Michael 84

Tattoos On Trend: Why I’ll Never Get A Tattoo

Wednesday, 12th September, 2018

Tattoo? No Thanks. Why I'll never jump on the tattoo trend

I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for all these years and I’ve never talked about one of the biggest trends in probably 10 – 15 years; It’s unisex and universal, I’m talking about tattoos. As you’ve seen in all my photos I don’t have any tattoos, and I’ve never felt the need to get one either. To be honest, I just don’t really ‘get’ them.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate tattoos or people who have them, I’m not against them or anything like that. I just don’t really understand why you’d want to get one, especially some of the ink people are putting on their bodies; It’s pretty crazy (even stupid) stuff. This is not really a guide or tips on reasons for you not to get one, it’s not to dissuade you, this is just some of my reasons for why I wouldn’t personally get one.

Why does it seem like everyone has a tattoo these days?

I think tattoos are just a trend, and the fad that is dying out.

This is definitely going to be Unpopular Opinion…

Tattoos Are Just A Trend

People will disagree, but I honestly believe that for the mainstream at least, tattoos are just a trend. They’re fashionable right now, but I can tell you from running a fashion blog, trends come in and out, but style is permanent. I think that this is more of a fashion trend rather than a style, so it’s not a great thing to have on your body which is supposed to be forever.

There’s bit of brief history in western popular culture to back up this theory. With tattoos going in and out of fashion from the 60s to the 90s, being associated with thugs, gangsters and general wrongins, which led to a lot of the mainstream attributing even the most simple and basic tattoos with thugs and gangster types, which is just a stereotype and fairly inaccurate.

I actually remember a nightclub back when I was younger who would check every guy’s arms to see if they had a tattoo and they had a policy of not letting anyone into the place if they had a tattoo; Making everyone remove their jackets to check. That was only around 11-12 years ago, if they did that today the place would probably be empty, times and attitudes have changed as we now know.

More and more people are getting tattoos, and they’re seen more in popular culture, with reality TV shows such as Just Tattoo Of Us, Tattoo Fixers and the “Ink” series in the USA. Needless to say this emphasises how popular tattoos have became in recent years, highlighting the trend further.

Body Art

I think that art is cool, and some ink does look cool. It’s not a secret that it’s known as body art, and to be honest, some does actually look really good. But do I really want to see this impressive piece of art every day on my body? Not for me. I’ll stick to other artistic interpretations.

I Don’t Need Or Want Something Written On My Body

Something I hear everyone who has a tattoo say is the following: “I won’t regret my tattoo because it means something to me“. That must be what they tell you in the tattoo parlours and studios up and down the country, because so many people I know have made this statement. I’ve never woke up one morning and thought, I want to get this tattooed on my body. There’s also plenty of people who do regret it, and either have them removed or covered up which looks even worse at times. Treatments for removal at clinics are up a staggering amount, with the tattoo removal business booming [read thisΒ and this]

Everyone Already Has Them!

Not everyone obviously, but a huge number of people already have them. One reason people had for getting a tattoo in the past was to be rebellious, another would be to be unique and different; However both of these things are untrue if everyone else is walking around with body art all over themselves. Tattoos may have been cool at one stage, but being like everyone else isn’t really cool.

Your Mum, Dad, Gran Has One

What’s worse than all of your friends, workmates and people your own age having a tattoo? The older generation having them! Copying the older generation has been uncool since the dawn of time, so if you want to have the trend of a 50 year old, this is now a way to do it! πŸ˜€

They Still Have That “Dodgy” Stereotype

There’s no getting away from it i’m afraid. A lot of people still discriminate towards people with tattoos, whether it’s men or women. I think that’s wrong, but sadly it’s true. Whether it’s going to a job interview or going to a restaurant or bar, people can be judgemental. There’s plenty of stories about people’s careers being hindered, not getting jobs and even stories about people being fired for a tattoo.

Tattoos Are A Bad Idea

I Think They Can Look Terrible

I’ve seen some pretty good tattoos. I think that some of the art is incredible, and what some people can do with some ink and a needle is really a work of art. Others on the other hand, look terrible. For most, it seems that less is not more, I’ve seen some really crappy designs and most of them are the more simplistic ones which are trying to be complicated. Larger graphics which are sparse or bare, or heavy ink tattoos on large areas of skin with nothing else around them making them look odd. I think there’s a lot more bad tattoos around than good ones.

The Worst Tattoo Ideas You Could Have

There’s plenty of tattoos in existence which may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but they’re not so hot any more. A few of the bad ones I’ve seen are:

  • Love” tattoos i.e. getting your current girlfriend/boyfriend’s name tattooed – Not a good idea
  • Tribal/barbed wire bands – Were cool for 5 minutes, not so much now
  • Quotes – Not Shakespeare, something even more tacky
  • Foreign Symbols– You don’t like Chinese culture, know the language or have any idea what the symbol really means, so why do you want ink of it?
  • Foreign Phrases – Again, when you can’t speak the language, why would you want a foreign phrase or quote? They’re often incorrect too.
  • Drunkenness – Getting something stupid when your drunk? Want to be one of the lads? Never a good idea.
  • Memories – You love your fish and it died, but do you really need a tattoo to commemorate it?
  • Celebrities – They could be a hero today, but there’s so many celeb scandals, you may look foolish to put it lightly later down the line. I won’t mention any names πŸ˜€

Blackout Tattoo Trend

And then there’s this one trend which is beyond crazy, being called a blackout tattoo. This is a fairly recent thing, and as it suggests it’s all about the ink, literally. People are getting solid ink tattoo’d on parts of their body; Walking around with literally an arm full of ink.

Have you ever seen people who’ve fell asleep drunk at a party and people have drawn on them, covering them with ink? That’s what it looks like, only more permanent (and probably more painful).

I guess a viable reason (if there was one) to get this done is to get a cover-up, but people are getting them thinking it’s a good idea, apparently it’s not, and could be a health risk.

The Verdict

I think that tattoos are a trend in mainstream pop culture, and I highly doubt that it’s a trend I’ll be jumping on. A lot of people are already speculating that the trend is dying off, so we’ll start to see less and less in the mainstream. There’ll always be tattoos, but for the populous, I think we’ll see less and less in the future. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one, it doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely regret it, it simply means that I expect the fad to end, as do others.

It probably still boils down to if you want one, get one, and if you don’t then don’t.

What are your thoughts on tattoos?

Further Reading & Resources

We’re Not Going To Reach ‘Peak Tattoo’ until 2025 (The Telegraph)

Don’t Get One And Stay Unique (ABC Australia by Lyle Tuttle)

How Tattoos Went From Subculture To Pop Culture (Huffington Post)

Why Are Tattoos So Popular (Saturday Evening Post)

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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

  1. Katie Said,

    What a judgemental post! If you don’t want one, don’t get one. Simple as that. It’s that old quote ‘The only difference between tattooed people and non tattooed people is tattooed people don’t care if you are not tattooed.’

    posted on Thursday 13th September, 2018 at 8:01
  2. Michael Said,

    Hi Katie, you are right, it is as simple as that. It’s not judgemental, it just points things out & my personal opinion. I’ve never heard of that old quote before πŸ˜€

    posted on Thursday 13th September, 2018 at 11:01