Study Examines Role of Tattoos in Construction of Personal Identity

“Marketing experts know that consumers use products to help construct personal identity. When a person decides to purchase a Hummer rather than a Prius, for instance, that person is also buying a certain lifestyle or attitude. And with so many products to choose from, it is easy to change one’s identity by simply purchasing different products.

But what about tattoos? For marketing researchers, tattoos present interesting questions because unlike clothes, jewelry, cars and even houses, tattoos do not change. They are permanent, infinitely customized and essentially immutable products. A University of Arkansas researcher says people use tattoos as a way to find meaning, permanence and stability – and thus a coherent identity – in an increasingly complex and fragmented world. “

(via Physorg)


  1. That is exactly why I cannot get myself to get a tattoo, even though I would really like one. It’s one thing to build a reality, it’s almost as if tattoo’s take fluid realities and fix them into a stable existence.

  2. Same here. An old boyfriend of mine had one of his tattoos removed, and he said it was extremely painful. (Although this was back in the early 90’s, and the current technology might make it a little less so now.)

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