Monday, April 13, 2015

The Identity Crisis Under the Ink

THE ATLANTIC
By Chris Weller

Growing up in a rapidly changing and challenging world, most young people have struggled at some point or another with figuring out who they might be. Tattoos, recent research suggests, don’t just express identity: They help define it. Although tattoos have been around for millennia, they’re more popular now than ever. In 1960, there were approximately 500 professional tattoo artists operating in the United States. By 1995, that number had risen to over 10,000. Nearly 20 years later, demand continues to surge, and by the latest estimates, roughly 20 percent of Americans have a tattoo. At the same time that people crave a sense of limitlessness, turning toward popular images like feathers, arrows, birds, and infinity symbols, they also want stability, which gets represented by dreamcatchers, anchors, a relative’s handwriting, or religious imagery. [link]