There are 31 tattoo shops just in Billings according to a Google search, and that's not even counting the I-can-do-it-in-my-basement-I-have-a-tattoo-gun crowd. What is the fascination with ink?

I will admit that I have three tattoos. One is a pink Breast Cancer Ribbon on my ankle for my sister Jeanne who is a breast cancer survivor. One is an infinity symbol with two names on it, my sister Angie (who I lost almost 4 years ago) and my nephew (her oldest son) Micheal, or Pookie as we called him (he passed almost a year and a half ago). The third one is, well, that's not important. Let's just say I was young and no one but my husband sees it nowadays. Why do we get tattoos?  Does it tell a story, or share a memory of someone, or do we get them just because we think it's cool?  I've heard "because I thought it was a cool design", "for my grandparents", "for my sons who is in the military", "for my mom who is a seven-time cancer survivor."

According to historyoftatoos.net, 3 in 10 adults have a tattoo and in the US there is an estimated 64 billion, yes I said billion, spent on tattoos each year and over the next decade, the tattoo industry is expected to continue to grow at an annual rate of 7.7%.

Did you know that about 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo, while there is roughly 40 percent of the population says they wouldn't even consider getting a tattoo? Surprisingly, or maybe not, people that are between the ages of 25 - 40 are most likely to get a tattoo and about half of millennials have a tattoo.

Does having a tattoo or multiple tattoos affect employers when hiring people? Do you look at people with tattoos differently or prejudge them?

Credit: Sovereign Tattoo

 

If you're in the market for a tattoo, check out some of these tattoo shops. Cin City Tattoo, Sovereign Tattoo, Rise Again Tattoo, Eternal Ink,  Black Sparrow Tattoo, Legendary Tattoo and Bodyworks Tattoo.

 

Do you have a tattoo? What is it and why did you get it?

I asked several of my friends why they got tattoos and here's what some of them said:

  • Kristie Schaak Hutton
    1

    Memory Tattoo

    Kristie Schaak Hutton got her tattoo in memory of her son Tucker who passed away at 18 a few years ago.

  • Credit: Tina Downing
    2

    Symbolic Tattoo

    Tina Downing got her tattoo, the endless knot, it stands for what we do today affects our tomorrow, our actions affect those around us.

  • 3

    Relationship Tattoo

    My friends Cara and Eli (they are twins) have matching tattoos. Semper Coniuncti (Always connected).