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To Inc or Not to Inc – the Meaning of Tattoos Among Collage Students

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To get a tattoo or not? This question is being discussed more and more frequently. But who are the people who want to get it? To what social class are they belong? According to what factors do people decide to make a tattoo? The authors of the article “To Inc or nor to Inc : The Meaning of Tattoos among College Students” Lynda Dickson (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), Richard L. Dukes (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), Hilary Smith (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), Noel Strapko (Colorado State University) have made a research concerning the process of getting a tatoo, the meaning of tatoos for collage students, popularity of tatoos in our times and attitude of people to tattos. The research is based on the response of 458 undergraduate students from a medium-sized public university which is located in the Western United States.

The Authors could not mention the fact that the public attitude to the tattoos was changing through time. More and more people get tattoos nowadays. The annual percentage of people who have a tattoo has grown from the 1990’s. The national survey shows that only “3% of respondents had at least one tattoo (Armstrong & Fell, 2000)” (To Ink Or Not To Ink: The Meaning Of Tattoos Among College Students / 107). The process of tattooing has become extremely popular, especially among young people. And you can’t ignore it. How many your friends have one?

According to survey “Both tattooed and non-tattooed college students agree that tattooing is mainstream and that a variety of people get tattoos (Manuel & Sheehan, 2007)” (To Ink Or Not To Ink: The Meaning Of Tattoos Among College Students /109) So why do people get tattoos? The main reason is that people just want to express themselves! Nobody wants to be the same. And everyone is trying his best. Statistic demonstrates us possible gender differences “women more often seek tattoos for personal decoration (Home et al. , 2007) and to feel independent (Forbes, 2001), and men more often get tattoos as a symbol of group identity (Home et al. 2007).

Among a group of adult respondents, tattooed individuals say that having their tattoo makes them feel more sexy (30%), rebellious (25%), attractive (21%), strong (21%), and spiritual (16%) (Braverman, 2012) ”(To Inc or not to Inc : The Meaning of Tattoos among Collage Students / 117). Most students say that they are becoming tattooed as a meaningful way to represent personal growth and individualism. Sometimes people get tattooed for their own pleasure, but not to impress others. Also the motivations for getting tattoo can be of two main categories – internal and external.

Internal serve as reminders, memories or symbols. External can represent the diminishing influence of parents and the growing influence of feels. But not everyone loves that trend. Why people do not get tattoos? If everything is so positive and perfect, why do some people avoid getting tattooed? The first reason is the permanence of the tattoo and the fear that they will not want it when they get older. Another reason is health concerns and the prediction of disapproval by family and friends. Sometimes the points that stop people from doing it are pain, the risk of disease and cost.

The fact that the survey was conducted among students plays a great role because on average it is the age when teens grow older and it is the first time when they are actually stay alone. It is the age when start their own life, without parents help. And they want to express! It is the age when people don’t want to be like everyone. They have their own dreams, thought, plans and achievements. And tattoos help them a lot. So what where the results of the research? “A total of 195 (43. 1%) respondents have one or more tattoos. A greater percentage of women (46. %) have tattoos than men (36. 8%).

Among the 38 respondents (19. 7% of the total) who get their first tattoo before the age of 18, eleven (71. 1%) have parental per mission. Respondent were thinking about first tattoo for months, while those who under 18 took less time to think about it. Most students got their first tattoo because of Spontaneous self-distinction: means of spontaneous self-expression; Internal factor. Tattooing likely is a part of the still-emerging mainstream of young adult culture, as a large number of respondents, 43. 1%, have at least one tattoo. (To Ink Or Not To Ink: The Meaning Of Tattoos Among College Students)

To get tattooed or not to get is a question of personal choice of each individual. But I think that it must be the very important reason for doing it so not to regret in future. Because tattoo isn’t a bag we can or cant take with us for walking. Its permanent and to vanish it will cost enough efforts. College is a time of frequent role changes and transitions which offer many opportunities for identity exploration and thus, some students acquire tattoos to reflect this time.

Furthermore the survey shows that students spend much time on choosing the sketch and thinking about the meaning of the body art. Drawings are mostly not means something impolite or going against the norms of society. They don’t insult people that look at them. It is just the way of self-expressing. It is good that majority understand it. Parents allow their children to make tattoos being under 18. Actually it is your choice and you should understand that everyone is different. Our peers, employers, family, superiors, even strangers that you walk past can automatically judge someone.

Tattoos have been predominantly linked with a rebellious attitude and pictured on out of control stereotypes. The times when only bikers, gang members or prisoners had tattoos has gone. And nowadays those who have a tattoo mostly are not criminals. We all know that it is more difficult to find a job if you have some kind of body art. It is wrong. Why not to employ a person who has a symbol of luck, longevity or wealth printed on his hand? We are still not gone through it. Anyway tattoos have come a long way in society and will continue to develop throughout today’s society.

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