Soccer Moms with Tattoos

Tattoogallery1 It was quite a sight – dozens of girls the oldest being maybe 16, the youngest 6 – all lined up chatting, laughing, anxiously awaiting their turn – to get a tattoo. 

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?

Your thoughts?

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51 Responses to Soccer Moms with Tattoos

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  6. I really liked reading this. What a great job you have done. If you get the time I would love it if you took a look at my modeling website..mizuzinkaholik.com see my view on beauty with art… Afterwards shoot me an e-mail we can discuss it…. =)
    Keep up the great work…
    p.s. I’m a model with over 85 hrs of ink, this amount of coverage is not for everyone. 🙂
    ~Mizuz Inkaholik

  7. I am an artist, a mother of 2 and I have 3 tattoos (I feel like I am at an AA meeting). I love my tattoos and I want more. I do not hide them. I feel it is a personal choice and with that said I feel that advertisers do not need to use models or women with tattoos to show that they accept it. It would distract the consumer from the product (unless the product was tattoo ink or something of that nature). My 2 cents.

  8. Geoff Digan says:

    I was on holiday with my six year old daughter and she asked me about tattoos. Normally in the past the only women you ever saw with tattoos were junkies or prostitutes. Now it has become a fashion and the norm.
    People follow fashion.
    I told my daughter that tattoos were the first sign of stupidity.
    She replied ” And two tattoos is the second sign of stupidity, right Dad?”Beautiful.

  9. I would argue with you on the stupidity part since I have a college education and a business that my husband and I run… But, who am I to debate with someone as closed minded as that?! haha Too bad really, one day your daughter may have many tattoos and you may have to open your mind a little to see her creativity and intelligence.., Good Luck to you sir! 🙂

  10. Brenda says:

    Bravo, Mizuz. Although I share your sentiments completely, I’m still saddened by the self-righteous attitude Geoff is directly teaching his daughter. Geoff, it says much less about tattoos than about your unwillingness to engage your daughter on issues of personal expression that require real thought. hard discussion, and a complete stock of evidence for your reasoning. Parenting is harder than that.
    Excellent questions posed originally. Those are what led me here. I think models are intended to be somewhat generic depictions of people. Every tattoo sets one apart. Tattoos would reveal a part of the person’s individuality not necessarily desireable for the product, unless you’re a company which pays famous people to endorse you in their skin. I would exclude products targeted at those inked. It seems to me those of us with tattoos would recognize the above, though, of course, each person is inked for his or her own reasons.

  11. Soccer Moms says:

    I can’t believe I ran into this when doing research about soccer moms…
    Well, what I can say I found is that women with tatoos tend to give an aura of being more outgoing and fun.
    That might explain why most of them of them on my website have tatoos…

  12. rockchickny says:

    The statistics are growing and more people in young adulthood are getting tattoos now more than ever. You don’t see models with tattoos because there’s this things called photoshop and airbrushing in the 21st century 😉

  13. It’s crazy how popular tattoos are now a days… pretty cool actually 😀

  14. Kim Marcellino says:

    I would LOVE to see more models flashing tattoos!
    The esthetic is beautiful and tattoed women come from EVERY walk of life.
    It would help break the stereotypes about tattooed women to see us represented in the mainstream.

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  17. JGK says:

    To all who see tattoo’s as vulgar, open up your close minded glob of a brain. Tat’s have been around for thousands of years, GET OVER IT! It’s art, a way to show your personality, it’s called self expression!
    I am a model and YES the reason you don’t see us with tat’s is because we have to cover it up with THICK makeup for photos and then they photoshop it out.
    We aren’t selling the tat we are selling the product, as someone above wrote.

  18. keyhole-mouse says:

    In reply to Geoff Digan- I got a tattoo when I was 18 of a symbol expressing strength of will. I have since gone on to do PhD in moral philosophy at a very prestigious university. My thesis revolves around the role of strength of will in discharging obligations. The important point is, I had no idea at 18 that strength of will would come to interest me so much- I just thought it was a cool tattoo. I now believe that I was expressing a part of my individuality that subconsciously concerned me very much, and even that getting the tattoo helped my begin to express my intuitions about morality. I see my teenage act in following fashion as being unwittingly intelligent.

  19. Amy says:

    People like Geoff make me wonder how someone can be so closed minded. I hope your daughter learns to think for herself and not let her ignorant father brain wash her. Anyways, I graduated from a university with a 3.9 GPA, work for a very large corporation, have a lovely husband, and plan to own my own business one day. I guess I’m “stupid” though, because I am the proud owner of beautiful sleeve tattoos.

