In today’s day and age, it’s common to interact with people who have tattoos and piercings every day. With the rise in popularity of tattoos, almost half of millennials between the ages of 18-29 have at least one tattoo.
Despite the continual growth of tattoos in today’s younger generations, there is still somewhat of a divide between the opinions of members of younger and older generations on the topics of tattoos and piercings.
VALLEY sat down with Tony Campbell, the former owner of Good and Evil Tattoos and the current owner of 814 Tattoo Co., to talk about tattoos and piercings and the possibility of differing opinions and biases. He is a tattoo artist and piercer who has 24 years of experience in the field.
Although not everyone holds these differing opinions between the generations, there does seem to be a theme that people of older generations are somewhat more close-minded when it comes to tattoos and piercings. Where this differences in opinion do exist, they tend to lie in the assumption from older generations that people with tattoos and piercings are less respectable and more rebellious than people without tattoos.
“I partially disagree because I hang out with older people who are tattooed and even some of my clients are older. However, outside of my tattoo bubble, I think older generations have reservations about tattoos,” Campbell says.
As he mentions, there absolutely are older people who have tattoos and piercings, but millennials and members of younger generations are much more likely to have them and to be more accepting of such body modifications. Many millennials and young people view tattoos and piercings as methods of self-expression, and some even view them as art.
Tony believes that millennials today are much more accepting and open-minded about tattoos and piercings.
“Tattoos became modern entertainment in the millennial age. More pop stars are tattooed, and there are also many different reality-based television shows that follow the tattoo industry,” Tony says.
Unfortunately, even though a huge number of millennials are completely okay with tattoos and piercings, there is still a decent amount of workplace bias that occurs when people with tattoos and piercings start to search for jobs.
“Society has misperceptions or negative perceptions about people with tattoos, especially those with tattoos on their face, hands or neck. I always have a discussion with clients who want to get tattooed on body parts that aren’t able to be concealed. However, I don’t think work ethic or intelligence has any correlation to if a person is tattooed or not,” Campbell says.
Campbell is confident that older generations will eventually become just as open-minded and accepting of tattoos and piercings as younger generations – especially millennials.
“Millennials are the first tattooed generation. That being said, I expect and hope that following generations will also be more open to the idea of tattoos being a norm and not a taboo that would hinder someone’s life.”