Published February 12, 2013
“LA Ink.” “Ink Master.” “America’s Worst Tattoos.” There’s no shortage of tattoo-focused TV shows to choose from.
“America’s obsessed with reality television, and there’s about as many reality shows about tattooing out there as there are tattoo shops in the city,” Brian Grosz, writer for Needlesandsins.com, told FOX 411's In the Zone.
Add to that celebs like Dave Navarro and heavily inked sports superstars like San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick, and it looks like tattoos are becoming trendier every day.
And we’re not just talking about a heart with the word mom in it. We’re talking full backs, arms, legs and even faces.
So has it gotten to the point where tattoos are totally acceptable for every day people? And if so, is that really a good thing?
Missy Suicide, creator of the tattoo pin up website Suicide Girls, believes former prejudices against tattoos are quickly dissolving.
“I think the popularity of shows like ‘Miami Ink’ and ‘LA Ink’ had a lot to do with society as a whole being more accepting," said Missy.. "It showcased not just beautiful art work but the stories behind why people were getting their tattoos and made them much more relatable."
And Missy's putting her money where her mouth is, publishing a coffee table book "Hard Girls: Soft Light," full of partially clothed, inked up girls she says prove tattoos can be pretty, just in time for Valentine's Day.
But Grosz said people need to think before they ink, and that tattoos are not for everyone.
“I absolutely think there are people who should not get tattooed. Anybody who’s not certain of the imagery they want on their body for the rest of their life,” Grosz said. “Anything that’s highly visible -- necks, hands, faces -- I don’t think that’s a great career move for anybody.”
His point is proven with the show "America's Worst Tattoos," which focuses on people hoping to correct their major tattoo mistakes.
Jamie Krauss, of the Narrative Media Group, added that a tattoo may send the wrong message.
“Here’s the thing: Some people look at tattoos as gross and some people are going to judge you for having a tattoo. What you have to remember is this: You are a brand,” said Krauss. “Every single day we have the opportunity to represent ourselves to the world however we want. You have to think when you’re getting a visible tattoo: ‘How is this going to affect who I want to be in five or ten years?’”
Although Grosz has worked in the ink industry for many years, he said he believes a negative stigma still exists.
“I think there are certain careers that frown upon tattoos for better or worse. I don’t like the discriminatory angle of it. I don’t think anyone should be hired or fired because of their tattoos,” said Grosz.
Krauss and Grosz agreed that certain professions are not tattoo-friendly. But in some worlds, tattoos come with the territory, explained William Beatty, offensive tackle for the New York Giants.
“For athletes tattoos define us. It is a way that you can stand out in a crowd. There are so many rules [in] football… Everyone has the same helmet, same jersey, same socks, same shoes, like you’re representing the team,” Beatty said.
Beatty said Kaepernick was able to express himself on the field through his body art.
But Krauss said Kaepernick’s ink may have been a bad idea.
“Kaepernick was heavily criticized for having tattoos," she said. "Many people said that being a quarterback of a football team is kind of like being a CEO of a high profile company and you should really be a role model."