Five Facts You May Not Know About Tattoos

Five Facts You May Not Know About Tattoos

There are tattooed Barbie dolls

Yup, you read that right. The iconic (for better or worse) doll got an ink-makeover for a collaboration between toy maker Mattel and Harley Davidson in 2008. She was adorned with a giant pair of wings tattooed on her back.

Another tattooed Barbie also got her time in the limelight in 2011, in another collaboration with Japanese lifestyle brand Tokidoki. The doll, with a pale pink bob haircut and visible tattoos on her shoulders and neck, was meant for adult collectors and was only ever produced in 7,500 units. 

While tattoos may have gone mainstream over the past decades, turns out quite a few parents were not prepared for their children to play with dolls sporting body art (but impossible physical traits such as permanently tip-toeing feet are apparently fine), and the doll sparked some parental outrage. 

Tattooing needles can move up to 3000 times per minute

No wonder it hurts when two layers of your skin are being pierced through that many times. Meanwhile, the speed of the needle is up to the artist. It can also move relatively slowly, at only 50 times per minute. That’s a little under one per second. With each stroke, the needle penetrates the dermis, which is about 2 mm below the surface of your skin. When the needle punctures the skin, the ink gets drawn into the hole where it then remains. Experienced tattoo artists know how to adjust the speed of the needle depending on the skin type of the customer, motive, and tattooing style. 

The longest tattooing session by a single artist is 60 h 30 min

The Guinness World Record is held by Aleksandr Pakostin who runs the tattooing studio Kolnya in Vologda, Russia. He set it in September 2019. We cannot even imagine the amount of coffee… Hopefully, the quality remained somewhat intact throughout the marathon session. The rules stipulate that the artist attempting the record can take a five-minute break every hour. 

Photo: Statisa

Italy has the largest percentage of tattooed people in the world

According to a 2018 survey, 48% of Italians had at least one tattoo. The country is followed closely by Sweden with 47%, and the US with 46%, respectively. Then there is a small jump to Australia, which comes in fifth place with 43% of adults having gotten inked at least once. Argentina is in fifth place, and Spain, Denmark, the UK, Brazil, and France round out the top ten, with the latter at 36%. Women have more tattoos than men, and middle-aged people have the most tattoos overall. 

Women find tattooed men more attractive

Perhaps saving the best tidbit for last? In 2017, a UK dating app conducted a survey among its members which found that two-thirds of women were attracted to men who have tattoos. As many as 64% of the respondents were looking to date a man with ink. Women seeking same-sex relationships also said that “some” tattoos made for added attraction.


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