Kids these days are growing up faster than ever. Cell phones are amongst the most popular necessity of kids as young as 10. But currently, cell phones aren’t the accessory that’s stressing out more and more parents, while tattoos are. Tattoos are being found on more and more teens. Why the obsession with tattoos at such at a young age? From Mattel’s Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie, which may influence children as young as 5, to the newest temporary tattoos, to the most popular celebrity teens flaunting their new ink to our young generation, tattoos are seen everywhere and amongst all age groups of children. One state even started a new law as recent as July 1, 2010 because of the number of teens going to tattoos parlors to be inked.
In 2009, Mattel launched a new Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie. The doll came with temporary tattoos for both the doll and child. It also included a tattoo gun in which the tattoos were to be applied. Parents were outraged but Mattel kept the Barbie on the shelf. Mattel believes the Tattoo Barbie gives young girls a chance to express themselves. Many parents like the idea of their children expressing themselves, but believe it can be in a different form than tattoos. One of the tattoos found on the Tattoo Barbie is a heart tattoo with the name Ken inside the heart. The name of a person’s significant other is also the most regretted tattoo later on in life. Whether the temporary tattoos found on this Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie really influence children to want tattoos is still an argument going on today.
Another huge influence on teens and tattoos is the amount of teen celebrities donning their ink. Just last year, at the Teen Choice Awards, which as the name implies, has an audience of mostly 11-17 year olds, a Jonas Brother, a heartthrob amongst young girls, was tattooed by the none other than celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D. It wasn’t revealed to the audience that the tattoo was fake and again many parents were outraged.
While the Jonas Brother’s tattoo was later found out to be a fake, other young celebrities have had real tattoos inked on their bodies. Justin Bieber, only 16 years old, already has his first real tattoo. His family was fully supportive of him getting his tattoo at such a young age. They actually went on to explain the bird tattoo that Justin got was a family tradition. Miley Cyrus, 17 years old, already has at least two tattoos. Miley’s family was also fully supportive of her decision to get her tattoos done before she turned eighteen. She was with her father who was getting ink done when she decided on her “love” tattoo located inside her ear.
Many states let teens get tattooed with parental consent. However, in Minnesota, starting July 1, 2010, teens will no longer be able to get a tattoo even with parental permission. Minnesota believes that this new law will prevent those teens that feel the need to express them selves through a tattoo without thinking of the lifelong consequences. Minnesota does not dislike tattoos. The state just believes that a person should be an adult when making the decision to obtain a tattoo.
Whether kids are influenced by their favorite doll or their favorite teen celebrity, tattoo popularity is definitely on the rise amongst younger and younger children.