Why do college-aged women get tattoos?
College-aged women who have multiple tattoos have higher levels of self-esteem, according to a new study.
They also were more likely to have past attempts suicide attempts, according to the study conducted by Jerome Koch, a sociology professor at Texas Tech University. However, there was no correlation between more body art and depression or thoughts of suicide.
“What we may be seeing is women translating that awareness into empowerment,” Koch said in a news release. “We know women sometimes replace a surgically removed breast, for example, with elegant body art.”
Some women who have gone through a mastectomy wear their scars like a badge of honor, while other women may choose to get a tattoo of a pink ribbon, according to the study. Each of the choices reflect a tough time they might have gone through and more women chose to remember that part of their journey with body ink.
In the study, Koch recognized that women who have gone through depression may also be signing up for tattoos as an empowering reminder or as part of the process to begin coping with the struggles of depression.
“Our interpretation is maybe it’s a parallel, emotionally, of what we see with breast cancer survivors,” Koch said. “We can only speculate what these findings might mean, and more research needs to be done. But I think the logic holds when linking suicide survivors and breast cancer survivors who might use tattoos when reclaiming an emotional or physical loss.”
“I think we have to be little bit more cautious in drawing wild, lofty conclusions from a single study,” says Dr. Vedak. “People get tattoos for variety of different reasons – some to express themselves while others to express their spirituality, many do it as a part of organizational obligation while some others register their rebellion via body art.”
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