Baxter's Blog


Posted in Human Interest by misterroadtripper on November 1, 2010


By Brittany Stack, The Sunday Telegraph, Sydney, Australia

An image of a Japanese koi fish painted in orange ink on the arms, an Italian love phrase scrawled across the ribcage, or praying hands on the chest are hits with 16- to 30-year-olds across Sydney. Most parents hate them and recruitment agencies tell young job-hunters to cover them or risk missing out on a job – but Generation Y’s love affair with tattoos is exploding.

The Sunday Telegraph spent a day in popular tattoo parlours at Bondi and Penrith, west of Sydney, seeking to answer the question on an older generation’s lips: why?

Matthew Sammut, 21, got his first tattoo last Wednesday—a colourful replica of the graphics illustrating the video game Street Fighter now covers his right arm from shoulder to wrist.

An hour into his five-hour, $750 session at Penrith’s Wicked Ink, the fitter from Fairfield was wincing in pain. But Mr Sammut, whose 16-year-old brother is covered in tattoos, said it was worth it.

“It’s artwork, and it looks cool,” he said.

“My mates all have sleeve tattoos. It’s a big thing these days, and I really wanted one.”

Mr Sammut said “plenty of guys” in his industry were “covered in ink,” and he wore protective clothing on the job. “So I’m not worried about the tattoo for work,” he said.

Tattoo experts say A-listers including Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, David and Victoria Beckham and NRL stars such as Benji Marshall and Todd Carney have helped make inking acceptable. The indelible markings are now so commonplace that youngsters are pushing the boundaries, opting for the biggest, brightest designs to cover an entire arm or leg, the neck, chest, back or torso. The tattooed generation say that despite obvious styles and trends, tattooing is art—a way to express their individuality.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle estimates about one in three Australians in their mid-30s has a tattoo. He says Gen Y is the first generation in which tattoos have become mainstream.

“Tattooing is ubiquitous, and we haven’t seen a whole generation get tattoos in such prominent ways, then move through their 50s and 60s,” Mr McCrindle said. John Tadrosse, the owner of Bondi Ink, said celebrities had glamorized tattoos, which were no longer associated only with motorcycle gangs. He said many young Australians viewed tattoos as a way in which they could express their “star quality.”

“The exposure tattooing is getting is huge, and it’s appealing to young people,” Mr Tadrosse said, while filming a reality television show about Bondi Ink.

“It’s rock ’n’ roll, it’s surf culture. All the movie stars are getting tattoos now. And they’re not little tattoos, they’re huge.We did Nate Myles from the Roosters – and then his mother and his sister came in to get tattoos.” Mr Tadrosse said there was no longer such a stigma attached to tattooing or tattoo parlours. “It’s not bad to walk into a tattoo shop any more,” he said.

Vanessa Morgan, the editor of Inked Australia/NZ magazine, said reality television shows in the U.S.—including  LA Ink and Miami Ink—had “demystified the whole experience” of getting a tattoo, making it more appealing to young people. “Previously, people were worried about walking into those alleys and into something they didn’t understand,” Ms. Morgan said. “Now they understand and aren’t scared of the process.” Ms. Morgan reckons about 25 per cent of under-30s have at least one tattoo. “Even parents understand it now, so they’re not so worried about their kids going out and doing it,” she said.

Despite the wider acceptance of tattoos, Kelly Services recruitment agent Emma McClure said the agency advised those seeking jobs in the corporate world to cover up their tattoos. Mr. McCrindle said the growth of the tattoo-removal business indicated there would be regrets down the track. “I think it’s approaching ubiquity and will start to wind back a little,” he said. “We won’t see generation after generation now getting tattoos.”

Tattoos Girls Want

Feminine floral and swirl patterns

Lettering or flowers on the feet

Large roses and tiger lilies

Lettering that follows the contours of the body

The most popular placement is the ribcage, feet, biceps and neck

Tattoos Guys Want

Religious iconography such as the Virgin Mary

Oriental designs such as koi fish

Biomechanical and robotic designs

Mexican skulls depicting the Day of the Dead and gangster-style tattoos

The most popular placement is covering the back and arms


One Response

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  1. rezeptfrei potenzmittel said, on November 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing ? I usually don’t post in Blogs but yours forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful ?

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