Tattoo and the self

Jung Mee Mun, Kristy A. Janigo, Kim K Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


There has been an increase in the numbers of women getting tattoos. The purpose of this study was to better understand tattooed women focusing on how having a tattoo influenced both self perceptions and subsequent behaviors. Our study was guided by three research questions: (1) What meaning do women assign to their tattoos and to what extent were these meanings dynamic? (2) What changes in self perception did women attribute to their being tattooed? (3) What changes in behavior did women attribute to their being tattooed? In-depth interviews of thirty tattooed women served as our data. Tattoos held several meanings for participants including connection to self, life events, relationships, and spirituality. Tattoos were closely related to some aspect of the self (82%). For some participants the meaning changed over time (61%). The act of obtaining tattoos resulted in a change in how participants viewed themselves and their behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-148
Number of pages15
JournalClothing and Textiles Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • meaning
  • perception
  • self
  • self-presentation
  • tattoo


Dive into the research topics of 'Tattoo and the self'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this