Now, granted, it was a theme park and the tattoos were not permanent. But the reason this image stuck with me was because of a conversation I’d had the day before with an online retailer at the Shop.org conference. We were discussing soccer mom stereotypes and she threw out a figure of the number of “soccer moms” who have tattoos. The figure was large enough to truly astound me.
So I did some research. In a recent Harris Poll –
36% of 25-29 year olds have a tattoo
28% of 30-39 year olds have a tattoo
The numbers are equally split between men and women
By my calculations, that means there are an awful lot of ‘soccer moms’ out there with tattoos.
Here’s another interesting figure from the survey – 34% of tattooed adults feel sexier than before getting their tattoos.
Here’s one soccer mom’s story about how she changed her mind from finding tattoos offensive, to getting one herself, and how it affected her life.
I am probably the person that anyone would least suspect of having a tattoo: I am a very conventional soccer mom, 31, conservative in outlook and work at a bank. Up until a year ago, I was one of those people who looked down on people with tattoos. I considered tattoos as ugly, vulgar and in very bad taste; and the people who had them as unintelligent, coarse and unrefined. But that all changed last year when my husband and our two children went on vacation to Fort Lauderdale.
Nowadays, not a day goes by without my taking a few minutes several times a day to look at my beautiful tattoo in the mirror. I love it and so does my husband. In fact he finds it such a turn on that our sex life has improved dramatically. He says it is exciting to know that his conventional, traditional wife has this wild side to her. As it is, the tattoo is discreetly placed so that only I and my husband get to enjoy it.( Although I have shown it to a few close friends, who were at first stunned but afterwards quite liked it – in fact my closest friend liked it so much that she went and got one done herself).
Now I’m not pushing tattoos here – don’t have one myself and don’t want one. But….
Here’s the discussion I had with the online retailer – why don’t you see images on websites where the models have a tattoo? I looked at all sorts of websites:
a lot of swimwear sites since the more skin you see, the more likely to actually see the tattoo.
I went to surf shop sites and other sites popular with the 35 and under crowd
I could only find one image (male or female) where the model had a tattoo.
The only image where I found tattoos – Harley Davidson. But even there, it was only on one page talking about their riders.
Ok – in the case of Harley Davidson – it’s almost expected you’ll see people with tattoos. But with the prevalence of tattoos – and if you found your audience was especially fond of tattoos and found them to be "hip" – why not include models and images on your website showing a woman with a tattoo – even just a subtle one. For those wanting to “brand” their sites – this might go a long way towards saying “hey – we get that you like tattoos so we’re going to reflect that back to you by featuring at least one model who has a tattoo.”
My question to you is
Would you be offended if you saw a website where a female model has a tattoo?
If you like tattoos, would it make you feel more of a brand affinity with that company to see a female model with a tattoo?
Or is the whole tattoo subject so polarizing it’s not worth taking the chance of turning people off by showing anyone with a tattoo?