The Echoes of the Mind (137-7-2) Tattoos


Tattoos modify self-esteem as well as bodies. Since they make up for something felt to be missing or inadequate, tattoos are prosthetic. ~ American physician Kirby Farrell

A tattoo is made by inserting indelible ink into the skin to change its pigment. Tattooing is at least 5,300 years old.

The only change with the advent of tattooing was technology, not culture nor psychology. 53,000 years ago, Neanderthals painted their bodies.

What was once considered self-mutilatory behavior and a psychiatric problem has now become almost normative behavior. ~ American psychiatrist Reef Karim

Once considered unsavory, tattoos and body piercings have become more prevalent among the younger generation. The once-common opinion that a tattooed person has a rebellious streak has waned with tattoos becoming a more popular adornment.

Tattoos may serve as an effective means to capture male attention. ~ American psychologist Vinita Mehta

Despite growing social acceptance, most men consider women with tattoos less attractive, athletic, intelligent, honest, generous, and less religious, but more promiscuous. Men think a tattoo on a woman is a “tramp stamp.”

Men interpret women’s sexual intent according to their physical appearance. ~ French psychologist Nicolas Guéguen

The characterization of tattoos as a sexual tell is not unfounded. Both men and women with tattoos and/or body piercings report earlier and more frequent sexual encounters than those without. Tattoos for rebels is also fact-based. People with tattoos are less risk adverse.

Tattoos still appear to be a marker for risk-taking behavior in adults. ~ Australian sociologist Wendy Heywood et al

Satisfaction with a tattoo decreases after a few weeks. The boost of enhanced self-esteem wears off, particularly for women.

Women report significantly greater social physique anxiety three weeks after obtaining a tattoo. ~ Malaysian psychologist Viren Swami

Tattoo remorse hovers around 20%. Women are twice as likely to have tattoos removed than men. The typical instance of removal is a woman tattooed at 16–23 years waiting 14 years before having her tattoo taken off. Her impetus at the time of tattooing was to “feel unique” or “independent.” The motive for removal is typically to dissociate from the past and improve self-identity: ironically similar to the reason for getting tattooed.

The body as bumper sticker is still considered skanky by conservative oldsters. Many corporate employers still consider such bodily adornments a black mark on a job candidate.