The changing culture through the years is now a veritable art form for all

Try to think of someone who has a tattoo. No doubt that the first image in your mind is a biker man, or a person who is associated to alternative culture. With reportedly one fifth of the British adult population having the minimum of one tattoo. They are becoming more popular in the past decade. Why is that?

Answers vary from visual aesthetics, to being able to commemorate an event, memory or a person. One of these reasons, is due to people finding tattooing a therapeutic experience. When a person is being tattooed, their skin is under immense stress from the needles in the tattoo machine. Due to the body’s reaction, it releasing endorphins similar an adrenaline rush to cope with the pain. Thus, making the person being tattooed feel like they are on a high. Although considering tattoo history, it has been allegedly discovered on ancient people’s bodies; that tattoos may have been intentionally placed on acupuncture points to relieve pain.

Another factor to consider is the bond between the tattoo artist and their client. After all, not every tattoo is quick, with some tattoos taking more than one session to complete. This means that a lot of the time, is spent by having the tattoo artist and client talk to each other. No doubt that the meaning behind the tattoo, which the client is getting, will eventually arise in conversation.

This can be a personal question, especially if the design of the tattoo is symbolic to a personal experience. Nevertheless, this perception of an experience can be changed by reframing the memory into one that is reinvigorating.

MACKAYAN: tattoos, a form of therapy?

By jasmine chan: arts Columnist

By doing this, it allows the client to forge a new identity that gives them the strength to move forward. It has been suggested that tattooed people suffer less from depression than their peers who did not have tattoos.

On the other hand, tattoos are not for everyone. Not everyone enjoys having a needle pierce their skin to create body art. Pricing of tattoos are variable too, with the value depending on how recognised the artist is, along with the time it takes to create. Social norms differ from cultures and countries. Some even banning tattooing by law. With the historical associations to tattoos being connected to gangs, sailors, and war. It is easy to see why some people dislike the idea of getting a tattoo. Some may not like the idea of having inked imagery on their body, as it can be perceived as ruining natural beauty.

To conclude, are tattoos a new way of therapy? Yes and no. It is new due to our understanding of the craft deepening. However, it is a practice that has a long history. Body art is not for everyone, especially for those who have a phobia of needles, and who do not have enough money. However, it can be a way of reframing past trauma into a positive light of celebrating the future. For those, who are nostalgic, etching memories physically helps reaffirm the importance.