We asked who has tattoos around campus and discuss whether or not getting ink will hurt your chance of employment in the future.
The modern day tattooed clique is decidedly less edgy than that of generations past. Attitudes towards tattoos have changed over the past 20 years and so too the motivations behind getting them.
Once a sign of rebellion and deviation from the norm, tattoos have become channel of self expression and increasingly more common. The most recent Australian wide study in 2012 concluded that around 24% of males and 29% of females between the age of 20-29 have a tattoo and the numbers appear to be rising.
First Year @ La Trobe asked the students to contribute via an online survey to establish tat-trends within La Trobe’s student body.
From those who completed the survey:
54% of students reported they did not have any tattoos. Of this conglomerate, just over half were wanting tattoos in the future.
Of the 46% who did have tattoos, not one participant marked that they were unhappy with the tattoos they had, with a majority wanting more ink in the future.
Of those who have tats, 56% have more than one. The arms appear to be the most popular place to have a tattoo, followed by a marginal distance by the back.
The results for attitudes towards tattoos in the workplace were interesting, with many participants believing that tattoos will harm their chance of future employment.
Despite this, a majority of participants also agreed that attitudes towards tattoos within the workforce are changing.
We also asked participants to give a brief description of the tattoos they had and whether or not they had meaning.
The results showed a plethora of artistic expressions and meaningful messages. Some body ink took the form of artistic representations of family members, or memorial pieces for lost loved ones.
Many were both symbolic of something important while aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, some were aesthetically pleasing but held little or no significance.
Motivation, meaning and aesthetics aside, one thing remains constant through the results: choice. Each participant decided on their own terms what they had tattooed and for what reasons, if any.
It seems as the stigma surrounding tattoos minimizes with time, people are becoming more comfortable with expressing themselves permanently through ink.
As the students of today become the workforce of tomorrow, the sentiments towards tattoos in a professional context may just be set to change.
By Scarlett Maloney