Tattoos are being embraced by more people than ever before today as a form of individuality and free artistic expression. But the medium's surge in popularity has given way to more than just an aesthetic revolution. Some forward-thinking individuals and organizations have turned to tattooing as a means of advocating for certain groups within the population.

The practice has been particularly prevalent among various women's rights groups. Whether it's helping breast cancer survivors love their bodies or raising awareness for the plight experienced by women living with domestic abuse, tattoos have been used to make more than just a fashion statement in recent years.

Blurring the line between bruises and tattoos
One recent ad campaign in Hungary is leveraging a mix of the virality of the Internet, the impact of tattoos and the clout of celebrity personalities to make a stand against the issue of domestic violence. In its campaign to raise money for Hungarian Interchurch Aid, which operates a network of safe houses for women fleeing domestic abuse, Budapest-based agency AGC circulated the Internet hashtag #hurtsmetoo.

While the hashtag encourages people to join the discussion, the most startling facet of the campaign is the images of notable Hungarian media personalities sporting temporary tattoos designed to look like bruises. Celebrities photographed themselves with these tattoos and posted them to various social media platforms on March 8, International Women's Day. Supporters can purchase a set of the temporary tattoos to post their own pics, with proceeds going to support the safe houses.

"Inked images of the famous pink ribbon are plentiful on websites such as Pinterest."

Aiding recovery for breast cancer survivors
Going through breast cancer treatment can be taxing and traumatic, and even in instances where treatment is successful, many women find their morale and self-image damaged. This is particularly true in instances when treatment includes mastectomy or double mastectomy surgery. 

Not surprisingly, tattooing has been used not just to show support for cancer survivors, but also to offer them a unique method of coping with the post-treatment stress as well. Galleries showcasing inked images of the famous pink ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer awareness are plentiful on websites such as Pinterest, demonstrating that some people are keeping the cause close to their skin as well as their heart. 

Some artists are working directly with cancer survivors to help in the important process of reclaiming their bodies. As the Washington Post reported, an organization known as works to connect women with artists in their area via a mobile app. These artists can offer women a unique treatment – tattoos that can cover their mastectomy scars.

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