Living in a time when it was scandalous even to show a bit of ankle, a small number of courageous women covered their bodies in tattoos and traveled the country, performing nearly nude on carnival stages. These gutsy women spun amazing stories for captivated audiences about abductions and forced tattooing at the hands of savages, but little has been shared of their real lives. Though they spawned a cultural movement—almost a quarter of Americans now have tattoos—these women have largely faded into history. The Tattooed Lady uncovers the true stories behind these women, bringing them out of the sideshow realm and into their working class realities. Combining thorough research with more than a hundred historical photos, this updated second edition explores tattoo origins, women's history, circus lore, and includes even more personal and professional details from modern tattooed ladies. A fascinating read, The Tattooed Lady pays tribute to a group of unique and amazing women whose legacy lives on.
Amelia Klem Osterud is an academic librarian from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who is working diligently on becoming heavily tattooed, just in case she ever wants a second career as a tattooed lady. Osterud has a master’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and writes and lectures on the subject of tattooing, contributing regularly to Things & Ink and Z Tattoo Magazine. You can follow her writing and research adventures online at http://tattooedladyhistory.typepad.com.