Body Art

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The number of people getting tattoos seems to be on the rise. According to the most recent Harris Poll, conducted in the summer of 2007, approximately 40% of Americans ages 25-40 have at least one tattoo, as compared to 3% 20 years ago (Hawkes, Senn, &ump; Thorn, 2004). The increased popularity of the tattoo is apparent if you compare those findings to the 1936 Life magazine estimate that 10 million Americans, or approximately 6% of the population, had a tattoo (Swan, 2011). According to Kang and Jones (2007), tattooing is especially popular among teenagers and college students. At a stage when young people are seeking to assert their independence, tattoos may provide a way to ground a sense of self in a seemingly changing and insecure world. Tattooing has a long history; it was thought that tattooing was primary an ancient Egyptian practice dating from circa 2000 B.C. (Nadler, 1983). It was brought to the New World in 1769 by sailors returning from voyagers to the South Pacific (Post, 1968; Sanders, 1991). The practice of tattooing became more widespread and socially acceptable in the Western world after that time (Sanders, 1991). In ancient times tattooing was a projection of Jungian psychological elements, which was used be projected onto holy symbols, onto the self as a manifestations of self-expression coinciding with a decline in traditional religious adherence (Mercury, 2000). Piercing has almost as long of a history as tattooing. It was practiced by Egyptian pharaohs, Mayans, and Romans (Armstrong, 1996). Body piercing is sometimes studied along with tattooing, partly because people with tattoos often have piercings (Buhrich, 1983; Frederick &ump; Bradley, 2000). For women, ear piercing has come to be viewed as a mainstream practice but piercing eyebrows, nose, cheeks, or other areas appears to symbolize one’s disaffection from society, much like tattooing (Sanders, 1988). Regarding piercings, 69.7% of women compared to 28.2% of men reported having...
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