Tattoos: bigger, bolder and granny might have one, too

Tattoos – bigger, bolder and granny might have one too

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Tattoos: bigger, bolder and granny might have one, too

Art being created on skin at Chapel Tattoo studio in Windsor. Sandy is halfway through an eagle on the back of her neck. Art being created on skin at Chapel Tattoo studio in Windsor. Sandy is halfway through an eagle on the back of her neck. Photo: Jason South

It has been a long time since tattoos were considered to be the exclusive domain of gangsters, sailors, prisoners and Collingwood supporters.

But new research may surprise: nearly one in five Australians now have at least one tattoo and women have overtaken men in the ink department.

McCrindle research shows 24 per cent of women have a tattoo, next to 15 per cent of men. Tattooists said women had been a driving force in tattoos for the past five years and the trend was continuing.

It’s a huge change from a decade ago, when women with tattoos were frowned upon. Now the mum next to you at playgroup, the priest, the school principal and your lawyer could well be sporting one.

Researcher Mark McCrindle said tattoos had shifted from being a sign of rebellion and were now being used to mark and celebrate significant life events.

“This has created a yearning to symbolise the chapters of life with new markers and tattoos are part of the new symbolism,” he said. “In a generation tattoos have been transformed from a sign of rebellion and nonconformity to symbols of personal meaning and life-change.”

McCrindle’s research illustrates just how common being inked has become. And the figures suggest that rather than a drunken mistake on humid night in Thailand, the decision to get a tattoo has become much more considered. More than a third of first-timers are over 26 years, and one in five Australians are 35 or older when they get inked for the first time.

In fact, tattoos are so common that parlour managers are worried about overcrowding in the market. There are more than 1000 related tattoo businesses registered across Australia, with […]