High Snobiety. This week, we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of Highsnobiety Beauty. For a year now, we’ve platformed stories about everything from Gen Z’s plastic surgery paradigm to perfume’s emotional power. “Beauty” is so much more than an aesthetic standard or the products we use — it’s culture, politics, and personal style. Over the next three days, we’re rolling out a special series that captures beauty’s many faces.

Few tattoos carry as much baggage as those inked on the lower back. Much of this baggage can be traced to the late ’90s and early 2000s, when the lumbar tattoo first rose to prominence. It was an era dominated by dangerously low-slung waistbands and precipitously high-cut shirts, both of which left that sloping swath of flesh between the waist and buttocks exposed, and thus, all the better to adorn. When celebrities whose bodies were objects of public fascination — Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and Christina Aguilera — filled this fleshy space with ink, the lower back tattoo, already occupying an erogenous zone, became even more closely linked with sex.

All images from High Snobiety.

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