Forget the stereotypes – getting inked can be a powerful means of reclaiming your body and processing grief or trauma
If one thing has become obvious in the summer heat and the inevitable baring of flesh, it’s the degree to which body art is now the norm. At the pool, the park, or the pub beer garden, you’ll find an enormous variety of designs inked on the skin representing the breadth of human creativity.
About 20% of adults in the UK now have at least one tattoo, and that proportion is likely to grow. Cynics might argue that the increased uptake is a superficial fad, based purely on the aesthetic appeal of tattoos. In this view, they might be the result of a momentary impulse to follow a passing trend followed by years of regret, rather than something that holds deep meaning.
David Robson is the author of The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions (Hodder & Stoughton, £9.99), which examines strategies to overcome biased reasoning. To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply