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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Tattoos are acceptable

Tats+illustration
Tats illustration

Having always admired the art of tattoos, I used to believe that tattoos were strictly sentimental art pieces that have additional meaning. While that may be true for some individuals, it is not mandatory for those choosing to get work done. Tattoos are an art form of self-expression.
The art of tattooing has been around for thousands of years. The first documented tattoos were discovered on a mummy known as Ötzi the Iceman who lived over 5,000 years ago. The prehistoric iceman had lines across his knees, wrist, ankles and lower back. While tattoos were not extremely popular in this era, historians believe that he used tattooing in order to treat physical pain.
Although the purpose of tattoos has drastically changed since Ötzi was alive, the art has gained popularity in recent years. A survey conducted by the Statista Research Department in 2021 revealed that 17% of Americans had a tattoo. This number has increased significantly in recent years and continues to.
As the number of individuals with ink grows, it is important to note that tattoos should not have to hold additional meaning in order to be accepted by others. Tattoos can simply be a form of self-expression, a display of artwork and have become more accepted in the workplace.
Getting a tattoo can be an outlet for people to express themselves. One in ten people find it difficult to recognize their emotions. Where an individual’s verbal expressions of emotion fail, tattoos can assume responsibility to showcase their values and the things in their life that hold the most importance. 25% of those with tattoos explained that their tattoo held deep personal meaning. It provided a way for them to showcase an important aspect of their lives.
Tattoos allow a subject to display their individuality, even when they do not symbolize a deeper meaning. The process of selecting a design and its placement results in an outcome that is unique to each individual. The freedom that accompanies selecting a tattoo’s font, design, placement and color permits the individual to collaborate with the artist.
This practice of expressing individuality has been shown to significantly increase an individual’s self-esteem. For example, students’ tattoos have helped them gain more confidence in themselves. A study of American college students showed that individuals with four or more tattoos had much higher self-esteem levels than those without tattoos.
Tattooing is an artform that should be appreciated regardless of whether the piece has underlying meaning. The process of creating a tattoo is extremely intricate. The artist must use a needle to inject ink into the second layer of skin called the dermis. Whether it is simple line work, requires shading, shadowing or highlighting — the artist is meticulous throughout the entire process.
Those who get a piece of body art are displaying the tattoo artist’s work, which should be celebrated regardless of the design selected.
Students like Juliana Arciszewski, a nursing freshman, believe that the popularity of tattoos has stemmed from their acceptance in the workplace.
“I think they have become so popular because employers don’t seem to care about tattoos as much as they used to,” Arciszewski said. “I think people are starting to get tattoos to express their personal styles.”
While visible tattoos have been frowned upon by businesses in the past, they have begun to become much more accepting of body art. 91% percent of managers say the workplace is much less formal than in prior years. In fact, one third of company employers have claimed they are accepting of employees with visible tattoos.
The previous issue of ensuring that tattoos be covered up during office hours is much less prevalent today. The increasing number of tatted individuals has caused body art to become much more normalized in society. A survey conducted by Statista Research Department indicated that 41% of millennials had at least one tattoo. Born between 1981 and 1996, their generation had the highest percentage of tattooed individuals. With the average age of a first-time manager in the United States being 30 years old, many millennials are already in the leadership positions that set workplace dress codes.
While the number of individuals getting tattoos has increased, tattoo removals have also become more common. At least 11% of Americans have looked into removing a tattoo after receiving their design. With the technology available today, people are able to remove a tattoo through a series of laser treatments. The cost of removal can range between $100 to $1000 depending upon size, location, color and time elapsed since getting the tattoo.
The action of getting a tattoo can be helpful in expressing oneself, displaying works of art and has become much more acceptable in the workplace. Whether or not you have decided to get a tattoo, we can all appreciate the beauty found in the art form.
– Kadence Cobb is a journalism freshman
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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