More people are getting inked, and the generation leading the trend is millennials – the 18-to-29 year olds – in a surge that is keeping tattoo shops packed all across Australia.
As many as one third of millennials have a tattoo, according to the Pew Research Centre. In a similar survey done by The Harris Poll, nine per cent of 18- to-24-year-olds and 32 per cent of 25- to 29-year-olds have at least one tattoo. And many times once they get over their initial fear, they will come back soon for more.
In the USA, tattoo artists mostly agree that the media have played a huge role in helping tattoos go mainstream, with numerous popular shows such as “Miami Ink,” “NY Ink,” and “Ink Master.” In 2007, the hit reality show “LA Ink,” premiered with an impressive viewership of 2.9 million for its first episode, according to BuddyTV. At the time, it was also the highestrated series premiere for TLC for adults between the ages of 18 and 34. That age demographic made up 1.5 million of the total viewer count. “LA Ink” – starring Kat Von D. – was a spin off of TLC’s other hit show “Miami Ink.”
Copycat tattoos are popular among women between the ages of 18 and 25. Young women love to get tattoos that are identical, or at least similar, to tattoos worn by such celebrities as Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, and Megan Fox. Another trend popularised by the media (and which is showing no signs of stopping) is meaningful tattoos. Studies show that approximately 9 out of 10 people getting a tattoo will end up choosing a tattoo that is meaningful to them in some way.
Although tattoos are incredibly popular among millennials, tattoo artists have seen people of all ages come into their shop to get inked.
In the same Harris Poll, 12 per cent of 40-to-49-year-olds and six per cent of 50-to-64-year-olds revealed that they have a tattoo. They may seem like small numbers, but shops have been noticing their presence a lot more the past couple of years.
Although the number of people getting a tattoo has jumped within the last couple of years, the opposite is also happening. According to the Patient’s Guide, tattoo removal has climbed 32 per cent from 2011 to 2012. This raises the question, if tattoos are so popular, why are people are getting them removed? Possibly because forty per cent of those people surveyed said that they were removing their tattoos for employment reasons.
The competitive job market and limited job opportunities have led people to remove their tattoos to make themselves more “employable.” Prices on tattoo removal depend on the size of the tattoo, number of sessions needed for complete removal and the clinic chosen. Prices can range from $90 to $300 per session.