One out of four youngsters in Australia seems to sport a tattoo, and it is fast becoming a fashion statement.
Most parents hate them and recruitment agencies tell young job-hunters to cover them or risk missing out on a job - but Generation Y's love affair with tattoos is going berserk.
AdvertisementPeople have different reasons for why 'Gen Y' is so keen on getting the permanent art inked.
Matthew Sammut, 21, got his first tattoo, which was a colourful replica of the graphics illustrating the video game 'Street Fighter', now covers his right arm from shoulder to wrist.
Sammut, whose 16-year-old brother is covered in tattoos, said it was worth it.
"It's artwork, and it looks cool. My mates all have sleeve tattoos. It's a big thing these days, and I really wanted one," News.com.au quoted him as saying.
He also added that 'plenty of guys' in his industry were 'covered in ink' and he wore protective clothing on the job.
"So I'm not worried about the tattoo for work," Sammut proudly added..
Tattoo experts believe stars including Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, David and Victoria Beckham and NRL stars such as Benji Marshall and Todd Carney have helped make inking acceptable.
The indelible markings are now so commonplace that youngsters are pushing the boundaries, opting for the biggest, brightest designs to cover an entire arm or leg, the neck, chest, back or torso.
The tattooed generation says that despite obvious styles and trends, tattooing is art - a way to express their individuality.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle estimates about one in three Australians in their mid-30s has a tattoo.
He says Gen Y is the first generation in which tattoos have become mainstream.
"Tattooing is ubiquitous, and we haven't seen a whole generation get tattoos in such prominent ways, then move through their 50s and 60s,"he said.
John Tadrosse, the owner of Bondi Ink, said celebrities had glamorised tattoos, which were no longer associated only with motorcycle gangs.