Do you have a tattoo?
My boyfriend and I recently realized that we’re an anomaly among our friends. Almost everyone we know has at least one tattoo or piercing of some kind. Eric and I have neither. We joke that now we’re the rebels because our bodies have remained untouched.
Although it might feel like we’re in the minority, statistics show that the majority of people are just like us. Still, public acceptance of tattoos is growing: Twenty-three percent of all Americans have a tattoo, according to a Pew Research poll from 2010; and 32 percent of people ages 30 to 45 have at least one tattoo.
What drives so many people to mark their bodies in such a permanent fashion? I’ve seen some of those tattoo reality shows on TV, and it seems like many people use tattoos to commemorate an event in their lives, either sad or happy. Others do it to remember a special person, while still others do it because of the sheer thrill and love of art. And there’s no doubt that some people do it because they want to intimidate, frighten, or otherwise identify with an anti-social perspective.
Whatever the reason, and despite the rebel stereotype, tattoos have been a part of human culture since its earliest days. Egyptian tattoos date back to 2000 B.C., when it was most commonly embraced by females. Many primitive cultures used tattoos as a sign of status or maturity.
No matter why they’re chosen or where on the body they appear, tattoos are meant to send a message, but are they successful?
Scroll through the infographic below to learn more surprising facts about the history and psychology of tattooing, then share your thoughts in a comment!