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Why do People get Tattoos? 10 Reasons People Get Them


Choosing if or when to get tattoos varies greatly from person to person. As individuals, none of us are exactly the same in our reasoning behind the choices we make. There may be similarities, but rarely do we all share the deeper parts of our reasoning.


Sometimes emotion is a driver for someone to be inspired to get a new or first tattoo. It might be a memorial piece for a loved one or a lost pet. It could be done to honor someone, living or dead. Maybe you have a deep connection to the teachings of a leader, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi, and you’d like a portrait or quote by one of these legends. Perhaps you simply want to honor your mom, so you get something connected to her in one way or another. Emotion can be a huge reason behind someone getting their tattoos.

A nice memorial piece, like this wave in water color done by Leah, is a reason a people get tattoos.
A Memorial Tattoo Done by Leah


Adventure can often be the inspiration behind someone getting a tattoo, especially first-timers. The new experience, or just the rush that a lot of people get from having tattoos applied can be categorized as being adventurous. We all need a little adventure now and then, and a tattoo is a great way to achieve that goal!


When we are referring to tribal, in this instance, it’s not in reference to the style of tattoo. It’s rather the inspiration behind getting a tattoo that’s coming from a group. For example, 3 brothers are talking and someone brings up the idea of getting matching tattoos, the discussion goes further until they finally decide that they are going to get their tattoos together. Or a real life example in our studio, 4 friends who grew up together, who often enjoyed playing Legos as kids, all came into our studio and got a Legoman head tattoo, but each was a different variation.

Some tattoos are done as a group, as seen in these matching Legoman head tattoos done for a group of friends, by Pineapple.
Legoman Head Tattoos For 4 Friends by Pineapple


No matter what religion or spiritual philosophy a person proscribes to, if any at all, tattoos celebrating their beliefs have been around since tattoos were first done on a human. Spiritually inspired markings have been found on mummies dating back further than 3,000BC. People of all sorts of spiritual and religious backgrounds have tattoos, ranging from the more mainstream religions to Pagan and Wiccan beliefs.


Although not a big reason in Western society, ritualistic skin art can still be found in other cultures around the world. The people that get these kinds of tattoos are usually members of a tribe, commonly in African and Indo-Asian areas and are people that are mostly cut off from modern society. The meaning behind these tattoos range from spiritual, coming of age, status and achievements.


This is probably the worst way to get a tattoo because you really haven’t put much thought into it. Impulsive tattoos can turn to a regret within hours. This is a partial reason why any tattoo studio with standards will not tattoo someone who is under the influence, as the recipient can’t make a responsible and informed decision. With that said, if you have a tattoo idea you’ve been thinking about and you impulsively decide to just go get it, that isn’t a bad thing since you have put thought into it.


Being addicted to getting a new tattoo isn’t a bad thing. There are far worse things out there to be addicted to. Sometimes a person just gets the urge to continue work that they’ve already gotten started on their body. Some people find the experience pleasurable, spiritual and even relaxing. There are people out there that fall asleep during their tattoo session.


A lot of people like to express themselves, to be unique and show others who they are through an art form, like tattoos. Expressing oneself through a tattoo is a very pure reason, but be cautious that you don’t get something you may regret down the road. Don’t be impulsive with a tattoo for self expression.


Tattoos to commemorate an event or achievement are not uncommon. Images representing places you’ve been, things you’ve done, important dates and so on are all commemoration tattoos.


Some people get a tattoo to indicate a medical issue. Some people get tattoos to cover or even enhance scars. A wrist tattoo expressing that a person is diabetic or has an allergy is not uncommon.


There are 10 solid reasons why people get tattoos, but there are others. With the vast differences in our personalities, there are many reasons behind the tattoos we choose to get and when to get them. Sometimes are reasons are deeply personal and keep those reasons to ourselves.


If you’re thinking about getting you next tattoo done, schedule an appointment with an award-winning tattoo parlor. Here at Lucky Bamboo Tattoo, we have some of the best and most experienced tattoo artists in Utah and the Salt Lake City area. We can tattoo any style you’d like, and our artists can even design your next piece as well.

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