  20. Frank Mitchell says:

    How much do you think Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is worth? Over a hundred million pounds? Now, if someone were to paint an indelible moustache on Mona Lisa, how much would she be worth then? I wouldn’t give five dollars for her! And the same goes for any beautiful woman with flawless skin: If she gets a tattoo she’s got herself a blemish. She’ll have turned herself into just another wall or billboard, which is where paintings belong!

  21. krystal says:

    oh man some peoples opinions are out there!!!! i think tattoos are awesome and sexy but so is an unmarked body. i do think it would be cool if there were inked up models displayed, theyre a minority. maybe some day eh?

  22. Awesome post. We have some soccer moms on staff with some pretty sweet tattoos.
    I’m posting a link to this on the new tattoo social networking website http://www.tattooson.com .

  23. Frank Mitchell says:

    A woman can look like a million dollars. Then give her a 200 dollar tattoo and she’ll look like 200 dollars. That’s why many people think tattooed women look cheap.

  24. K. says:

    hahahah i find all of this hilarious. How can so many people comment about tattoos when they don’t even understand the history or the scene. I have two full sleeves, a bachelors in computer science, working on my masters, employeed at a very large company, a mother of two amazing children. So am i what you consider cheap and dumb??

  25. Frank Mitchell says:

    K, until fairly recently, only bikers, military men and cheap hookers had tattoos in our society. Mainline citizens started getting them as a sign of rebellion and because they wanted to be thought of as “different” to everyone else. So people getting tattoos have to be prepared to be talked about. That’s what you really want, isn’t it? So you have to take the rough with the smooth.

  26. Holly Buchanan says:

    K and Frank,
    I’m not ominopent and can’t see into people’s heads as to why the get tattoos.
    What I can tell you, from my own interviews with women with tattoos, is that the reasons for getting a tattoo seem to vary.
    Many of the women I talked to said they did it because the tattoo represented something to them – it was personal, and in some cases, private. they put the tattoo where almost no one but themselves would see it.
    I’m sure others do it to be rebellious, some may want to be thought of as different.
    Our society certainly has some strong judgements about tattoos.
    But I’ve found every person seems to have their own individual reason.
    thanks for the great discussion!

  27. Are women still Soccer Moms?
    Is this still a fashionable term or is there a more up-to-date one we should be using?

  28. 6 years old and wanting a tattoo? Even a temporary one is just a bit too scary.
    Great blog by the way

  29. Frank Mitchell says:

    A tattooed woman has turned herself into an “art object”, but I prefer women who look like women to women who look like objects.

  30. rings says:

    Yeah I am with you Frank Mitchell. In fact Women also use the tattoo as instrument for attracting man towards themselves..They decorate themselves with tattoo ..

  31. I like tattoos if they are done right. Problem is nowadays people just get one of the out of the book designs that you see on too many people!

  32. Gustavo says:

    I just got one of those too. It hurts only when it’s being done, as soon as the needle goes away, so does the pain. But the logner the needle stays on, the worse it feels. It kinda creeps all over your body slowly but it’s a sweet relief when it’s done. Seriously, if you can get your eyebrows plucked, you can stand a lower back tattoo. It’s just a logner pain and your lower back turns out pretty in the end.Oh and by the way, get ready to buy bare midrif tops if you want it to be seen by others, and not just the person doing u from behind.

  33. estela says:

    It kinda hurts at the beginning when they are doing the ontliue of the peice, but then the whole area goes numb and by the time they start coloring you don’t really feel the pain, just kind of an annoying feeling. The lower back is probably the best place to get a tattoo(pain wise, in my opinion). Hope this helps.

  34. Almi says:

    Mine took over 2 hours and did not hurt nearly as much as I anatciptied. I think the first tattoo doesn’t hurt as much because of the adrenaline.*It also depends on how long the outline takes, how much color, etc. Mine had a lot of color/shading and not that much detail in the outline.

  35. Isaque says:

    No one can tell you how painful it’s going to be busaece everyone has a different pain tolerance. I found my tattoo behind my ear to not hurt at all except when I got it touched up it hurt a bit. The first go around, it felt more like tickling than anything. Because it’s such a small area, anything you put back there is going to be small my tattoo probably took less than 15 minutes (it’s a music note) and I think even if it had hurt that it would have been such a short tattoo that it wouldn’t have mattered. When you take a shower you just need to be ware of it and make sure your shampoo and conditioner don’t trip onto it busaece the fragrances in it can be really harmful. It wasn’t that difficult but it was just something I had to focus on.

