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Do you think more men or women get tattoos?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 3, 2006

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Photo of Kenny Etter

“I think more women are getting tattoos than they used to, but overall I think men still get more.”

Photo of Teresa Arab

“I think a lot more college-age girls are getting them. More than the men.”

Photo of Rachel Peart

“Women, because it’s become more fashionable for women to have them.”

Photo of Bassem Chahine

“I think it’s still men that get the most. Men tend to keep getting them, whereas women usually only get one or two.”

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trinity 11 years, 8 months ago

blow it out an orifice, marion...i have three absolutely stunningly gorgeous daughters-and EACH of 'em has at least one tattoo! they're not obnoxious, weird, offensive tats, and some can't even be seen when wearing proper clothing (which they do, they don't dress like hoochies with pants down below cracks or tops cut to their navels). i am most proud&honored by the latest one all three of 'em got done; it's a beautiful work of art and a tribute to each other. and, i must say, "skin illustrations" rocks! beautiful work! :)

you know, i have no clue where you got the notion that you are somehow an authority on everything; i read that in most all your posts. but guess what? you're not.

irishblues 11 years, 8 months ago

I think the preponderance of "new age" tatoos are tribal and actually do mean something to the owner. I was in my 30's before I got my first tatoo. I thought long and hard about what it should be. I selected tats that meant something to me, about me. By the time I got by third and last one, it was about me and my children. All three are small and cannot be seen when normally dressed for business. In otherwords, if I don't want you to see them you won't. Several people I know have religious emblems representing their faith. It's just a new way to express themselves. Even if they end up in a tatoo removal laser salon years from now. Some tats I've seen are absolute works of art, and some are the goofiest things I've ever seen on a man or a woman. I'm not the judge. My 20 somethings sons always say they want a tatoo. I remind them of the permanance and to select something they would be proud to show their children and grandchildren when they are 80.

classclown 11 years, 8 months ago

Women don't get those cute little tattoos anymore. Some of them can be rather outlandish. And I doubt I'll ever like seeing sleeves on a woman.

The one thing that bothers me about tats is how they've become a trend. People used to get a tatoo that suited them. Now everyone seems to get the same damn ones that everyone else has because everyone else has it.

They're not t shirts folks. These are something you'll have the rest of your life. Try a little originality. Don't just be another same ol' tattoo in the crowd.

Still, I'd rather see a woman get a tattoo than all those damn piercincs all over her face. That's just downright hideous.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 8 months ago

I always thought I'd like one that has a symbol for family, as I love my children dearly and my honey too! But, not for me. I'm 80% coward and the other 20% is, well, coward!

But my first and only one would be about my family. I can't think of two other things that would come before them!

Speakout 11 years, 8 months ago

Beauty in every human being is not what is on the outside. I have seen many people construe beauty to only be what they look like. "Ugly" people may really be beautiful if we get to know them and appreciate their special talents or personality.

Tattoos are the ugliest things people put on their bodies and I have to agree with Marion makes one (male or female) look cheap. If you want to look cheap, get an expensive tattoo-A real tramp stamp.

I have seen people who can barely pay the rent, pay for a thousand dollar tattoo. How smart is that? Save your money, the fad will fade and you will look strangely funny. And what about when you get older, the beautiful tattoo will look faded, colorless and wrinkled, just like YOU!

james bush 11 years, 8 months ago

Tattoos are ugly! Perhaps KU's women's studies program will find a remedy for the inferiority affecting women who think otherwise.

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 8 months ago

I think, if it is given thought and care, a tattoo can be a beautiful thing. I have one myself, not that you'd see it when I'm walking down the street or at work. My problem with the "fad" of tats is this- who is going to hire you for a good job if you have a tat on your neck? Or if you're fully sleeved?

Piercings can be removed during the day, hair can be colored back to "normal" colors. But that Tweety bird on your jugular? It's gonna be there.

And then this- will Tweety mean the same thing when you're 50 as it did when you were 20? (if you recall, it was probably "Oh he's so cute!") When I got my tat, I waited years to find the right design. I didn't just wander in to my local tattoo parlor and say "Gimme a Tazmanian Devil RIGHT HERE." I put thought into what I knew would be with me forever. And it means the same now as it did 10 years ago. And it will be as important to me 20 years from now.

THINK before you ink.

