The New York Times recently published a study that indicated that 30 percent of Americans have tattoos today. In fact, as the number of people getting tattoos continues to rise, it may be fair to consider some of the primary facts that explain this phenomenon. While tattoos were once associated with people in the military or individuals who spent time in prison, these inked designs are now found among all segments of the population. More people are finding these designs to be appealing and perfect for their lifestyles for several key reasons.
One of the main reasons that tattoos appeal to more people today involves a wider acceptance among the general public. Up until the last decade or two, tattoos were primarily found on people who had been in the military, spent time in jail, belonged to motorcycle gangs, or were die-hard followers of rock and roll or heavy metal music. People who wanted to fit into mainstream culture avoided tattoos at all costs. In fact, if you had a visible tattoo on your neck, arm, face, or chest, you often were turned down for jobs in the white collar arena. Tattoos were indicators that you were deviant and lived on the edge of society.
Today, however, tattoos are gaining wider acceptance among the public. As societal trends become more liberal and people become more accepting of things outside of mainstream culture, the idea of getting a tattoo or associating with someone who has been inked is not as alarming as it once was. Indeed, celebrities who are considered to be squeaky clean are getting tattoos, contributing to these designs’ popularity. With actors, musicians, and models now proudly displaying their ink, fans of pop culture trends are following close behind by getting tattoos of their own. This form of permanent art has lost its deviancy and edginess. Tattoos are now considered to be a valid form of expression and artistic flair.
The popularity of tattoos also can be linked to their increased affordability. It used to be that tattoos were relatively expensive. People had to fork out several hundreds of dollars to get inked, a price that many individuals back in the day could not afford. Now, however, tattoos are more affordable, with some of the simpler designs costing around $100 or less. It is true that people who are getting tattoos with color can expect to pay a significant amount more. Nonetheless, basic black ink tattoos are much more affordable and thus more accessible to a growing number of clients today.
These inked designs are also growing in popularity because of the improved safety found in this industry. In the last three decades, tattoo professionals have had to undergo complex training that teaches them how to keep their clients safe from infections and contamination. Tattoo parlors are also routinely inspected by the state and fined if any of the staff is found to be in violation of the laws set aside for this industry. Given the improved health and safety standards, more people feel confident about getting inked. They are not as fearful about getting HIV, tetanus, hepatitis, or other blood infections during the process.
Tattoos today also are popular because they have taken on new meaning to a whole new segment of the population. In the past, tattoos symbolized toughness, isolation, strength, and fierceness. Today, these designs can symbolize literally anything the wearer chooses. People no longer get tattooed to show off their prison gang affiliation, their military service, their devotion to motorcycles, or other common factors that once cast tattoos into an unfavorable light. People who are getting tattoos today often do so for sentimental reasons like to memorialize a loved one, to show off their creativity, or to demonstrate their religious affiliation, among other reasons. These tattoo designs can be artistic, meaningful, and even intricately beautiful. They are not something to hide or be ashamed of, but rather an artistic expression to show off with pride.
People today take pride in wearing tattoos that are unique and timeless. In fact, some of the most popular designs found among wearers today can touch on both the contemporary and the classic. For example, many women today like to get angel or butterfly tattoos. These designs can be both beautiful and meaningful today and also have the same appeal in the future.
Likewise, religious sayings and pictures also are popular among tattoo wearers today. In fact, people who adhere to a certain religious belief often choose to have Bible passages, crosses, rosaries, or other religious insignia tattooed on their bodies. They realize that these graphics will be recognizable today and also be recognized by others months and years into the future.
Animals, flowers, and other nature-oriented designs likewise are popular today among fans of tattoos. These graphics tend to be timeless and can have the same meaning tomorrow as they do today. In fact, men in the past, as they do today, may favor animal tattoos like snakes or tigers. Women might prefer a tattoo of a cat or a bird placed on their arms, ankles, legs, or backs.
However, along with scenes from nature, religious quotes or drawings, or mystic designs, people who get tattoos today often choose sentimental tattoos that hold personal relevance and meaning for them. First-time parents may have a set of baby footprints inked on their arms or backs. They also may have their kids’ names tattooed one by one on their forearms or shoulders. Other people who see these designs may not appreciate the meaning behind them. However, the wearer will appreciate the significance of their tattoos and be able to wear them with pride.
Tattoos no longer are associated with deviancy and edginess as they were in the past. More people wear tattoo designs, choosing some of the more popular designs like angels, butterflies, or even religious passages. This type of artistic expression continues to grow in popularity and mainstream acceptance.