For a few years now, people have gradually begun to accept tattoos in society. They are much less taboo than they used to be, and some people even feel comfortable flaunting them in the workplace. A new study from the Harris Poll reveals that people have become even more comfortable with tattoos, even approving them on people like police officers and pediatricians.
The survey, which was conducted between October 14 and 19, 2015, mainly suggested the growing popularity of tattoos. Approximately 3 in 10 Americans have at least one tattoo, and many have more than one. In 2012, that number was 2 in 10. Of the group with tattoos, about 7 in 10 have more than one. The survey looked at 2,225 U.S. adults.
"36 percent of Gen Xers have at least one tattoo."
Of course, the age of those who have them does vary. Out of all of the Americans surveyed, the group with the most tattoos was Millennials, at 47 percent. Next up in the group was Gen Xers, with 36 percent of the group having at least one tattoo. The least likely group to have a tattoo? The Matures – only 10 percent of their generation has one or more tattoos.
However, it doesn't all have to do with age. It turns out, certain parts of the country are more likely to have tattoos as well. Rural and urban areas are much more likely to host tattooed residents than suburban regions – only 25 percent of Suburbanites have a tattoo. Being a parent also plays a role in the tattoo decision-making process. Only 21 percent of parents admitted to having tattoos.
Aside from polling on popularity, lifestyle factors and residential area, the Harris Poll also asked people about their tattoo regret. While tattoos have gained popularity, so have regretful decisions surrounding them. The findings revealed that 23 percent of people regret getting at least one of their tattoos. Luckily, these days people can erase their tattoo regret by undergoing the tattoo removal process. Regardless of whether people choose to erase them, some tattoos are more regretful than others, the poll indicated. According to the findings, people tend to most regret tattoos that they got when they were young and reckless, ones that had no meaning, included an ex's name, were poorly done or simply didn't fit people's personalities anymore. These tattoo regrets aren't exactly a shocker. For years, several people have admitted that they've grown out of the tattoos they choose to remove or grown a dislike for.
Tattoos have had an effect on other emotions aside from regret as well. It turns out, getting a tattoo can make people feel a variety of ways, including:
- More attractive(32 percent)
- Sexier (33 percent)
- More rebellious (27 percent)
- More spiritual (20 percent)
Some even polled that they felt their tattoos made them look more respectable, intelligent, employable and healthy, though those percentages were small. However, the majority of those polled felt indifferent about their tattoos. While their ink had purpose, it didn't have any effect on their emotions or outlook of the world.
A difference in opinion
However, the poll also asked the non-tattooed about their opinions on those with tattoos, and the feelings were a little different. Many outsiders felt people with tattoos were much more rebellious than those who didn't have them, though this number declined since the last poll. They also believed that people with tattoos were less attractive, less respectable and less intelligent. However, all of these percentages – many which sat around a third of those polled – have lowered since previous polling years, suggesting that tattoos have become more mainstream.
Another area that has been addressed a lot lately is tattoos in the workplace. For years, people have argued that the look is unprofessional and sends the wrong message. However, in recent years, employees, such as those at Petco and Starbucks, have begun to fight back and make ink more acceptable in the office. It turns out their efforts are working. The survey revealed that many Americans are comfortable with visible tattoos in the workplace. About 39 percent of people would be OK with seeing a tattooed police officer, 37 wouldn't mind a tattooed real estate agent, 35 percent wouldn't care about a doctor with ink, 36 percent wouldn't think twice about a tattooed banker and 32 percent wouldn't even mind a tattooed president. These are all respectable positions, proving that society's view of tattoos is shifting. Pollers even admitted they wouldn't mind tattooed professionals going near their children.
Overall, this survey suggests that the general, mainstream perspective on tattoos has shifted. Once they were only accepted on outlaws and jailbirds, and now they are widely accepted on young professionals, respected politicians and even intelligent pediatricians. While there still are some opinions against tattoos, that voice seems to be gradually quieting.