Hah! I slay myself.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 8 months ago

I happen to love skin illustrations...the good ones. It has to mean something and I think there is nothing sexier than a guy that has his babies tattooed on his arm. I went up to a guy at the indoor pool one day (couldn't help myself). I love art and this guy was probably 250 lbs and had the most gorgeous tattoo of his kids on his arm. He spoke with such pride when he showed me where his brand new baby was going to go. Rock on dude!

Personally, I have no tatts. I just don't feel the need to get one but if I did, I'd be like Gootsie and get my babies drawn where all could see. (Then I'd get one just for the hubby...);)

sunflower_sue 11 years, 8 months ago

All that just being said, I guess I never answered the ?. Men. I still think more men get them. But then again???

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 8 months ago

oh- I forgot to answer it too.

I'd say in a college town, more women get them, but in the real world? I'd say more men.

KS 11 years, 8 months ago

In the not too distant past, some buddies and I were walking along the beach in Ft. Lauderdale FL. We all could not help but notice an extremely well built, very beautiful female walk by in an extremely revealing bikini. One of my friends commented that what made her so striking was that she did not have one tatoo. We all agreed. Maybe the gals think they are cute, sexy or whatever, but I can honestly say from the male point of view, they are ugly and most guys don't like them on women. Why mess up a beautiful thing?

ms_canada 11 years, 8 months ago

I would really love to have a tat on my shoulder but I am too darn chicken to go get it done. My sister would have a fit if I did it. But truly, I think men are more inclined to tats than women. Some tats are pretty but most men get ugly ones. The big question is why? Why? such ugly pictures. My nephew has his arms covered and I just hate to look at them. Fortunately he lives in Calif. and I in the north. Maybe thats why my sister would have a fit if I got one. She hates them on her son, too. Hmmmmmm. never thought of that before.

Berserk 11 years, 8 months ago

I think girls need to stop getting the lower back tattoos, it's a giant symbol that SCREAMS I AM A HUGE SLUT! LOOK AT THE TARGET I PUT ON MY LOWER BACK. Ankle tattoos are just completely distasteful. Roses, flowers hearts frogs geckos etc etc, all been done, be original.

I am all for someone who has one ounce of originality and gets a nice looking tattoo on some portion of the body that work attire does not reveal.

And guys.... get out of the skulls and daggers faze of your worthless little life... it's old and boring....

Linda Aikins 11 years, 8 months ago

LOLOL! Prospector!! Have Hannibal cut and paste. INCREDIBLY CLEVER!

Sue, love the "hubby tattoo." As his eyesight gets worse and our skin starts to sag, the tat would get bigger. All would be happy! ;)

mom_of_three 11 years, 8 months ago

My aunt has a tatoo, and you don't see it unless she wants you to see it. I also have had a store manager who had several small tatoos on her body. One was small and above her ankle. You barely noticed it while at work. I don't mine those. It's the ones which cover a large portion of the bodies, men and women, which I don't find attractive. But it is a personal choice.
I have thought about it before, something small and tasteful, but I hate needles. So I don't see it happening any time soon.

beatrice 11 years, 8 months ago

When it comes to tattoos, I am certainly conservative in my views. I prefer my art to be the kind that can hang on a wall. Of course, each of us should be able to make that decision for ourself. However, I've read that there are only two people who really care about your tattoos -- you, and the person not giving you a job because of them.

My favorite are the stories of people who get chinese characters about spirituality or love or such, only to find that it actually reads "sweet and sour pork."

I'm not a fan of tattoos, and I chuckle at the fact that getting them used to be a sign of independance, but now, since everyone has them, they are just another sign of conformity. I think more girls are getting them than boys today, and tomorrow more girls will learn to regret having them than boys.

KS 11 years, 8 months ago

When you all are about 50+, just think about what those "beauties" are going to look like? Did you ever see a "mass run of ink"? Ugh! It won't wash off either. Oh well, maybe they will fit in with the wrinkles? Hope you all enjoy them. I tend to think a little further ahead.

H_Lecter 11 years, 8 months ago

Would you hang the same picture in your living room forever?

Do you ever want to see grandma's "strategically placed tattoo?"

