what’s up with the tattoos?

imagesGrowing up I rarely saw a tattoo but these days they seem to be everywhere.  Tattoos began as a way for sailors to avoid being forced into the British Royal navy following the American revolution.  Over the last decade it appears like tattoos have become a part of todays pop culture.  When I see an NBA player without one it takes me a few moments to figure out why they look different than everyone else.  It is because that person is free of ink.

The millennials love the tattoos.  Everyone these days is trying to establish their personal brand and a tattoo is part of ones identity.  It is part of their own personal path.  I am fascinated with it particularly what those tattoos will represent when these people turn 90.

The other day I saw this guy (maybe late 20’s early 30’s) driving his bicycle in lower Manhattan.  He looked a bit like the actor Adam Driver.  He had on no helmut (which is another insanity), he had a heavy lock draped around his body and had a bunch of tattoos.  A few on his shoulders, one on each calf (which you can only see in the summer with shorts) and perhaps more.  I started wondering as I have many times before “what’s up with the tattoos”?

Then a few days later I was with Emily and I commented on the tattoos.  I asked her the same question I have been asking myself.  “What’s up with the tattoos”?  Her answer was really interesting.  Maybe it is about rebellion.  There isn’t much to rebel against these days.  Sure this generation is living their lives differently than I grew up.  They are more creative, they are trying to find places to work where they are happy, they are starting their own companies, they are by and large supported by their families not necessarily financially but in spirit, their has not been any major upheaval in their lives except for possibly college debt.  Gay marriage has become legal and weed isn’t far behind.  The confederate flag has come down in a relatively calm manner compared to other times in history.

Getting a tattoo is a personal mark that puts permanent ink on your body that is only representative of your own desires.  It is a unique statement about yourself.  Curious what others think.