10 Facts About the Psychology of Tattoos

8. Sense of Belonging

Human beings have been apart of tribes for as long as they have existed. Many gangs get matching tattoos as a representation that they are truly apart of the group. Of course, not all cliques of people with tattoos are criminals. In fact, people who join the army are usually seeking a type of brotherhood that they cannot find anywhere else, and getting tattoos during military service has become a rite of passage.

In the early 1900s, sailors in the Navy were the first ones to proudly return home from their travels with tattoos they got as a souvenir from their time spent in foreign lands. According to a post on the US Army’s official website, they estimate that around 90% of all soldiers have at least one tattoo. It gives them a sense of pride, and it also becomes a way to memorialize their fallen brothers, as well as remember tragic events, like the 9/11 attacks. According to a study conducted by LifeHacker, people in the military account for 36% of all people who have tattoos.

7. Less Anxiety About Death

Anyone with a tattoo will roll their eyes at the all-too-common question: what they will do about their tattoos when you get older, and their skin starts to sag? Clearly, that possibility has crossed someone’s mind before getting a tattoo, but they are making the decision that they don’t care. People with tattoos are more likely to live in the moment, highlighting youthful skin, and not worry too much about the future.

Amy Bleuel founded an organization called Project Semicolon, where she encouraged anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts to draw a semicolon on their wrist as a reminder that anything difficult going on in their life does not have a period at the end of that sentence. Life goes on, and things get better. Amy said, “You are the author of your life, and you should not end it.”  She got a tattoo of a semicolon in memory of her father, who committed suicide. Many other people did the same.

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