The world is divided into two kinds of people: first kind - those who have tattoos, second - those who are afraid of people of the first kind. The first kind is gradually taking over. “The tattooed” were formerly represented by criminals, thugs, greasers, sailors, bikers, fringe elements and just “bad guys.” Later they were joined by rock stars, sports stars, movie and television icons. Those were followed by their fans. Consequently, there are now artists and construction workers, socialites and housewives, students and their teachers, doctors and their patients, executives and their wives and secretaries… tattoos have found their way to the skin of “normal” people. Including women. Everyone is inking.


  • Over 40 million people in the U.S. have tattoos.
  • More women than men are getting tattooed today. Women are also more than twice as likely to have a tattoo removed as men.
  • Democrats are more likely to have a tattoo then republicans.

People of the first kind are swathed in images, some benign (butterflies, hearts and Minnie Mouse), some horrific (skulls, demons and swastikas).

People of the second kind are wondering: "what the heck were they thinking...Were they thinking at all?!"

For people of the first kind the body-graffiti could be either personal expression, or youthful impulsiveness, or drunken mistake.

For people of second kind it is self-mutilation and lifetime of disfigurement, comparable to self-inflicted razor wounds, beer chugging, street racing, and other creative ways to abuse yourself. It is flirting with danger and even with death via needless procedure with needles.


  • There are no reported cases of HIV infection from a tattoo in the U.S. Though there are three from dentist's offices.
  • The first case of a syphilis being transmitted by a tattoo came in 1853. The artist’s ink was drying up so he spit in it, transferring the disease.
  • There was a tattoo related outbreak of hepatitis "C" in New York City from 1961 to 1997.
  • Tattoos are not FDA-approved.
  • It hurts!

People of the first kind are actually proud of being able to endure the painful procedure. It makes them tough. It gives them the adrenaline rush that goes with a deliberate and self-controlled moment of physical pain. One of the tattoo parlors put a “Yes, it hurts!” sign in its window. The sign works to attract clients and not to scare them away.

The second kind people consider tattoo disrespectful to God. It's like telling God you don't like your body the way He created it. You should treat your body as a temple.

The first kind objects: “temples are usually exquisitely decorated.”

The second kind: “so it should be an option to re-decorate. Whatever your preferences might be today, who knows what they will be tomorrow.” -  People of the second kind prefer choices that are reversible.

The first kind:”considering tattoo irreversible is like thinking that marriage is forever. With a painful and expensive procedure, scarring you for life, it can still be removed.”

People of the second kind think that tattoos close off some legitimate job-market opportunities.


  • Almost all U.S. corporations have some form of restrictions or policy regarding tattoos on the job.
  • The US Marine Corp prohibits anyone with a full sleeve tattoo from becoming an officer.
  • During World War II the US Navy prohibited tattoos of naked women, so many future sailors had to get their tattoos reworked to dress up the girls.

People of the first kind may admit losing some legit job opportunities, but consider unconventional ways of tattoo-profits.


  • In the 1920's, American circuses employed more than 300 people with full body tattoos and paid them up to $200 a week, a lot of money during those times.
  • In 2005 Kimberly Smith was paid $10,000 to have ‘Golden Palace.com’ tattooed on her forehead by the casino.
  • An Ohio restaurant specializing in cheeseburgers offers a lifetime 25% discount for anyone who has a tattoo of a cheeseburger.
  • A brothel in Cologne, Germany is offering any patron who gets a tattoo of their businesses logo, free entrance for life and discounts on lap dances.

The first kind people are using their bodies to honor their deceased. They reserve the forearms for Mom, shoulders for grandpa, and even cordon off a leg as a tribute to their departed dogs.

The second kind people quote the Bible again:"And you must not make cuts in your flesh for a deceased soul, and you must not put tattoo marking upon yourselves."


  • A veteran Shawn Clark has the names of all 232 British soldiers killed in Afghanistan tattooed on his back.
  • In recent studies, memorial tattoos have been shown to overwhelmingly turn grief into joy and mourning into celebration by creating a lasting memory.

The tattooed kind is also using the body art for protection, as amulets and talismans.


  • A rooster tattooed on one leg and a pig on the other is said to protect a sailor from drowning. Interesting fact: neither animal can swim.

The second kind people call all the first kind rebels.

The first kind comments that tattoo is a really good way to show you are a rebel without actually breaking any rules.

The second kind wonders:”using your skin for communication, what if you run out of space?”


  • The most tattooed person in the world, Lucky Diamond Rich of New Zealand did run out of space, and started putting lighter tattoos on top of the darker ones, and vice versa.

The second kind warns: skin is not a good canvass. It can grow, stretch and compress.


  • Many women get cute looking tattoos on their breasts when they are twenty to thirty years old. When they are seventy, that butterfly stretches into a condor.
  • Many men like to inscribe timeless messages on their private parts. These parts need to be erected in order to make a tattoo. It is often a shock to see how the message is abbreviated when the messenger is unexcited.

There are many kinds of people in the world. Tattoo-wise there are just two. As ‘pro-tattoo’ kind is taking over, it may become the standard, while ‘against-tattoo’ turns into a controversial group. Even a vivid representative of the first kind Ozzy Osborne remarked to his daughter Kelly: “If you want to be different, don't get a tattoo.”