Originally the US Navy and it's ports of call. Booze had a lot to do with it as well.<quoted text>
I have no idea where the tattoo craze or body piercing started but I expect, just like long hair and "wife-beater" tee shirts, it will run its course.
The piecing thing began with ears and when ears could legally be pierced at mall kiosks, it was only natural for the owners to wonder "hey, what else can we pierce?"
A good friend of mine never caught his melanoma in time as it was hidden by a tat. Navy guy, swift boater.