Nowadays if you’re a celebrity, you get a tattoo done and plaster it on Instagram. Miley Cirus has more tattoos than anyone else, and every time she gets a new one, up it goes on social media. Going against the custom of past VIPs like Edward VII, who had a Jerusalem Cross emblazoned on his arm during a visit to the Holy Land, or George V, whose arm sported a dragon tattoo, today’s glitterati broadcast their latest crest for all to see.
If you go back even further, say around 300 years, you’d acquire a different kind of tattoo to spotlight your elevated status. You’d get your coat of arms and stick it on your best bed. Given that your best bed was located in your best parlour and would be seen by those whose acquaintance you wished to cultivate, this was the most effective way of parading your rise in the world through marriage,