There was a time when if you wanted to go and see a heavily tattooed lady, you would probably find her next to the bearded lady at the circus. Fast forward to the here and now, and you don’t have to go far to see ladies with tattoos.

Pop stars, sports stars, stars of the world of cinema and television have popularized the trend for extensive and numerous tattoos, resulting in the fashion trickling down to end up on the arms, bums, backs, ankles, feet and various other body parts of women from all walks of life.

We still have a fairly narrow-minded approach to judging people on the basis of their tattoos. Samantha Cameron has a rather dolphin tattoo on her upper-class ankle, which is thought by many to improve her husband’s street cred by association.

Tattoos on those of Cameron’s ilk are generally thought to be acceptable, while others are classed as ‘tramp stamps’, although this is often a transferred judgement based on social class more than anything else.

As tattoos have become more popular, you could be forgiven for thinking they have become more socially acceptable as a means of self-expression or as a permanent accessory. Public opinions show, however, that a tattoo still exposes its wearer to superficial judgements. This may in part explain why so many people are now opting for tattoo removal treatment