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Despite popularity of tattoos, most adults still hide theirs

Despite popularity of tattoos, most adults still hide theirs



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Forget about tattoo stereotypes -- tats aren't just for bikers and inmates.

Getting "inked" is seeping into mainstream culture and becoming extremely popular. So why are many adults still hiding their tattoos?

A new Pew Research Center study shows 72 percent of adults -- young or old -- do not have visible tattoos. One reason might be the value some adults place on their "body art."

Ogden resident Adam Keen says his tattoo holds special meaning for him. "My tattoo is a dragon, which is a time-honored symbol of power. And he's holding a crystal ball, which has the word ‘knowledge' in it. It was a symbol to me when I was 18 that the root of all power was held in knowledge."

Keen knows his attitude toward tattoos is rare because he says friends his age mainly get tattoos to show off. As a 22-year-old, Keen has one tattoo -- something researchers say is uncommon for adults in his age group.

The Pew study shows nearly four in 10 of adults ages 18 to 29 have more than one tattoo, and some also have piercings.

Keen also doesn't think visible tattoos are very professional, and while his hidden ink is special to him, some of his older co-workers keep their tats hidden for different reasons.

"They were like, 'Oh yeah, I was young and dumb when I got it,'" he said. "Like the arm band that goes around and looks like a barbed wire or a tribal thing."

The Pew study shows that, young or old, a significant amount of men over women are likely to have visible tattoos.

Researchers note that while tattoos have gone mainstream, they date as far back as ancient Egypt.

For more about the Pew Research study, CLICK HERE.

E-mail: niyamba@ksl.com

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Nkoyo Iyamba

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