Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tattoo Removal as a Reflection of EA and Transition to Adulthood

An interesting article on tattoo removal has just come out in the New York Times, entitled "Erasing Tattoos, Out of Regret or Simply to Get a Fresh Canvas" (by Natasha Singer, June 17, 2007). I'm not sure how long the article link will work, but those of you at universities that subscribe to Lexis/Nexis may be able to access the article that way in the future, via the citation I've provided.

Nowhere in the article does the team "emerging adulthood" appear. However, based on some of the age statistics cited and the comments of people interviewed for the article, EA-relevant themes appear to lurk beneath the surface. Here's one passage, for example:

Most of Dr. Tattoff’s [not the name of a real doctor, but rather of a tattoo-removal service] clients are women ages 25 to 35, said James Morel, the chief executive of the company, which has given more than 13,000 tattoo laser treatments since opening here in 2004. “Maybe women are getting more tattoos than they used to,” Mr. Morel said, “or maybe they just have a higher level of tattoo regret than men.”

Aside from the gender aspect, the 25-35 age-range dovetails well with when the exploratory/experimentation-oriented years of emerging adulthood should be ending and more "serious" pursuits are being undertaken.

A quote from tattoo-removal client David Donch of New Jersey reinforces that theme:

Mr. Donch said the treatments felt like rubber bands being snapped against his skin but that it was worth it. “As I am getting older and planning to start a family and get my teaching certificate, I am more aware that appearances are important,” Mr. Donch said.

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