7 Reasons There is a Rise of the Tattoo Culture

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Are we living in the tattoo culture?

That only the junkies and bikers get tattoos and body piercing while sober people look down upon them seems to be an archaic belief now. The puritanical looking guy/girl who sits in the cubicle next to you might get a tattoo one day. Don’t get surprised if they do.

What really is fueling the tattoo culture? Why is there a sudden rise of tattoos? The following are some of the reasons:

It is cool 

Trends are trends for a reason. Everyone follows them. Ask them why it’s trendy and they’ll blankly stare at you. Whether it’s latest interior designing practices or fashion styles – if they are trendy, people will follow them. Basically, trends are being followed for being cool and they are cool because everyone follow them. It’s a loop.

Tattoos are no exception. Celebrities have them, rappers have them, band vocalists have them. So I should have them too, by flashing them, I can leave my friends dazzled; that’s how most people think. No surprise they are into the art of tattooing.

Build self identity 

People often have symbols tattooed in their bodies. They do so because they identify themselves in terms of those symbols. It’s not uncommon to see folks around us with tattooed reiki symbols, or with pagan symbols.

Self identity is a lucid concept. We can identify ourselves whichever way we want. As professionals, as dreamers, as visionaries, as members of certain communities. Tattoos resembling symbols authenticate the identification, at least on a visual level.

Deep rooted beliefs 

Everyone wants a lucky charm. Some are confident enough to consider themselves as their lucky charm. Others who have deep-seated beliefs in gemstones, crystals and fortune cookies want a talisman.

The latter type of people often go to tattoo shops. To have themselves marked by a dragonfly, some god’s visage or some number. They believe the tattoo will protect them from evil and bring good luck. We call these people superstitious.

Religious reasons 

Religious beliefs are often reflected in tattoos. A devout christian might have the holy cross tattooed in his back. Or he may have the image of Jesus Christ or Mother Mary tattooed. Most religions (barring few) don’t have anything against tattooing. So people who are deeply religious often visit tattoo parlors to show off their commitment to the religions they follow.

Sometimes, religious preachers object to tattooing. They reference chapters and verses from religious texts that forbid cutting of flesh. These people are extremists, so they are not taken seriously. Besides, they fail to show anything in the sacred books that’s specifically against tattooing.

Political reasons 

Getting a tattoo is one of the ways you could communicate others your political belief. People across the political spectrum – both left and right – pay to have symbols relevant to their political beliefs engraved in their bodies.

Politics worldwide is becoming hostile. Driven by hostility, many today have the “us” vs “them” mindset. Tattoos complete the marking and draw an invisible boundary between them and “others”. As unfortunate as it sounds, it is often the reality.

They are aesthetically appealing 

People with a knack in designing often like the idea of tattooing. Even those who are staunchly against tattooing will unhesitatingly admit that it gives one creative freedom. There’s no end to designing ideas and combinations that tattoo artists can apply. The tattoos they create look appealing, which is a reward in itself for an artist.

Creative people like challenges. Designers are highly creative, and tattooing as an art is challenging. It’s not embroidery work, they are designing onto human skin. Selecting the right ink, identifying punctures, inserting pigment – everything must be done meticulously or the person getting the tattoo will get hurt. The thrill of facing a challenge is what’s bringing even top designers to tattoo art.

More and more designers undertaking tattooing work is contributing to its rise.

It’s money generating 

Tattoo artists make a lot of money. As people are paying to get tattoos, skilled artists are chiming in eagerly to make a few easy bucks. They are promoting their skills across several mediums, which is bringing an even bigger pool of tattoo enthusiasts to tattoo shops.

Take a look at the stats below that indicate a sharp increase in tattoo’s popularity:

  • Nearly 30% US adults have at least one tattoo. They are almost all millennials. Boomers are not too fond of it.
  • There are over 20000 tattoo parlors in the US.
  • In the UK, more than 30% adults have tattoos.
  • In 2002, the term “tattoo” became most searched on the Internet.

Burgeoning industries offer money spinning opportunities. You don’t have to be an economist to understand that. The stats above, taken from this source, show a flourishing market for tattoo art. No surprise expert designers profit off of this market, ballooning it even further.


There are other factors alongside the ones discussed here, causing the rise of tattoos. But the seven causes are responsible for the quick sprout of this art, which is why, they have been acknowledged in this article.



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