a criminal or a degenerate". In the fourth paragraph, Kirby explains the history of the art of tattoo and how it was brought to Europe from Polynesia by the 18th century explorers as well as the early sightings of tattoos on the Indians in the New World. Kirby says that despite the fact that tattoos were only ever seen on 'savages', they eventually made their way into American life. In 1846, the first known professional tattoo shop in America was opened, and tattoos became popular among men, mostly sailors and civil war men would wear them. .
Tattoos were used to signify "tribal marks that were used to pay someone to cut into your skin so everyone would know that you belong to a world populated by crooks and creeps" (Kirby694). In the 20th century tattoos attracted a new age group, men and women were equally tattooed but women were more likely to have piercings too. Kirby says that "In 2006, 24% of men and women between the ages 15-50 have one or more tattoos, up from 15 to 16% in 2003. Kirby asks the questions "How did this change come to pass?"(Kirby 694). Next he walked the streets of Florida interviewing people about their tattoos. He learned that most people get tattoos get them to represent something really special in their life or for no reason at all and that "tattoos have always been a means of identifying oneself, notes Ms DeMello and are always meant to be read"(Kirby695).