Heleena Mistry; Trying to Change Tattoo Taboos in Southern Asian Cultures:
The young tattoo apprentice Heleena Mistry (21), is doing something remarkable. She is trying to change how especially South Asian (Indian, Pakistani etc.) woman are viewed, in regards to tattooing. Despite India having an illustrous and noble tattoo culture/history/tradition. There is currently a huge taboo when it comes to Indian women and other South Asian women, getting tattoos. They are looked down upon, and many do not believe they are proper women or marriage material etc.
The young Tattoo artist, has herself been heavily inspired by her Indian heritage. She just about exclusively, tattoos traditional Indian tattoo designs. Though she does not exclusively tattoo South Asian people, she still has a rather large clientele base, among young South Asian women. She tries to push the boundaries of what is acceptable, by showing the world and people within her culture, the beauty of Indian tattooing. Especially the feminine tattooing and style she does.
Hopefully the young lady will have some success in her endeavor. Currently she works out of Birmingham in the UK where she grew up. There is a rather large South Asian community in the city, which she is trying to influence through her tattooing. She dreams however, that someday she will be able to move to London and expand her clientele further. No matter what, she will keep showing people it is okay, to go against the norm.
Hopefully Heleena Mistry, will have the success she seeks. It is admirable to see someone so young, becoming a front runner for change. She herself even shows of the beauty of Indian tattooing and her love of her heritage, in her own tattoos on her own body. No matter where this young lady moves to, we can only hope she keeps working hard and spreading her noble message. She is currently one of the very few female Asian tattoo artists in the UK at all, hopefully her efforts will change this fact.
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