These days you can find a tattoo on almost anyone.
A recent poll indicated that more than 36% of people have at least one tattoo.
This is a stark change from the old days when people tended to associate tattoos with criminals or people of bad behavior.
If you haven’t gotten inked yet, then you may wonder why there’s an allure around tattoos.
Whether it’s for personal reasons, cultural reasons, or just to have fun, here are 10 reasons why people get tattoos.
Why Do People Get Tattoos? (10 Reasons)
1. To Honor A Passed Loved One
One of the most common reasons people get a tattoo is to honor someone who has passed.
Someone might get a tattoo of their parent that was special to them.
It may be a portrait, a symbol, or even a saying that their parent used to give
Whatever it is that represents their parent, they get it tattooed on their bodies.
There are a few reasons why someone might choose to honor a passed loved one in this way.
For one, it gives a sense that the specific loved one is always with them.
All they have to do is look at the tattoo to remember them.
That might be a way in which they get some closure about the passing.
It may be a source of solace for them.
Besides parents, others get tattoos to honor the passing of their children.
They might also get a portrait done or have their shoe size tattooed on their skin.
This also helps them remember their child who passed away.
They become a part of them.
They’re able to carry them around with them wherever they go.
Getting a tattoo can be a way that some people grieve and process a death.
It may make them feel not as alone which can help them move on with their lives.
2. To Commemorate A Special Event
Some moments in one’s life are truly special.
Capturing it on video or with a photo is one way to remember it.
A much more intimate way to remember and commemorate it is with a tattoo.
Getting a tattoo is more intimate because it involves some element of pain
The pain can either be severe or extremely mild depending on where the tattoo is going to be.
Because there’s an element of suffering to it, it makes the process of commemorating the event even more special.
There are tons of events that someone might choose to commemorate on their skin.
One example is a wedding.
They might get the date of their wedding day tattooed somewhere.
They might get a ring tattooed on their finger to represent the wedding.
In a loving relationship that’s built to last, getting a tattoo is a great way to remember a special wedding.
Another event that some might people choose to get tattooed on their bodies is when they become a parent.
Some might have the date of their child’s birth tattooed on their skin.
Others may consider other types of events special.
It might be a day that their favorite sports team finally won a championship.
It might be a day when they became a millionaire or got promoted to the position they’ve been working for over the past several years.
It might even be a day on which their favorite movie came out.
Whatever it is, if the individual deems it special enough, they might commemorate it with a tattoo on their body.
3. To Display Love
For good or ill, one of the reasons some people get tattoos is to display their love for someone.
One of the most famous, or infamous, tattoos is a significant other’s name tattooed on one’s skin.
Having someone’s name on one’s skin shows that you care enough about them to make them part of your body forever.
While tattoos fade with time, they don’t ever disappear.
Having someone’s name on your body is a way to say that you will love and care about that person forever.
Unfortunately, unless the individual is in a solid marriage, there’s always a chance that the relationship might end.
Then the individual has someone’s name inked on their skin.
This might make things a bit awkward when they get back into the dating pool.
Names aren’t the only thing that a person might get tattooed on their body to demonstrate their love.
They might also get a portrait.
If that relationship ends, things might be even more awkward for future partners.
A better solution is often a symbol that represents their love.
Getting a tattoo of their lover’s favorite flower, animal, or saying is a safer way of proving one’s love while also safeguarding the future.
In the throes of love and infatuation, however, it’s not uncommon for some people to go to a tattoo parlor to get a tattoo of their partner.
4. To Show A Love For A Sport
Sports fans are some of the most enthusiastic and devoted fans in the world.
It doesn’t matter if their team always loses.
They love their team, and they’ll root for them each game.
Some sports fans choose to take their love to the next level by getting a tattoo that represents their love for their favorite team.
They might get the team logo or mascot tattooed on their bodies.
If the team has a motto or saying, they might get that tattooed instead.
Some fans have a lot of love for a specific player or even a coach.
They might choose to get a portrait of that person to demonstrate their love.
Others might get tattoos to commemorate special events that happen in sports.
For example, if their team wins a championship, they might get the date or trophy tattooed on their body.
If their favorite player retires, they might get something that honors what that player brought to the team.
A sports fan may have several different teams from different sports that they love.
As such, they might have something for each team or each type of sport.
If they play, themselves, then they might tattoo the number of wins that they’ve had.
5. To Show a Love For A Fandom
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if someone isn’t as passionate about sports, they might be passionate about a fandom.
Whether they’re comic book fans, movie fans, art fans, or even video game fans, some people get tattoos about their favorite characters or worlds.
For example, if someone is a Marvel fan, they might get a tattoo of their favorite comic book character.
It may be a full-on portrait of the character or it might simply be their symbol.
Some might even choose to get a saying that the character often says tattooed on their bodies.
Fans of films might have a specific movie, movie character, or movie quote that they love.
For example, if they’re big fans of the Godfather trilogy, they might have something mafia-related as a tattoo.
It could be as detailed as a portrait of Marlon Brando as Don Corleone.
