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Why Do People Get Tattoos?

Published September 13, 2023
By Celebrity Ink

If you feel like you’re noticing more people with tattoos than ever before, you’re not imagining it. Australians are getting inked in record numbers. One in four Aussies (25%) now has a tattoo, up from 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2016. Women are leading the trend, with 31% now sporting at least one tatt compared to 19% of men. While most people get their first tattoos between the ages of 18 and 25, over a third (36%) take the step at age 26 or older.

These days it’s common to see tattoos on professionals like businesspeople, teachers and police officers, not just sailors and rock stars. Even those who have never gone under the needle themselves can appreciate body art at its best. On social media, quality tattoo designs attract likes, shares, and page followers. Even if you haven’t gotten a tattoo of your own yet, it’s likely you’ve considered it. At the very least, you’ve probably wondered ‘why do people get tattoos?’

As it turns out, there are many reasons to get tattoos. Your reason can be as personal and individual as your tattoo itself, from wanting to commemorate a life-changing event to simply appreciating the cool, rebellious look of a particular design.

As the Asia Pacific’s leading tattoo brand, Celebrity Ink™ has tattooed many people in a number of styles for various reasons. We’ve seen firsthand how different people’s journeys to the tattooing chair are and how uniquely meaningful a tattoo can be. In this article, we plan to shed some light on the question, ‘Why do people get tattoos?’ and even offer you some reasons to get tattoos of your own.

Reasons People Get Tattoos

The question of why people get tattoos is an age-old one. The earliest evidence of tattooing dates back to 5000 BCE, and different cultures have practised permanent forms of body art throughout different time periods in history. In countries like Aotearoa, Japan and India, tattoos have traditionally been used as markers of history, family and status. Some groups, like the Konyaks of Nagaland, used tattoos to signify skill or bravery in battle. In countries like Japan, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, criminals were given tattoos to make them easy to identify.

A study submitted to the Review of General Psychology proposed two theories explaining why tattooing has long played such a major part in human culture. The first is the “human canvas” hypothesis. It states that tattoos symbolically represent a person’s life and history. The second is the “upping the ante” theory which claims tattoos developed as an indication of sexual fitness. The notions that tattoos tell your story and make you sexier definitely still hold traction today.

Tattoos can also be a powerful way to reclaim your body after grief or trauma.

Other common reasons why people get tattoos include:


People get tattoos not only to share their stories with the world but to make a statement about where they fit into it and demonstrate their loyalty to particular groups. Tattoos can be a way for you to create the identity you want.


Some people get tattoos not for any deep, sentimental reason but because they appreciate the designs. Sometimes it just feels good to rock some beautiful artwork or an eye-catching design that you think is amazing.


Many people get tattoos to permanently honour significant events in their lives: the birth of a child, for example, or the passing of a loved one.

Scar Cover-up

Tattoos can cover scars from self-harm, cancer treatments and other traumatic events with beautiful works of art. Flowers and botanical designs do a great job at concealing scars, while other styles like lettering and geometric shapes generally don’t work as well.

Culture and religion

Many people get tattoos for cultural and religious reasons or simply to express their spiritual beliefs.


Like everything else, tattoos are subject to trends that change over time. For example, 90s nostalgia is currently having a major impact on tattoos. Celebrities can inspire tattoo trends, and lately, Rihanna, Post Malone, and Justin Bieber have popularised the tattoo aesthetic and particular styles into mainstream culture.

When it comes to the question of ‘Why do people get tattoos?’, there are many reasons, and none of them are right or wrong. There are no hard and fast rules for why you should or shouldn’t get inked. If you’re still on the fence, though, there are some reasons to get tattoos that may sway you.

Why A Tattoo?

Star Wars Tattoo Sleeve - Full Arm Sleeve to Star Wars Characters at Celebrity Ink Tattoo
There are countless reasons why some people get tattoos. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s the right decision for you. There are a lot of good reasons to get tattoos, including some that may surprise you. Some reasons to get a tattoo of your own include:

It tells your story your way

A tattoo is a form of self-expression and a way to share something about your likes, your personality or your experiences with the world. It’s a vibrant and interesting way to demonstrate what makes you who you are.

It preserves your memories

Even if you choose a discreet place for it and don’t show it to anyone, a tattoo can be a private and personal way to honour loved ones who have passed away or to remember cherished moments in your life.

It can inspire you

Even a simple text tattoo with some words of wisdom can remind you to stick with your goals or to hold on through tough times. Keeping motivating and inspiring quotes close at hand can provide you with a quick dose of pick-me-up energy right when you need it the most.

You can cover up scars and discolouration

If you have large scars, blemishes or even previous tattoos that you regret, a new tattoo can give your skin a fresh start by covering them with stunning artwork.

It’s no longer taboo

As tattoos have gradually become more common over the last several years, they’ve become more accepted into society. There’s no longer the same stigma attached to having one. In fact, there’s never been a more popular time to get a tattoo, which may put your mind at ease if you’ve always wanted one but have been worried about how it will affect your career, your reputation, or others’ opinions of you.

It can boost your immune system

One lesser-known benefit of getting a tattoo is that it may leave you less susceptible to the common cold next winter. Research from 2016 has shown that getting tattooed activates your immune response, leading to your body creating more white blood cells to protect you from infection.

Book a Consult at Celebrity Ink™ for Your Tattoo

Star Wars Tattoo Sleeve - Full Arm Sleeve to Star Wars Characters at Celebrity Ink Tattoo
Celebrity Ink™ sets the standard for tattoo quality and customer service experience around Australia and the world.

We understand how much of a commitment a permanent work of art is, and we go above and beyond to design a tattoo you’ll be happy with. Our talented tattoo artists specialise in a wide range of styles: delicate fine line pieces, vintage sailor-style Americana tatts, beautiful and spiritual mandala designs, and simple yet effective text tattoos.

Whether you’re still wondering why people get tattoos or you’re eager to book your own, Celebrity Ink™ is happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you find the perfect style.

We’ll start with a chat about your vision for your tattoo and how we can tell your story your way. Next, we’ll have a discovery consultation where we go deeper into detail about your design and organise a time for you.

If you’re ready to show off your unique personality and tastes with a one-of-a-kind tattoo, book a consultation with us now.

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
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