TV Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

TV Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Everyone has at least one person they know (or maybe it’s you personally!) that has a tattoo.    Can you say the same thing about knowing someone who has a TV tattoo?  TV tattoos can come in all types of different sizes, styles and even come with multiple meanings depending on the wearer.            

TV tattoos started gaining popularity in the 1970s and generally signify something to do with broadcasting pictures or ideas to someone.  TV tattoos can be designed to show specific images in their screens, or the TV itself can be specifically designed to signify to the observer a certain idea.

There are many different ways you can convey ideas by adopting a TV tattoo.  Even with the rising popularity of flat screen TVs, old-school style TVs still seem to make up the majority of TV tattoos.  This article dives into the different TV tattoo designs, their history and what they mean.

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What Is The History Of TV Tattoos?

The very first TV was created in 1927 by Philo Taylor Farnsworth, a 21 year old who had electricity in his home.  The very first image transmitted onto a TV was a single line and later the images projected on TVs became vivid and complex.  Early TV was primitive but later developed through investors.

As TV became more popular, America became more vulnerable to propaganda; McCarthy attempted to warn the citizens about infiltration from outside countries.  Supposedly benign broadcasters turned out to be communism supporters, who could be found at a variety of Communist publications, rallies and petitions.

TV grew more corporatized throughout its rise in popularity.  Once cable TV services were established, people subscribed to it and more and more became invested in the entertainment.  Throughout the years, you can observe TV evolve from grainy, black and white pixels to detailed, full, in-depth pictures with color.

When TV gained in popularity and so did the social acceptance of tattoos, the TV tattoo emerged.  This symbol of tattoo first emerged in the 1970s and quickly gained hundreds of variations depending on the wearer’s views of television, their government, and their own personal beliefs about the world at large.

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What Do TV Tattoos Symbolize?

From political propaganda, goofy celebrities, sports games, engaging movies and TV shows with addicting plots, TV was designed to be ever-popular and change the world and people’s perceptions forever- therefore TV tattoos stands as the symbol of mind manipulation be it for good or bad and the broadcasting of particular ideas.

TV tattoos not only symbolize the ingestion of ideas via an outside broadcast but may also act as a simple reminder to some of “the good old days”, when television was watched in every home with awe and wonder. 

Other TV tattoos can be designed to symbolize gullibility; viewers believing in what the TV is showing them.      

Other tattoos such as these can depict particular images on the TV screens themselves to show a favorite show or movie they have seen.  You might see someone who enjoys the show The Walking Dead with a tattoo of their favorite zombie-killing hero plastered onto their TV tattoo screen.

TV tattoos are highly variable because of the nature of TV itself and its wide variety of viewing options to choose from. 

Some tattoos are designed to sing the praises of TV while other tattoo enthusiasts have ink that convey the negative implications TV has brought to their lives or even the world.

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What Do TV Tattoos Mean?

Tattoos of a television can mean a multitude of things, but all share in common the need to address the idea of TV itself.  Whether a wearer’s views of TV are positive or negative, TV tattoos all generally translate to the act of observation.  

These types of tattoos mean more than a box with a screen. TV tattoos have meaning that revolve around the idea of broadcasting specific ideas, considering certain plots and stories and also convey the idea of the mind being informed.

Meanings of TV tattoos depend on how the TV is drawn- for example, if the TV screen is depicted as damaged, it may indicate the wearer itself feels damaged or has damaged a TV in their past.  Tattoos that display images on their screen usually mean to have viewers reference a particular character, movie or show.

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Characteristics And Styles Of TV Tattoos

There are a lot of different styles in which a TV tattoo can be designed.  Some tattoos can show an old-school television set accompanied by its antennas and could even depict a fuzzy, pixelated TV screen.  Some are designed to show colored details, such as favorite characters on the screens.

TV tattoos can become very controversial, depicting images of atomic bombs, dollar signs and products to buy on their screens.  Meshing human bodies with a TV is another popular design technique, indicating people are nothing but walking TVs with legs, therefore being brainwashed by what they watch.

Many TV tattoos are designed to depict the negativity of TV and its investors; for example, there are many tattoos of a man in a blood-spattered shirt tightening his tie and donning a TV set for a head.

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Where Do TV Tattoos Usually Go?

TV tattoos can be placed anywhere on the body, but are most commonly placed on the back, arm, wrist or leg.  The convenience of this tattoo design is that it can be as small or large as the wearer wants it, making it easy to fit anywhere on the body.  Some TV tattoos can even be placed on the neck.

This style of tattoo is very versatile and can be designed to be quite civilized for even the most professional of wearers, allowing wearability on popularly exposed areas of the skin.  Keep in mind, however, most tattoos in general are placed where little sunlight can get to them to prevent the tattoo from fading. 

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Tattoos have been around since the early 19th century and prove to be more socially accepted and therefore more popular every generation.  A tattoo of a TV could be a great choice for someone who wants observers to consider where they get their information from, or simply serve as an oad to their favorite entertainment.     

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