What Having Tattoos Reveals About You, Says Science

People have been making assumptions about what tattoos might say about your personality for years. But now we have the answer, thanks to science. 

According to a new study, being inked is linked to having a higher self-esteem.

And we think that’s pretty amazing.

See: Celebrity Tattoos – The Ones You Have To See

Looking at students across the pond in the US, the findings – entitled Tattoos, gender, and well-being among American college students – are based on 2,395 students from across six different universities. 


Women with four or more tattoos were found to have higher self-esteem than those with less or no tatts.  The researchers behind the study think this might be down to the fact that body art plays a part in identifying with oneself. It’s all about self-expression, after all. 

Jerome Koch, who lead the research, told Science Daily what he was hoping to achieve through his findings: ‘We wanted to find out, to what extent does the acquisition of body art correlate to a sense of well-being or a greater sense of self?’

He hinted that he wanted to explore the assumptions that can still surround tattoos, saying: ‘instead of talking about deviance, it’s about wellness.’

Unfortunately, whilst the level of self-confidence went up along with the number of tattoos, so did reported levels of depression.

The study suggests that inkings may bring meaning after a life-changing event: ‘Just as breast cancer survivors and abuse victims acquire tattoos and piercings to restore physical losses… we think the women in our study may be trying to restore emotional losses with more tattoos.’

See: This Tattoo Artist Is Helping Domestic Abuse Survivors

It’s worth pointing out that the women were not questioned on why they got their tattoos. And, of course, women choose to work ink for a variety of different reasons, whether it’s a meaningful quote or a funny cartoon character just for LOLs. 

What is clear is that body art can have you feeling more confident.

So if you’re thinking about adopting a new design, you’ve now got that on your side.