Massacre also mentions that the increasing number of inked celebrities
certainly helped: think Adam Levine, CM Punk and Angelina Jolie.
But there are more
profound reasons than celebrities and TV shows that has shifted an entire
generation, and turns out tattoo isn’t just skin deep.
A 2015 article in “Employee
Responsibilities and Rights Journal” suggests that modern tattooing is
motivated by “self-identity.”
While the world changes
constantly, tattoos anchor in a specific period and culture, and the
millennials use ink under their skins to link themselves to the past.
Passing through the Digital
Revolution in the ’70s and ’80s, children are exposed in the explosion of
technologies and information, resulting more choices than any past generations
had for the millennials to take into their personalities.
People, especially young
people, are becoming more different and diverse and young people are trying to
claim their own territory in a colorful world full of “weirdos.”
“I was actually young
once,” says experienced tattoo artist Chris Ramos. “I used to cut myself just
to say, ‘I’m different,’ it’s good to be different and that’s what tattoos do
For a lot of people
including Ramos, tattoos aren’t just about expression but also recording and
“Tattooing is always
yours to keep, always in front of eyes and heart” he says. “Being a tattooer
isn’t just the pictures, but is the bond of generations before and after.”
Technology has also
contributed to tattoo’s boom, as developments in ink and other tools have
dispel the concerns of a lot of would-be tattoo getters.
Commercialization and normalization
of tattoo plus the strictest regulations and inspections have also made it much
safer to walk in a clean and sterilized shop to get a tattoo.
Another factor to
consider is the growing availability of tattoos.
“When I started
tattooing, you just find picture on these magazines,” Ramos points to his pile
of tattoo magazines. “Or you can walk in and look for pictures that we have,
now many of my clients can send me a design and I can just make a stencil out
of it and start tattooing.”
The internet, as it
extends to phones and more convenient devices, has greatly grown everyone’s
access to more arts, designs and ideas, and while traditional tattoos are now
called “Old School,” more and more ideas and options for tattoos are being made
“I’m definitely having
more young clients,” Ramos says. “I’ve been tattooing for 20 something years
and there are definitely have more and more millennials that wants to get