I have tattoos. They remind me of the struggle I went through, not just to get here, but to have them, pay for them and have them mean something. They aren’t just mindless doodles on my body, they’re my life, etched into my skin. After the pain (sometimes agony), I look at them, my skin tingles and I remember. That is the reason I’m addicted to being tattooed, even though I’m terrified of injections and a complete wuss when it comes to pain.
Tattoos have a long history as an art form, with the oldest evidence of a tattooed body being dated at about 3,000 B.C. Despite its enduring presence, only a few short decades ago tattoos were considered to be reserved for a subculture of military and biking men. Now it’s made a return to the consciousness of popular culture, with about 36% of individuals aged 18-25 sporting the permanent art. This rise in popularity and deviation from tattoo culture’s traditional place in hypermasculine expression is partially the fault of the same factors that influence most millennial trends: social media and television. Television shows such as Miami Ink brought the beauty and attainability of tattoos to living rooms, and artists now have platforms with millions of followers to showcase their enviable work. But tattoos hurt, sometimes a lot, so why are so many individuals flocking to the needle drawn art form?
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