Skin Deep 160

Statistics, Just where do they come from? Mostly when I read these lists of figures it conjures up images of middle-aged women stopping people in shopping centres to ask them a seemingly inexhaustible list of questions. It always looks like a thankless task with folk spying said women and trying not to catch the canvasser’s eyes as they hurry past.

But statistics do play an important role when it comes to dermagraphics for say, advertising and the like. I am often asked from other sectors of the media what statistics are available when it comes to tattooing. America seems to be the statistic capital of the world with ‘stats’ on almost every subject imaginable; tattooing isn’t left out, with various companies giving out differing figures for who’s tattooed and who’s not. Sadly as I often tell the enquiring media sources, the UK doesn’t seem to have any stats on tattoos.

So I was intrigued when Shirley from The Hemp Company based in Chester came up to me with a crumpled piece of paper with some new and interesting figures gathered about the tattooing industry.

Again, mostly based in the US, a recent Harris Interactive Poll said that:

34% of Americans with tattoos said that having a tattoo made them feel sexier. (Interestingly enough 42% of women felt this way compared to 25% of men).

29% said it made them feel more rebellious.

26% said it made them feel more attractive.

16% said it made them feel stronger.

Also in the same survey 57% of people without tattoos said they feel folk with tattoos got them because they were bucking against society. They also mentioned that tattoo wearers were less sexy and less intelligent.

Hmm, so the social stigma about tattoos is still alive and well and living in the good old US of A then?

The men’s magazine FHM recently ran a top 100 sexiest women feature where they asked the young ladies involved if any had tattoos.

The UK poll girls said that four out of the top ten had tattoos and ten out of the top twenty sported some form of ink and overall thirty six out of the hundred had a tattoo.

In the US, eight out of the top ten had a tattoo and overall forty-five out of the one hundred had ink. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that is nearly half of the girls classed as the sexiest women alive wear at least one tattoo. 

I’m not too sure what statistics really say about society, but all the figures seem to point towards what most of us already know, that tattoo wearers are intelligent, articulate and tattoos are sexy!


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