“In recent years, tattooing has dramatically increased in popularity among both men and women. Once the domain of gangs, prisoners, and specific subcultures, tattoos are now regularly seen on celebrities, athletes, and middle-class young people.”

Costhetics 2015 Trend Report

There are more than 2,000 people working in Australia’s tattoo industry, and the Costhetics team has been talking to them to learn more about current trends in body art.  Why are we so interested?

Posted: 12 August 15

By Louisa McKay

Australians spent $93 Million on tattoos in 2012

The tattoo industry is estimated to be worth more than $100 million to the Australian economy and grew by 27.5 per cent between 2007 and 2012. At Costhetics, we think that makes 2015 Australian tattoo trends something worth talking about!

Costhetics Says “Generation Ink” Has Made Tattoos Mainstream in Australia

According to the study Who Gets Tattoos? Demographic and Behavioural Correlates of Ever Being Tattooed in a Representative Sample of Men and Women:

“In recent years, tattooing has dramatically increased in popularity among both men and women. Once the domain of gangs, prisoners, and specific subcultures, tattoos are now regularly seen on celebrities, athletes, and middle-class young people.”

As might be expected, tattoo popularity falls along generational lines, with Generations X and Y, collectively known as “Generation Ink,” displaying the highest percentages of body art:

16- to 19-year olds – 5.4%

20- to 29-year-olds – 22.3%

30- to 39-year-olds- 23.2%

40- to 49-year-olds – 16.3%

50+ – 8.7% tattooed

Interestingly, one in ten Australians decided to get their first tattoo after the age of 40.  Another 40% wait until the age of 26. Clearly, the decision to tattoo is not just youthful rebellion any more.

Costhetics Finds that Once Is Not Enough When It Comes to Tattoos

Not only are more and more people getting inked. According to the McCrinkdle research company, the number of tattoos per person is rising to inordinate levels. Of people who have decided to “think ink,”

  • 54% only have one tattoo
  • 23% have two to three tattoos
  • 15% have four or five tattoos
  • 8% have more than five tattoos

Hot Ink – 2015 Tattoo Trends

As with any fashion, there is an inevitable change in what is in vogue in tattoo fashion.

  • Out
    • Tribal designs
    • Tramp stamps (tattoos on the small of a woman’s back)
  • Hot
    • Full-arm tattoo “sleeves” for men
    • Rib lettering for women

Costhetics Has The Word on Tattoos in Australia

The most interesting trend in tattoos for 2012 involves a greater enthusiasm for language-oriented tattoos. For a third of Australians with tattoos, their most recent inking was of a symbol or word.

  • Trending Symbols
    • Latin character text
    • Chinese character text
    • Symbols with personal meanings
  • Trending Words
    • Initials of family members
    • Names of partners
    • Names of children

When Forever Comes Sooner than Expected: 4 Reasons to Remove Tattoos

A tattoo used to be for life, but not anymore.

  • 34% of tattooed Australians say they are sorry they chose to get a tattoo
  • 15% of tattooed Australians say they are actively looking into tattoo removal

Nicknamed “tattoo regret,” the desire to have permanent ink removed can be due to a variety of reasons:

  • They hinder employment prospects
  • The design is not satisfactory
  • The tattoo has errors or misspellings
  • The sentiment (John and Mary 4FR) is no longer valid

Significant advancements in laser technology have made tattoo removal possible, enabling skin experts to treat and erase once difficult-to-erase colours.

Are more people getting tattoos, or have tattoos simply become so accepted that we are seeing more of them as people proudly display body art on their arms, torsos, and necks?  Whatever the case may be, tattoos are now seen as less a sign of rebellion and more a personal style choice such as hair colour, make-up, or tanning, though significantly longer lasting.

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