Face Tattoos: Trend or Taboo?

First Impressions

If Post Malone did it, why can’t I?” Although numerous studies taken between 2014-2017 state that visible ink is an unaccepted rarity, the popularity of face tattoos continues to grow each year, confirming that traditional taboos are slowly dying out generation after generation. What is it about this trend that lures the younger generations to continue to ink up in areas many previous generations swore to be a ‘job killer’?

Existing for millenniums and presenting itself in various forms, body modification has been a topic throughout human existence. The act of modifying can be as simple as getting your nose pierced to even splitting your tongue, which is why we bring up this subject in relation to face tattooing, as it's one of the more popular requests among these modifications. Let's dive a little further into a few reasons why this past taboo is now shifting into a trend that keeps trending.

First Impressions


A mother of four and a famous New Zealand news anchor, 35-year-old Oriini Kaipara went viral last year sporting an ancestorial face tattoo after returning from a spiritual ceremony with a lower chin tattoo worn by many Māori women. Obviously, people had opinions. But despite the unwanted coverage, Oriini expressed to viewers that her ink was a representation not only of her spirituality, but also of her mother, grandmother, and all Māori females living amongst her.

First Impressions

Beauty & Success

It's very apparent that humans thrive off of beauty and success. Whether this is influenced by our environment or perceptual adaptation, the standards set for both beauty and success vary from location to location. And when it comes to face tattoos, specifically in America, you'll start to notice how they are slowly becoming a part of those standards, thanks to current pop culture icons such as Post Malone, Kehlani and Euphoria’s main man, Dominic Fike. The more often face tattoos are seen on people within the entertainment industry who define beauty and success, the more often you'll see it replicated, causing a gradual gravitation towards the acceptance of it. Why? Familiarity. How? By mass media putting these poster children front-and-center throughout social media, journalism, films, advertising and more. These are the things the human population consumes on a daily basis. The more often it's seen and digested, the more it's accepted. Kind of crazy how much power the media has in shaping the human perspective. And, this could also possibly be training the brain into thinking that the only way one can be as successful and beautiful as these people, is if they LOOK like them. It's all about who we put under that spotlight, and thanks to the current ‘modern-day icons', tattooing has gone from Russian prison cells to SS/FW runway shows, making tattoos the new luxury.

First Impressions


The most common response from people when asking about why they modify their bodies is self-expression. Humans are innately visual creatures, and what better way can one make a statement about oneself than to show onlookers who they are without having to vocalize it? Self-expression can be anything from writing your own song, to redesigning your body to the way you desire through body modification. As we continue throughout this new decade, The 2020s, and see a rise in the percentage of people modifying their bodies to their liking, we can confidently forecast more ink, especially in those visible locations that were once a taboo. Each generation gets ballsier, skipping out a full sleeve tattoo and going straight for the cheekbone. People want to let loose, and people want to rebel. Younger generations are expressing themselves not only through fashion, art, and music, but now through the one thing that carries them from Point A, to Point B.

So are face tattoos trending? Yes, face tattoos are trending and have been trending over the years due to the reasons listed above. Ink and self expression are beautiful, no matter the who, what, when, where and why. As the ink industry continues to evolve with trends, it's important to continue to empower and inform the public with facts, allowing people to knowledgeably express themselves through creativity.