H_Lecter 11 years, 8 months ago

Prospecter / Gootsie,

What a delightful idea to rearrange tattoos. Now that would be the work of a true master. I didn't read the posts until posting.

rodneyking 11 years, 8 months ago

people who get tattoos where they can't see them, only get them to show others. I agree w/OTTR, who wnts to see a lower back tattoo. Most people who get them aren't attractive in that area and if they are, why ruin it with a tattoo?

hottruckinmama 11 years, 8 months ago

i have 2 tattoos. a hummingbird on my ankle and a butterfly on my back up by my shoulder. i've had them for about 5 years now. i'm proud of them and frankly don't much care what other people think. i have to admit i don't have any desire to have them on my arm like a guy but to each his/her own. have to also admit my mom about freaked out when i got them. but i think she has grown to not mind them to much over the years.

oldgranny 11 years, 8 months ago

I think a pretty dainty flower or something like that is fine on a young woman or even not so young woman. I hate to see a young girl that is covered with them though.

thunderbuns 11 years, 8 months ago

What about Gort?

"Gort, tattoo burata tik tu!!"

Charlie Bannister 11 years, 8 months ago

I'm with Marion. It is a disgusting personal defacement of your body, man or woman. Both of my sisters got one on the same weekend. They came up to me simultaneously and were showing them off. I informed them that they now officially resembled trailer trash. Sorry folks, but this is one of my major pet peeves, along with the equally disgusting practice of body piercing. YUCK!!!!!

GreenEyedBlues 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion, Leave "primitive peoples", as you call them, out of this. Among other CULTURES, body embellishment is practiced for an entirely different purpose than the Western world.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 8 months ago

WOW - great stuff! I wasn't able to get back here. Katie, a funnel cloud? HAHAHA!

You guys rock. I think I'll get a tattoo of OTS on my butt. But I also thought I could get B - O - B and only have to have two b's put on.

cobratastic 11 years, 8 months ago

dear marion.. is it acceptable that i have tattoos since i am part gypsy by blood? thanks... your opinon means so little to me.

DanHenk 11 years, 8 months ago

I'm a tattoo artist in NYC. I saw this article because it was on the tattoo website In New York we are regulated by the Health Department, recieve regular inspections, spore test our autoclave, and every two years attend a several hour course on crosscontamination and proper sterilization techniques. I went through several years of cancer therapy, and I can can declare for a fact that tattoo artists on the whole are way more steril than those in the nursing profession. A bad tattoo can be bad art, and bad placement further accentuates this, but that's true whether it's a tattoo, or a giant fantasy airbrush painting on the side of a van. Everyone has different tastes, and no one, the workplace or the government, should attempt to regulate them. A beautiful tattoo can be a piece of art. There are tattoo artists working now that are better than most commercial artists. I personally attended art school, am in galleries on a regular basis, and have done commercial illustration as well. Do a little more research before you spout off your predjudices.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

I don't have any tattoos. I thought about it once, but I didn't do it.

Small tattoos don't bother me, but I don't like the big ones. And it's a stereotype, I know, but when I see guys with tattoos I think of thugs and gang members and drunks and such.

I think it's probably still more socially acceptable for men to have tattoos than women, so I think more men probably get them. But that could depend on what age group you're talking about. It's more common anymore with younger people.

I do, however, have pierced ears. That's it, though.

I don't understand tongue piercing or nose piercing. I saw a pic in a magazine once of a woman who I swear had huge bolts through her nipples. All I could think of when I saw her was PAIN.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

But then, come to think of it, talking about stereotypes, I won't date any guy who wears cowboy boots. Not anything against cowboys, just personal bad experiences.

Jadia 11 years, 8 months ago

Marion, you sound more like someone who prefers to hear them self speak as opposed to anyone who has a real opinion about anything. I myself have four tattoos and have at least one more planned. Every one of them represents something significant in my life that I will never forget or regret getting a tattoo for. And as far as the mentality of "those people" I think you need to do a little more research about that prior to taking a stand on something you don't get. Oh and the whole, don't touch people with tattoos and read my literature about hepatitis c, read it yourself. The people that incur hepatitis c from getting a tattoo are either getting it done by someone who is not licensed, or doing a "homemade" tattoo. Do some research on those. I get my tattoos done by a licensed professional and I do not have hepatitis anything. I'm probably a cleaner person than you. So to sum things up, get off of your soap box, and take a real good look at the people that you are provoking (and yes they are real people just in case you wanted to blurt out some other article that does not mean did-a-lee-squat), you just might find something interesting underneath the "ugly" tattoos. Thank you by the way to DanHenk that is a true comparison about the nursing world. Its funny how people can overlook the patient that dies of infection, or misdiagnosis (such as cancer) and not say anything, yet have so much nothingness to say about tattoos.



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