Your body is a canvas. Why not doll it up?

You see the unique ways people express themselves all the time, from the way they style their hair to the kind of make-up brand they prefer. Body expression, simply put, is a way of life. When your own artistic expression is starting to show some wear and tear, shaking things up can be as simple as stepping out of the box. Tattoos and piercings remain some of the most splashy and interesting ways of shaking up your look. If you already have a few then you’re well aware of the process, and self-esteem boost, that comes with a session.

Come one, come all. This is a list for the budding artist and the experienced artist alike.

Expressing yourself comes in many different flavors. One person might prefer to show off their love for nature by tending to a garden in the comfort of their backyard, while another prefers to play guitar and visit concerts. Whatever way art takes hold of you, nurturing it can also include how you portray yourself in the day-to-day. Tattoos and piercings have long and interesting histories all around the world. Even the technology that goes into it can be enough to have you on the edge of your seat! Figuring out which one suits you best involves asking a few questions about who you are and where you want to be.

Let’s take a look at some history on body modification. Elaine Davidson, native to Scotland, holds the record for the most body piercings, with May of 2016 concluding her to have just under 10,000. Rest assured most people don’t have quite that many, though piercings are quite popular for both their flexibility and ease of access. A 2015 survey found nearly 15% of Americans having body piercings in locations other than their ear lobes. Another study saw 35% of women reporting having their naval pierced.

When it comes to tattoos, body expression doesn’t get any more bombastic. There are over 20,000 tattoo parlors in the United States, with an estimated 15% of all Americans having at least one tattoo. Interestingly enough, around 5% of the American population has covered up a tattoo with another one. Body expression takes on many forms, but the one that’s right for you might very well not look like another’s. What could pop culture tattoos or some new piercings do to change the way you feel about yourself?

If this is your first time getting a tattoo, there are a few things you should keep in mind so you’re not facing up against a sob story rather than a success story! A small tattoo can cost around $45 to $50, while a larger tattoo can be an upwards of $150 per hour. Tattoos with color are going to be a little more painful than monochromatic ones, due to the time involved, and might be better saved once you’ve had some experience. Arms, shins, shoulders, the upper back, and the hip are all popular places to start out.

Attitudes toward tattoos changes depending on the culture and the people involved. One country might have what you’d consider a tattoo addiction, while another treats it as just another form of body expression. According to a 2015 Harris Poll, nearly half of Millennials and 35% of Gen Xers have at least one tattoo. The reputation of the tattoo artist is widely considered to be important, with another poll finding 50% of those with tattoos citing it as their dealbreaker. The best tattoo shops in Michigan will no doubt give you a leg up on your next big thing.

Body expression is as fun as it is personal. What kind of tattoo ink are you thinking of starting with?

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