It could be a bit vaguer like a skyline with Godfather-esque imagery.
Fantasy film fans might have extensive tattoos.
For example, they might have the world’s entire map tattooed on their bodies.
Others might prefer small quotes in areas that are easy to miss on their bodies.
Some might have a love for different fandoms and end up mashing them all together.
The reason that fans get tattoos featuring favorite characters, worlds, themes, or quotes is that it shows their love and support for them.
The character might speak to them, and they might identify with their views or struggles.
A quote from a movie might inspire them or conceptualize some of their tribulations.
If it speaks to them, they might choose to share that with the world by having it tattooed.
Others simply do it because they want to show their love to the world.
6. To Inspire Them
Another common reason that people get tattoos is to inspire them.
If they went through something tragic or traumatic, carrying on with life might be difficult for them.
They need something outside of themselves to keep them focused, motivated, and inspired.
Otherwise, they may stray and go down the wrong path.
To help them stay on the path, some people might get an inspirational quote tattooed on their bodies.
The quote usually means something significant to them.
The fact that it’s tattooed on their bodies serves a few different purposes.
For one, it means that the inspirational message is always within reach.
All they need to do is look down at it and remind themselves why they’re doing what they’re doing.
If it was simply a quote on a t-shirt or a piece of paper, there’s a chance that they won’t have that message nearby when they need it the most.
An inspirational tattoo is always there for them to consider.
Another purpose is it allows them to share with others.
If someone asks about the quote, they can talk to that person about something that’s important to them.
Sharing with others can help improve one’s mental health and make one feel connected to someone else.
If they’re feeling particularly isolated or lonely, the quote can be a helpful way of starting a conversation or connecting with other people.
Finally, it makes the quote more meaningful.
Since the act of getting a tattoo can be quite painful for some people, it makes getting that quote all the more impactful.
It isn’t just words to them.
It has real meaning because they forged it with a bit of pain.
Inspirational tattoos aren’t always just quotes.
They can be anything that helps a person stay motivated.
7. To Hide Scars
Some people get tattoos for practical purposes.
If someone has a lot of scarring, tattoos can be a way to help hide them.
This is ideal for someone who has a lot of anxiety about their scars
Tattooing can make them beautiful.
That can ease the person’s anxiety and perhaps even improve the quality of their life.
They might not want to hide as much before.
They flourish instead.
Tattooing over scars isn’t easy.
It can sometimes even make certain types of scars worse.
That’s because tattoos do some damage to the skin in the process of injecting ink into the skin.
If your body scars easily, it might make the scar bigger.
However, a talented tattoo artist can find a way to incorporate your scar into the artwork.
By becoming part of the art, it’s more difficult for the eye to distinguish between the scar and the art.
Some people also get tattoos when certain parts of their anatomy are missing after surgery.
For example, if someone needed to have their breasts removed due to cancer or other reasons, sometimes the surgery requires the removal of their nipples.
If they think their body looks odd without them, some tattoo artists can make realistic nipples where the missing ones used to be.
This might give them more self-confidence since they don’t deem themselves as missing anything anymore.
Others might want to correct discolorations in their skin or skin blemishes.
Tattoos can add a new type of beauty to one’s body.
8. To Solidify Membership In A Group
Tattoos are old.
They’re also an important part of many cultures.
Some cultures see tattoos as a status symbol.
They have meaning and tell others what your status is in society.
Some display your adulthood.
For example, you might receive a certain tattoo when you come of age.
Outside of culture, they can also show that you belong to a certain group.
Gang members, for example, might get certain tattoos that mark them as a member of a particular gang.
They might even use them to distinguish rank.
Even friends might get tattoos together to form a membership of friends.
Each one gets the same, or similar, tattoo that represents their friend group.
These types of tattoos help identify a person to others within a specific group.
Anyone outside of the group might not be able to discern the meaning of the tattoo.
It’s meant to be a private thing.
9. To Tell One’s Story
Tattoos give people the chance to tell their stories to other people without saying a word.
Some people get tattoos to chronicle certain events in their life
It might include the passing of family and friends.
It might include personal victories that they achieved.
Tattoos can be a great way to get to know someone.
While one might be able to discern certain things about someone based on their tattoos, they often act as an invitation for conversation.
It allows the sharing of personal stories between two strangers or even friends.
10. To Decorate One’s Body
A final reason people get tattoos is that they have an appreciation for tattoo art.
Tattoo artists are remarkable.
They produce incredible works of art on human skin.
Depending on each artist’s style, you could end up going home with a masterpiece on your skin.
Some people choose to get tattoos because they want to be a walking canvas of that artist’s art.
They might believe that it enhances their beauty or that it’s simply a way to decorate their body.
Whatever the reason, many people decide to get a tattoo because they think a certain tattoo either looks pretty or they’ll look attractive with it on their skin.
Tattoos can be personal, cultural, or just fun.
Some individuals use tattoos to share personal stories with others while others are more mysterious about their meanings.
There are tons of reasons why people get tattoos in today’s world.