Tattoos are a form of body art, like piercings, and they can take all sorts of forms. Most tattoos are like any other form of visual art; that is, personal expression of interests and taste. Other tattoos might even be a memorial for a deceased loved one or pet, or they can have a political message. It’s a matter of personal preference, and a tattoo isn’t “wrong” if its owner likes having it on his or her body. There’s sometimes some negative connotations on tattoos, such as linking them to tough prisoners or crime-prone bikers, but this doesn’t represent all tattoo owners at all. Many tattoos are simply personal expression and art for the body, and while this is a subjective field, many tattoos may be considered beautiful. The same could be said for a body piercing. The best tattoo will not only look great but express the owner as intended. Why might someone try out this form of artistic expression on their body? And what about group tattoos? When is it the right time for group tattoos?
Americans and Tattoos
This form of body art is studied like any other field, and the numbers are clear: Americans love tattoos. It has been found that 14% of all Americans, young or old, have at least one tattoo, and not surprisingly, tattoo owners tend to skew younger. Today, about 47% of Millennials, according to a 2015 Harris Poll, have at least one tattoo, and 36% of Gen Xers do, too. Sometimes, tattoos might be removed or cover up older ones, if a person decides that they don’t like their ink anymore. About 5% of all Americans have covered up an older tattoo with a new one, and 11% of people who have tattoos have had one removed before. And when a person is looking for a tattoo to get, they care a great deal about the tattoo artist’s reputation, or that of the tattoo studio.
Sometimes, tattoos are done as a group, and group tattoos can be done for any number of reasons. For example, a group of friends who experienced something together can get group tattoos to commemorate it, as a bodily alternative to a commemorative T-shirt. Group tattoos can be all gotten from the same artist at the same parlor so that they all match. Group tattoos might include the date or name of an event, like a concert or festival, and can be put anywhere on the body. Maybe the friends want the name and date of the event on their forearms or the backs of their hands, for example. For fun, these people with the group tattoos can gather and hold their tattoos close as a gesture of unity.
Getting a Tattoo or Piercing
A person who wants a tattoo or piercing can consult a friend who already has tattoos or piercings, or look online to find local parlors. There are thousands of tattoo and piercing parlors across the United States, meaning a person shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one nearby to visit. At a parlor, the patron can choose from one of many tattoo designs printed on sheets, or they may make requests and bring an image of what they want done. Patrons of tattoo parlors should note that while it stings to get tattoos, one should not expect horrible pain from this. Some people have an interest in getting inked, but they are concerned about some gruesome operation. There is, in fact, nothing to worry about; getting a tattoo can be managed, and often, excess pain is in the patron’s mind simply because they expect it. Many have psyched themselves into experiencing migraines from tattoo needle use, but this is psychological. A tattoo or piercing will sting, but it’s hardly agony. The skin on a tattoo will be sensitive for a while and may have minor bleeding, but this is to be expected.
Customers may also note that tattoo parlors are highly sanitary. Needles are going into different peoples’ skin, so a piece of tattoo equipment will be sterilized carefully in a device called an autoclave after use. This machine uses high-pressure, high-temperature steam to kill any bacteria or viruses on the surface of items put inside it.