The Story of a Tattooed Girl.
This was the title of Cindy Ray's first book. Back in the 60's this was big news. The fact that a tattooed woman finally published her story of what it is like to be heavily tattooed at a time when few woman were tattooed and those who were, only had a small mark to remind them of their independence.
A brochure to promote her book may best illustrate the attitude of the
day. The following was printed in 1960:
The tattooed lady at the carnival is known to everyone, but this is the first book ever published telling the personal story of a girl who has had herself very heavily tattooed so that she can become that tattooed lady. It tells and shows my personal story from childhood to the present, and is illustrated with full page pictures showing before I was tattooed at all, and all stages of my tattoo progress.
This book tells of my early life, how I came to be tattooed, amazing and embarrassing experiences which I have had as a tattooed girl on exhibition, in private life, and as a tattoo artist.
The book also tells about tattooing all around the world, as it is being practiced today, of very secret tattoo fans, of an international exchange of letters and photos of tattoo fans in every part of the world.
Cindy Ray also had her name on a tattoo supply business. The company made and sold tattoo supplies, tattoo machines, power supplies and a variety of books, brochures, photographs and jewelry. She also published two more books.
History will show that Cindy Ray, whose real name is Bev Robinson, never really owned that supply business. As a matter of fact, she was mostly unaware of all the publicity she was getting. She didn't know of her fan club, the sale of her photographs, her name being used on so many products and the impact she was having in the tattoo community. All this was the invention of a photographer she met when she answered a small ad in the newspaper looking for models. At the time she was young, a single mom, working in a factory and was looking for extra money. However, she really was a tattoo artist in Melbourne Australia. Working at a time when a female tattoo artist was unheard of. She worked in a world of constant insults, wise cracks and prejudice. For over 44 years she has continued to tattoo, traveling to various ports of call, tattooing sailors, and living the tattoo lifestyle. She now lives comfortably in her home town, has a wonderful group of friends and the respect of the industry that she has loved most of her life.
The Cindy Ray Tattoo Machine