Social media could be a factor in increased tattoo regret among Gen Z

Jul 9, 2024, 4:00 PM

An artists gives a woman an arm tattoo...

KYIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 11: A tattoo artist makes a tattoo on the arm of a young woman on June 11, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Every Saturday a group of tattoo artists make charity events where they do tattoos, and the clients make donations to the Ukrainian army. The region around Ukraine's capital continues to recover from Russia's aborted assault on Kyiv, which turned many communities into battlefields. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of Gen Z are reporting tattoo regret. One artist told USA Today that social media and fast-moving trend cycles could be contributing.

According to the Pew Research Center, 32% of Americans have at least one tattoo. Of that group, 22% have more than one. 

Twenty-four percent of the respondents said they regret at least one of their tattoos. 

What causes tattoo regret? A tattoo artist weighs in

Gabs Miceli, a Brooklyn, New York-based tattoo artist, told USA Today that the two categories are “immediate regret” and regret that comes down the road. 

Miceli told USA Today that people are getting more “impulse tattoos.” Patchwork tattoos, or collections of mismatched tattoos, have become popular among influencers over the past five years.

Getting tattoos based on current trends could lead to more tattoo regret as styles change. Especially if they are not well thought out. 

Miceli also told USA Today that social media may be making tattoo regret appear more prevalent. The internet allows people to share their thoughts and experiences more widely, possibly leading to an illusion that regret is more widespread than it actually is. 

Additionally, USA Today reported that perception and stigma can change people’s views or cause tattoo regret. While society is generally more accepting of tattoos nowadays, some industries are less accepting of them in the workplace. 

Some reasons for avoiding tattoos

While tattoos are a personal decision, Dave & Dujanovic host Dave Noriega and guest host Adam Gardner shared their reasons for passing them up. 

“I have no issues with tattoos. But I mean, it’s not for me,” said Gardner. 

He said that he did not want to regret the decision later on. 

“[Reason] two, I could never figure out what to get,” said Gardner. 

According to Noriega, he wouldn’t be able to commit to a design. “I would have to love it … I would genuinely want some artwork that I could look at and admire.”

Secondly, he said he does not know if they would age well. Human bodies naturally change during our lives. 

Ink Nurse said that tattoos age with the body they are on. They can fade and stretch as the skin ages and pigment breaks down. 

Can you avoid tattoo regret? 

While some cases of tattoo regret are unavoidable, planning and preparation can help others feel confident in their decision. 

Sleight of Hand Tattoo, a shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, shared some tips for avoiding tattoo regret. 

Firstly, choose a style and subject that is right for you. It is recommended to choose something that is meaningful to you. Avoid styles that are trendy unless they truly resonate with you. 

Mystic Owl Tattoo, another shop in Marietta, Georgia also recommended researching artists. The shop’s website said that before you settle on one, become familiar with different artists, their portfolios, and their styles. 

Pay attention to their reviews and the reputation of the shop they work in. Reputable tattoo artists and shops will always have a clean workspace, wear gloves, and use clean, disposable needles. 

Sleight of Hand Tattoo’s website said to choose a placement that will age well and won’t complicate life. Certain tattoo placements will age better than others. When consulting with an artist, tap into their expertise. Highly trained and skilled artists will be able to weigh in on your desired placement and suggest alternate locations. 

Finally, take care of the tattoo during and after the healing process. Mystic Owl Tattoo’s website recommended following the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. 

Additionally, it is recommended to keep the tattoo moisturized and protected from sun exposure. Sun burns can increase the aging rate of a tattoo. 

Related: Free tattoo removal for former gang members

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15 in Davis County, leading to mul...


Excessive heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage in Davis County, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged.

4 hours ago

A smokejumper parachuting to help contain the Speirs wildfire, which started Saturday night....

Emma Keddington

Speirs wildfire burning near Flaming Gorge, caused by lightning

A lightning strike ignited the Speirs wildfire Saturday night. The fire is currently 0% contained, but hasn't caused evacuations.

17 hours ago

An apartment fire on Redwood Road in West Valley City displaced around 30 people Sunday afternoon....

Emma Keddington

Apartment fire displaces around 30 people in West Valley

The fire happened on Redwood Road in West Valley City. The fire affected eight units and displaced 30 people.

18 hours ago

The Unified Fire Authority received a call on Saturday about a helicopter having to emergency land ...

Kennedy Camarena

Helicopter emergency lands in Herriman

A helicopter pilot had to perform an emergency landing in a field in Herriman, Utah on Saturday after a mechanical failure occurred.

2 days ago

An evacuation order is in place for Shurtz Canyon and upper basin above the Graff Point Fire....

Kennedy Camarena

Evacuation order in place for Shurtz Canyon and upper basin above Graff Point Fire

The Graff Point Fire in Iron County is growing and has caused an evacuation order to be put in place in the area.

2 days ago

Utah air quality is going down and it could get worse...

Josuee Sanchez

Utah air quality is deteriorating and could get worse

Utah is lacking of good air quality due to wildfires but it is mostly because of the hot weather.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Social media could be a factor in increased tattoo regret among Gen Z