Tattoos: A Permanent Human Obsession

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 aPew 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!


Image via Thinkstock


Huntaspocha H.
Huntaspocha H.3 years ago

This blog is truly extraordinary in all aspects.
Tattoo supplies

Sandra Santana
Sandra Santana4 years ago

Every one has their own opinion and their own reason for either getting a tattoo or not getting one. I don't think that anyone should be judged because of their choice.

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago

to each their own

Morgan Hartman
Morgan H4 years ago


Sheila D.
GGmaSheila D4 years ago

I have wanted a tattoo for many years but haven't had the money. I do not want a small one but a back piece specially designed to commemorate my family. Since I was a single parent, I want a lioness with two males beside her - myself and my boys, because the lioness is the one who raises the family and protects her young. Very appropriate for myself.

Ana Porto
Ana Porto4 years ago

Barbara L., you are so right!
I have thought a lot about what happens to the skin when people that have tattoos age..
And also this is a trend! What happens when the trend pass?..
And, of course, this is a big business..!
Human skin is so beautiful, why spoil it?

Karena N.
Karena N4 years ago

I've wanted one for a long time but I'm scared. I probably won't ever get one.. :(
Thanks for sharing.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson4 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C4 years ago

I have one small one.

Barb Hansen
Ba H4 years ago

considering the cost of a quality tattoo, it is a status symbol. look at all the professional athletes and musicians that have them.