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Why Do People Get Tattoos?

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                                        Why Do People Get Tattoos?

        As I sat there for 2 hours watching Katie getting stabbed thousands of times per second, I thought to myself, “why on earth do so many people dream of getting tattoos? Why would someone be so excited to get stabbed so much to the point where they were bleeding just to harm themselves?” I still ask myself the same questions. What I did know was that a couple of weeks ago, one of Katie’s best friends had gotten a tattoo and convinced Katie to want to get one also. Getting a tattoo because your colleagues and peers have them is just one of the many reasons so many young people get tattoos. Peer pressure, personal appearance and to remember a loved one are just a few more of the common reasons people get tattoos in the world today.

        The aspiration to be able to fit in or be a part of a certain group can affect the actions of an individual. Occasionally, having a tattoo can be a symbol to display that one belongs to a certain group. Almost like a uniform can show that one is a part of a certain team. Sometimes gangs will wear certain clothes to show that they are a part of that gang. For example, one gang would wear long pink baggy shirts to show they were a part of that gang and another gang would wear long yellow baggy shirts to show they were a part of that gang. Someone might also show they are a part of a certain gang because they either have a tattoo of the gangs name or they have a tattoo that all of the other gang members have. Another example would be Olympic athletes getting the Olympic rings tattooed on them to show that they are a part of the team and and they’re united by wearing the same symbol. When one’s peers are all doing something in common as in getting a tattoo, that might make that one person want to fit in and also get a tattoo.

        Personal appearance is another big reason why so many Americans want to have a tattoo. So many people feel as if having a tattoo will make them look more appealable to other people, especially women. For example, a study performed gueguen in 2013, asked several men on a beach to rate a woman on how easy it would be to have sex with them on the first date. Half of the time, women had a temporary butterfly tattoo and the other half of the time, they had plain skin. The results were remarkable. The women seemed to be far easier to approach when they had the butterfly tattoo but it didn’t have an effect on how attractive she was rated. This could be because males are very visual creatures when it comes to sexual attraction and the tattoo could be seen as a signal of sexual availability. (Burnside) So with that being said, to some men, a tattoo really can make a woman be much easier to approach and start a conversation.

        Not only do people get tattoos as a result of peer pressure or to enhance their appearance, but someone could also get a tattoo to remember an important event in their life as in death of a loved one, their child’s or parents birthday and so on. For example, someone that I know got a tattoo on his chest in remembrance of his little brother who passed away at birth.  Another example could be a woman getting a tattoo of their child’s hand print and putting their date of birth somewhere around it. The mother may want to do this so if anything were to happen to either her child or her, she would always have some part of them with her in spirit and in memory.

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