  36. Daniel says:

    Tattoos hurt less in areas where there is a bit more fat.It will hurt a bit more behind your ear than it did on your sheodlur because there really isn’t a whole lot of fat back there.I’m assuming it’s going to be a smaller tattoo because of the area you’re wanting to get it done in, so even if it does hurt you, it won’t be too painful for long because it’s going to be small. I’ve got one behind my ear, and it was more of an annoying pain than anything. They are kinda loud, so that is the only thing it might be kinda annoying to you being right next to your ear. Try too keep it dry, the only thing I can think of is putting a thick layer of vaseline over it?Good luck with your decision

  37. Yuki says:

    Yup just like a razor cut. Not like the kind where you nick yourself shanivg, but like oops I just ran that box cutter through my hand or getting multiple papercuts in one spot. The cool thing is even though it hurts that bad, unlike the above things the pain is gone FAST like it goes to like 2 or 3 out of ten for a few hours, then nothing.

  38. Imiq says:

    Well, a razor cut lasts for a second and then hurts.A ttaoto lasts a heck of a lot longer than a second and hurts a heck of a lot more.Of course a ttaoto is going to hurt more. And hand ttaotos really aren’t a good idea. If you are considering the palm, good luck finding an artist to actually do it.

  39. Ahn says:

    When I asked my artist after she got a ratehr large behind the ear tattoo she said it wasn’t painful at all. As for taking care of it she said it was pretty much like any other tattoo. I know when I got the one on my upper back the shampoo I used didn’t seem to bother it one bit.

  40. Mariya says:

    Inner forearm won’t hurt as badly as the back of the neck, I gauarntee I’ve got 2 scorpions in the form of a ying-yang on the back of my neck and the Jolly Roger from Mettalica’s Live Sh!t Binge and Purge album on my left inner forearm The one on my neck was more painful

  41. Gabryella says:

    inner forearm will be worse for sure bescaue that area is where major nerves and arteries run. was it your first tattoo? and how big and detailed was the tattoo : / I want my first tat to be a small one on the back on my neck.

  42. Jossph says:

    definitely the inner forearm. just had one done 4 days ago. it sleelwd up and is very tender and stinging. It didn’t hurt getting done, but now it sure does.

  43. Marlena says:

    pealing is normal i have my foot taototed, you can put tattoo goo like she said or a d ointment only leave it on for like 15 min, the tattoo soaks up most of the moisture within the first 15 min. and if you leave it on dust and nastyness gets on the tattoo and can cause infection. rinse with water, then pat dry. dont rub it because you dont want to pick it. no need to cover it

  44. Agustina says:

    When I got my Tattoo about 2 weeks ago i just smothered it in loiotn! Day in and day out! Anytime it got itchy I put more loiotn on it! It worked my tat actually healed really quickly!

  45. Aswathi says:

    the healing prcoess varies from person to person, mine usually start peeling on the 2nd or 3rd day and are finished in about 2 days. also you should never use vasalene on a healing tat, the wound needs to be able to breathe and you never know what bacteria is growing in it. i always use bepanthen cream (antibacterial nappy rash cream)megan kelterborn’s advice may be good in theory but not all tattoos heal flat my newest tat is 3months old (obviously healed completely) and is still raised while my others are level with my skin!

  46. Jelo says:

    One of the best tattoo shops that ever was, China Sea Tattoo, was wall to wall fahelsd and the art was definitley producedby the people that worked there.What you say is true about a lot of flash shops, but you need to remind people that there ARE definitley street shops that have hand drawn flash and ARE staffed by skilled artists.The way you make it sound, all shops with design sheets are staffed only by artistically limited stencil jockeys. Far from the truth.

  47. Carlos says:

    where i go it costs me a340 for an hours work and anything after that will cost anhetor a340 if he goes more that that he is just ripping you off dont ask how much it is to get your tattoo ask how much it is for an hour and then get yours done it works out cheaper and it is less painful maybe get it done in 2 hourly sessions and i think a340 is about $ 100 oh and it maybe a bit more if there is alot of colour as mine are all black so add no more than $ 40

  48. Cfc says:

    I think it depends on the peosrn. Mine didn’t take long at all, I didn’t even really notice it peeling. But I’ve also heard that some people had a really long healing process.Because my tattoo wasn’t obviously healing, I would run my (clean!) fingers over it with my eyes closed and if I could feel where my tattoo started because it was slightly raised, then I knew it wasn’t healed. but when it healed, it was totally flat and I couldn’t tell the difference between my skin and my tattoo

  49. Ronalyn says:

    you’re supposed to keep new taotots moist from the outside, but i remember hearing that sweating tends to push the ink out can this practice be skipped?and even if it’s wrapped i tend to think the scab will be ripped and rubbed probably not a good idea to risk it, right? don’t want a smudgy patchy tattoo that you have to get redone next month but yeah, the tattoo artist should cover this all if they don’t, definately ask

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