Body modification - Statistics & Facts

Published by Statista Research Department, Aug 13, 2019
In the United States alone, almost half of all adults have at least one tattoo, with about 40 percent having 4 or even more tattoos. People give a variety of reasons for getting a tattoo, from expressing their personal style or opinion to commemorating a person or event. The majority of people paid less than 100 U.S. dollars for their last tattoo, an investment in art that will last the rest of their lives. The appeal of this permanence is also the tattoo’s greatest detractor; while almost a quarter of tattooed Americans regret getting a tattoo, the majority would not consider having a tattoo removed.

As is the case with all artwork, the public perception of tattoos varies from person to person. Slightly over a third of Americans have a “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable opinion of tattoos, and a quarter of them do not consider them art at all. Tattoos also influence social perceptions: Compared to people without tattoos, people with tattoos are perceived to be more rebellious and less attractive, respectable, and intelligent. This can have professional implications, particularly for professions such as education, medicine, or law and politics.

When it comes to piercings, pierced ears are the most common and socially acceptable. Over half of Americans have their earlobes pierced, and another third have at least one additional piercing. 3 in 4 Americans would allow their children to pierce their ears before the age of 18, while 7 percent would even allow them to get a tattoo at that age. There are numerous reasons for not having a piercing, from pain aversion to finding them too expensive. Most pierced Americans don't regret having had a piercing, while 18 percent do and have taken it out. However, unlike a tattoo, there is only a small scar remaining afterwards.

Naturally the body has intrinsic aesthetic value, but many find flaws in their appearance that cosmetic surgery can alter. A number of Americans have had cosmetic procedures such as lip and breast augmentation, hair transplants , and rhinoplasty. These procedures are less popular than the more inexpensive options above. Still, at least 18 percent of Americans could imagine getting liposuction or an eyelid or breast lift. These procedures also have their detractors, with between 19 and 42 percent of people being “generally against” these surgical procedures in themselves or others.

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Body modification in the U.S.

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