How did the tattoo become democratized?


In France, 29% of people under the age of 35 are (or have already been) tattooed, compared to just 14% of people over 35. Women are tattooed more often than men: 20% versus 16%.

In 2018, an Ifop survey revealed that one in five French people (men and women, and all social and professional groups combined) exercise or wear a tattoo. And last November, the Tattoo Planetarium in Paris brought together more than 500 tattoo artists from around the world and attracted 15,000 people. If its success is undeniable, then this practice cannot be reduced to heresy, since it dates back to prehistoric times. According to the times and cultures, tattoos can be Mark of belonging to a groupa aesthetic choice where symbolic… In Western societies, until the 1990s, it was mainly about masculine and heterosexual pop culture aimed at asserting masculinity. That happened today democratization.

Why are tattoos often invisible?

Because tattooed people choose more discreet sites (67%), any areas of the body that allow it To hide Easily tattooed under clothes with the ability to show it at leisure: arms, thighs, chest and back. However, the visible areas They are becoming more and more popular, according to tattoo artist Tin-Tin, organizer of the Tattoo Planetarium show: “Today, we see some people having tattoos on the hands, fingers, the inside of the wrists, or even the neck and face, whereas before we used to tattoo ourselves in these places when there were none. room anywhere else! »

And tattoos on the genitals?

Only 4% of tattooed people are in an intimate area that is never seen in public.

Are tattoos a new military act?

On the occasion of World Animal Day on October 4, the NGO Sea Shepherd in Defense of the Oceans invites the general public to get a tattoo of Extinct marine species. An idea born from a double observation: while a human being meets an average of 10,000 people during his life, a tattoo makes it possible to break the ice between two people… and start a conversation about the fate of extinct species! ” the Hardcore tattoo It was always there,” the Tin-Tin artist defines, but it became even more apparent when characters placed it at the front of the stage. In 2015, Marisol Touraine, then Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, for example, put on “My body belongs to me,” A (ephemeral) tattoo in support of the right to abortion.

What are the current tattoo styles?

Japanese tattoo

These are large single designs, often adorning an entire limb, featuring flat tints of black and bright colors: red, yellow and green. Koi carps and dragons are legendary characters of Japanese folklore Iconic patterns.

realistic tattoo

The purpose of this artistic current It is the representation of life as it is. Technically, this requires great precision in detail, lines, and shading. Watches and pocket watches are the trend of the moment!

Simple tattoo

Simple shapes, monochrome and subtle lines, refined style: minimalist tattoo, It is easy to hide, and often allows you to sink in without fear of regretting it. Geometric patterns, stars, plants or everyday objects are in vogue.

3 questions for David Le Breton, sociologist

Why do we get tattooed?

David LeBreton. There is the idea of ​​improving, beautifying the appearance, “correcting” the image of a body that one considers imperfect. The tattoo will make it possible to fit into this body, by “making a new skin”. It’s kind of individual rite of passagewith one symbolic power very strong. Thus, some of my interlocutors say that they recognize themselves more in their new appearance. Interfering with your skin, the fabric by which we are identified (with age, gender, etc.), also changes our relationship to the world and we become a different person in the eyes of others.

Is it also a way to make peace with her date?

DLB Yes, this is reflected in the choice of motif, which is closely related to the story of life, the tributes that we want to give to our loved ones … things that are difficult to reveal to others, paradoxically. Thus, although it is rarely invented her own tattoo (we choose a pattern from a tattoo artist’s catalog or from a friend or celebrity), each one will give it its own meaning, showcasing exclusivity. It’s just the opposite Maori, for example, where tattoos have immediate meaning for the whole community. In our individual-focused societies, if you interview ten people who wear the same thing Maori tattooyou will have ten different narratives, in a complete misunderstanding of the initial meaning.

Do we often regret getting a tattoo?

DLB Yes, when you do it young, on a whim: the logo of your favorite band, the drawings imagined by a high school friend, the memory of a love affair … The tattoo is for moment in our history that our minds will re-evaluate, rewrite it differently over time. We are not the same person at 18 or 40! With the possible exception of being attached to parents or children (via tattooing their first names), there is no symbol that cannot be abolished at some point in our lives.

Thanks to David Le Breton, sociologist, author of Tattoo or Self-Sign (Casimiro editor).

You may also be interested in:

⋙ What are the risks of tattoos?

⋙ What tattoos can be done as a couple?

⋙ What are the most popular tattoo designs?


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