It's not really known how long tattooing has been around but it's quite possibly as long as 12,000 years ago and we do know the ancient Egyptians practiced the art of tattooing.
One may think the art of tattooing has its history mainly with men. Not so. Women from various cultures tattooed their bodies for a variety of reasons. Take the women from Borneo. They would mark themselves to show what they were skilled at, such as weaving or a gatherer of medicinal herbs. This communicated their rank as marriage material. In western Asia, girls were marked in such a way as to show their place in society.
Tattooing has gone through its ups and downs over the centuries, has even been banned many times in different cultures for periods of time. It appears that tattooing will never really go away. During periods of a ban it seems to go underground until such time it is free to resurface.
Tattooing, (which is a Tahitian word meaning "to be marked") in some cultures, has only the women being allowed to do the markings.
Today's women are free to make their own choices in regards to tattooing. It is becoming more and more popular to have artistic designs placed just about anywhere on the body. You commonly see tattoos adorning an ankle, or husbands or boyfriends names on a forearm. Some women like to have a private tattoo for their spouse only.