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Humans have been using their bodies as canvases for thousands of years. The Maori, an indigenous people of New Zealand, used to carve designs into their flesh with bone chisels. This act of tattooing was considered sacred to the Maori. Surprisingly enough, facial tattoos were the most popular amongst the people because they believed the head to be the most sacred part of the body. 

It’s come to my attention that every person I know who has a tattoo wants another one. According to The Harris Poll, one in every five adults has one. There is even a Channel 4 series titled My Tattoo Addiction. I thought this matter was intriguing so I started doing some research based on the premise, “Are tattoos addicting?” Turns out science has no proven answers but there is an abundance of theories… 

Some say it could be based on the euphoric rush that is brought about with the pain of getting a tattoo. Others suppose it’s predominantly from the need to feel unique as an individual. There have also been theories about it being the attention people get from the new ink. Or, maybe, they want to be reminded of a mantra or a deceased and important family member. 

At the end of the day, there is no definitive reason as to why some people get many tattoos and others don’t. A famous tattoo artist named Dan Gold, who’s inked both Kate Moss and Britney Spears, says he can tell which tattooees will return for more. In an interview, he told BBC, “I can tell when they walk in. It’s the little devil in their eyes. I’ll say to them: ‘You’ll come back,’ and they always do.” 

The so-called tattoo addiction could also be attributed to the fact that inking is a more socially acceptable and perhaps even “trendy” thing to do. Our society now more than ever, covets individuality and self-expression, and an increasingly popular way to do that is through wearing your very own artistic expression. 


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