Why Tattoos Have Become Millennials’ Defining Mark

Let’s talk a bit about celebrities, people who represent a certain role-model to many millennials out there. If you take a look at their bodies, you won’t fail to notice that around 80% or more have something inked on their body. And even if you’re not a celebrity and are a millennial (or a member of the Generation Y), you might as well have a tattoo on your skin. According to a research, 38% of millennials have at least one tattoo on their bodies.

But why do they opt for such a decision? What is it with tattoos and millennials?

The trend of tattooing

The trend of tattooing

This trend has become such a powerful one and in most cases, has a deeper, hidden meaning. Tattooing was prominent in the ancient world – it was used as a tool to express one’s gratitude to his or her religion or gods, or simply as a sign of identity. Ancient Egyptians, members of the Hindu culture and Native Americans have all been inking themselves for centuries as it represented a token of tradition and belonging.

During the first decades of the 20th century, people who had a tattoo were regarded as bad boys and girls, but things have definitely changed since then, as it could be a bit tricky to find a millennial without a single tattoo on their skin.

The mark of identity

The mark of identity

Many people who are on the far side of getting a tattoo would certainly ask about the reason to pay a certain amount of money and endure a somewhat painful procedure in order to have something on their skin for the rest of their life. However, for millennials, it is all about having their own identity and place in this world.

Since life today is rapidly changing and is never constant, tattoos can represent a certain anchor to a certain period of time or feeling that will never come again, and those 30% of Australians aged between 20 and 29 who have a tattoo agree with this. They connect their tattoos to the past, and when everything in the world changes, their tattoos stay there reminding them of the times past. According to Jess Murray, a marketing professor, this is an expression of oneself, and even though it doesn’t reflect the whole person, it says something about them for sure.

The most popular choices

The most popular choices

There are about 10 million results if you type “tattoo styles” into Google, which is a sign that there is a plethora of combinations and styles that people choose to put on themselves, and they change over time. Just a decade ago, it was extremely popular to have a very important word in Chinese letters, making that word known only to you and those you reveal your secret to. Nowadays, there are other styles that have taken that throne.

The most important ones are Japanese tattoos, and Australians are regarded as the best professionals in this field. This is the reason why a big percentage of millennials from Down Under choose to get custom Japanese tattoos in Sydney or other cities. Moreover, the watercolour trend is on the rise and will be very popular in the years to come as well, just like the newest trend – geometric shapes.

The generation gap

The generation gap

Perhaps the reason behind connecting tattoos to something rebellious is the generation gap between millennials and the members of the Generation Y on one side, and everyone else on the other. Tattoos have never been more popular, and will definitely be even more in the future. Celebrities such as Rihanna and Justin Bieber, who are certainly role-models to many youngsters right now, are definitely contributing to this.

This is also a reason why in many countries, including Japan, it is very difficult to get a job if you have a visible tattoo on your body. People who are not members of the already mentioned generations have certain prejudices – it’s not that they don’t like it, but they rather perceive inked people as rebellious, which, they think, can affect the job they’re doing. Luckily, this is changing as new times are coming and millennials slowly taking over the chief positions.

Once a significant change in their life has happened, many people tend to put a symbol on their skin making it possible to forever recall that specific moment. And that’s not bad, it just proves how much respect and love people have towards certain situations and people around them. Millennials are now ruling in this department, but it’s just a matter of time when the Y’s will take over the kingdom.

About the author:

Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly in fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: LA Fashion, Viva Glam Magazine, Just Haves, How to Simplify and Carousel.

Find her on: Twitter  Google +


  1. Προτιμώ τα μικρά και διακριτικά τατουάζ Ντέμη μου!
    Ήθελα να κάνω αλλα δεν με άφησαν…?
    Καλη εβδομάδα!Φιλακια!1

  2. It’s so true that tattoos are a mark of identity and also, of rebellion – or it was, in the past. Now it’s so strange and funny, because in the past it was a bit awkward to have a tattoo, but today, if we don’t have one, we are the awkward ones 🙂 Wishing you a lovely week!

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