Will the popularity of tattoos fade?

I think they’ll become (and are already becoming ) less popular with the young. When your folks and all your parents freinds have tattoos, they suddenly become less attractive. I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years or so, tattoos are considered something only “old people” get. (this coming from someone who has and likes tattoos)

I agree with pokey: their popularity will eventually decline, and fewer people will get tattoos, but they will never be the taboo they once were. I think the analogy to men’s earrings is a good one.

Twenty years ago? Really? I started college 16 years ago, and tattoos weren’t popular then. From what I can tell, the fad started shortly after I graduated: I got my first tattoo in 1994, and, while they still definitely weren’t as popular, I know that I was hearing more about “mainstream” people getting them. I feel like the trend was fully established by 1998, when I got the second tat – though there still weren’t as many mainstream people walking around the tattoo convention as I imagine there would be today.

Could be regional differences, though: I went to college near Philadelphia, at the time of my first tatoo I was living in the Baltimore area, and the second one was obtained in Richmond, Va. (I was living in Northern Va. at the time). You’re in Minnesota, but I’m all East Coast … maybe tattoos spread out here from the northwest? :wink:

I’m glad the doctors with lasers are getting wealthy by removing tattoos instead of holding the world hostage.

I think this has been answered pretty well. If you look at how acceptable some minor facial piercings have become, I think you might get a decent idea of what future of tattoos for suburbanites is. These days, it’s not weird to see someone with a small nose stud or eyebrow bar - some jobs aren’t cool with it, but plenty of them are. Visible tattoos will probably continue to set people apart, but I imagine most of them aren’t the immediately visible kind.

Yup. Sad to say, I started college over two decades ago. Tattoos weren’t as popular then as they are now, but they were already on the rise. Enough so that folks were commenting. But then, maybe it doesn’t take many Midwesterners getting inked for the more traditional element to take notice. The observation has been made from time to time that we in the Midwest tend to be pretty socially conservative.

Yes a friend of mine has jumped on this bandwagon and yes he is a spoiled rich kid that I guess wants to look more “hardcore”, but not only does he geet really dumb tattoos but it seems like he grows bored with them and there is always less time elapsing between each tattoo. Or have you ever seen someone that you wouldn’t expect to have a tattoo, not only have one but have a huge or obnoxious tattoo? There is this very petite blonde girl in one of my classes who looks like she is about 12 in one of my classes and she has this huge circular tattoo on the bottom of her forearm and it looks really out of place and weird.

I personally have no problem with people having as many tattoos as they are willing to spend the money on, but damn a lot of people will regret it.

not only does he geet really dumb tattoos


There is this very petite blonde girl in one of my classes who looks like she is about 12 in one of my classes

Damnit :smack:

Tattoos have been with us since the first cave man decided to brag of his bravery by showing off his scars.

And there have been ups and downs through the millenia that followed.

Tattoos become more popular when soldiers and sailors are away from home, all made to dress alike, which causes them to lose their sense of self.

So tattoos become more popular during wars and less after prolonged peace.

That doesn’t make any sense. In the US, tattoos are at an all-time high in terms of mainstream acceptability and popularity, and we haven’t been in a major military conflict since Vietnam.

I also think that, as tattoo removal technology improves, the popularity of tattoos themselves will only increase. If a tat becomes something you get, keep for five or six years, than replace with something new, tattooing itself won’t be the trend: it’ll be the style of tattoo that is the trend. When someone comes up with a quick, effective tattoo removal system, the tatoo will become as mainstream as the necktie.

I recently started college after a ten year hiatus and I’m surprised by how many men and women in my classes have tattoos. I was equally surprised to see that tattoos crossed racial lines as a lot of the black men and women are also sporting tats. I was surprised because growing up it was mostly whites, biker types or military types, who had tattoos.

I recognize tattoo as a venerable art that’s likely to remain with us for a long time. I still think it’s possible for a venerable tradition to be turned into a fad. Cigar smoking wasn’t invented in the 90’s but it became trendy to smoke them. Kabbalah isn’t exactly the new religion on the block but it seems to have achieved a trendy status among certain entertainment icons.

I don’t know quite how to put this into words but I see some differences between those who are serious about their tats and those who have given in to the trends. Those who are more serious about their tats tend to have rather unique looking images on their body. Sure, a lot of people have flaming skulls or maltese crosses but when added with the other images on their body it makes for a unique image that has some personal meaning to them. I don’t think a lot of the women who get those cute little designs on their lower back select those images out of any deep personal meaning. Same goes for guys who get tribal tats or barbed wire across the bicep.

That’s just my personal little theory but as I have no magical device with which to peer into the souls of my fellow man I can’t be sure. Either way I think the excitement will die down as all fads eventually do but there will still be serious tattoo enthusiast.


I hope that never happens: a tattoo that isn’t permanent isn’t a tattoo. :frowning:

I agree with this. I already see this happening. My brother and his wife both have tattoos. I was teasing my niece and nephew about what kind of tattoos they were going to get, and they made it very clear they would never get a tattoo. I asked why. “Because tattoos are for old people.” And they didn’t mean older people, like 18. They definately see them as something that old people like their parents do. The generation of kids that will be raised by the now young tattooed kids aren’t going to want tattoos. They will find something that will be unique, make them stand apart from the older generation that they will want to separate themselves from. So I think this is really just a generational fad. When the kids that have them now, start having kids, that’s when it will no longer be popular.

Given that the tattoo “fad” has been building for about a decade now, I think it’s possible that attitudes toward tattoos are undergoing a sea change. Tattooing definitely isn’t a fad on par with Cavaricci pants or Hypercolor shirts.

My sister and I joke that the little-butterfly-tattoo-on-the-breast is gonna look like Mothra someday.

eh…well, it gives us a laugh, anyway.