Why are tattoos so popular ? (or is it just my imagination?)

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
Oh dear. Can't say I'm surprised. Seems to me the tattoo industry has always had a lot of cowboys. Glad I've never considered having my single tattoo removed, as ghastly as it may be.

Right now, i gather there are some pretty good tattoo artist in Adelaide. So there should be: a full sleeve can cost in the thousands. However, have never seen any tattoos even close to Japanese irezumi.
Jan 2017
If you are dying your hair a color that if would never be in real life for your ethnic group, is it any more wrong to dye it blue than red if you are an Sub Saharsn African or Japanese? Both are pretty unnatural dor youd particular group

Not many natural blondes of red heads in Korea. For much of the world, red or blonde is as unnatural as blue or violet. Also, a distinctive hair color .can make you more distinctive, stand out more. Like wearing bright color clothes. Wearing a vivid orange suit isn't to.my taste, but if some like it, I don't see why it should matter to me. Just wouldn't wear it at a funeral or job interview though.
I mentioned those four colours in cases of removing grey hairs & returning someone's hair to its more natural colour, regardless of ethnic group. For a sub-Saharan African or Japanese e.t.c., red or blonde are natural colours in other parts of the world so it still retains a little familiarity, compared to bright pink, cyan or apple green.

It's just a more noticeable trend the last few years, it becomes less distinctive for the individual if lots of other people are doing the same thing.


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
I have a tattoo, just one.. A souvenir of New Year's Eve 1969, Singapore. I have regretted it since 1 January 1970. Very unobtrusive, right upper arm, and is covered by t shirts. I've always been embarrassed by it.Today it seems I am constantly surrounded by ink; full sleeves, legs, backs, chests, even hands, necks and faces (I still think non tribal people with hand and/or facial tattoos are strange)

This love of ink seems most noticeable on entertainers of both sexes. Thankfully, quite a few seem to have been done by an actual artist. Oddly, I have always admired the irezumi, favoured by Yakuza, as works of art.. (tattoos are considered vulgar and disreputable in Japan, possibly because of the Yakuza link.)

YES,I know it's really none of my business, and wrong of me to judge anyone, for that ,or any other reason.

I'm trying to understand the motivation: peer pressure, fashion, rebellion, craving for attention, or what?

It's just that tattoos are permanent, or at least painful and expensive to remove.
Usually it comes from lack of self-confidence, and as a result falling for whatever the current hype is thoughtlessly. There could be borderline mental issues too.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
Usually it comes from lack of self-confidence, and as a result falling for whatever the current hype is thoughtlessly. There could be borderline mental issues too.
Aside from the 'mental issues' ..... body decoration is nearly as old as human culture itself; 1548466716772.png
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
Tattoos have become acceptable among the middle and upper class. It used to be only some one from the lower/working class got tattoos. Now you see it sometimes on someone who might be a doctor, although still rare.

I think it is because some big name entertainers and athletes who are rich have gotten well publicized tattoos that has made it a little more socially acceptable. If your favorite athelete making $50 million a year can get a tattoo, what is so wrong about you getting one is the logic. Tattoos are cool and make you distinctive, people.without are just bland (I suspect is the logic).

Young people often don't about the fearue and what the tattoo will like like when they are older. Like getting the name of your then girl friend tattooed on you, despite the odds you are not going to be with them a few years later even if you married them.

The old US sitcom Married With Children of a decidely lower class family made. oke about not getting a tattoo like grandma because of the way it looked when body parts starts sagging with time.
Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
Mental issues? That was certainly the perceived wisdom when I got mine. That's why I didn't have any more done; have always been able to justify just one by a claim of being **** faced at the time.(which I was)

I woman know has had a lot of tattoos removed. She's also a later-life ordained minister. I think for one of the happy clappy churches. Her take is that people who have a lo of highly visible tattoos don't know who they are. That's a bit too artificially deep for me; IE probably bullshit, except for explaining her motivation...

I'm reluctant to claim there is any single reason for having tattoos. Partly because times and social attitudes change, But mainly because as Sigmund Freud did NOT say: "sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar". Such people may simply like tattoos. That would make sense if they are as stupid as they often seem to me. I mean, some of the entertainers I've noticed with masses of tattoos should really be prevented from breeding.

However, call me a prejudiced old fart, I can't help but be wary of people with tattoos on their face, neck and hands. I still think THAT is weird and a pretty stupid thing to do.
Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
Aside from the 'mental issues' ..... body decoration is nearly as old as human culture itself; View attachment 15151
The above marking is white oxide paint, the markings being used only in ceremony. . I think aboriginals could justly consider tattoos to be a bit wimpy.------THEY have scarification, and my absolute favourite( for those who get upset about circumcision)--- penile subincision. This means filleting the penis on the underside, sometimes from the glans penis to pubis.


"In Australia, scarring was practised widely, but is now restricted almost entirely to parts of Arnhem Land. Scarring is like a language inscribed on the body, where each deliberately placed scar tells a story of pain, endurance, identity, status, beauty, courage, sorrow or grief.

Like rdoyrdoy ngayineh murlahngene like mitjjindah you-know.
My mother's mother's father and my grandmother, like long ago...
barrrdetjmerriny mitjjindahgan.
In former times, they cut one another.
Baganh baganh baganh birrahgah.
Here [on the shoulder], here [on the other shoulder], here, on the chest.
Barrganginy mitjjindah now from early days yo like yarranbamuttiya [m].
They practised it long ago and in those days they showed us what to do.
Ya-ngema like ya-ngema nendah bolitj.
We call them bolitj [adornment scar].
Barrayininy or barrnane yimeng like yarratyongern marreevahburrk.
They said or they saw you getting bigger, growing up, like an adult.
Like you-know like barrrdetjme bolitj yappan.
Like you know they would cut maybe two bolitj.
Gerhyih barrrdetjmerreniny gerhyih yappan bo barrbordohminy banhwala.
They would cut each other with a stone knife. With a stone knife they would put two, or there, they would put two.
Barramoyoknyarhminy walangbolhminy now nanh bolitj.
They had burnt and cut the wound, then the adornment scar would come up.
Barramoyokjarlukkugarr walang bolhminy now bolitj.
They put it on the wound and then it comes up as an adornment scar.

Bob Burruwal, Rembarrnga, Arnhem Land

Aboriginal Scarification

Penile subincision is a form of genital modification or mutilation consisting of a urethrotomy, in which the underside of the penis is incised and the urethra slit open lengthwise, from the urethral opening (meatus) toward the base. The slit can be of varying lengths.

Penile subincision - Wikipedia