14 Feb 2012

Germans and Piercings/Tattoos

If you have grown up in a slightly conservative environment like me, you will definitely notice that Germans love piercings and tattoos. I have seen ear-rings in all possible places here in Germany:  noses, lips, upper ears, eyebrows, etc. There is also the trend to put those special ear-rings that extend a hole in your ear with time. 

Some Germans put small sparkling pebbles on their teeth. Ok, I admit this is very rare, but you can still see it around.

I heard yesterday on TV that 25% of Germans between 16 and 29 years, have a tattoo. The interesting part is that 50% of them are sorry about it later. 
Another study shows that people aged 14 to 24 have the highest prevalence of piercing and tattooing: females, 41%; males, 27%
Apart from being motivated by fashion and peer pressure, the other reasons are negatively perceived conditions of life and reduced social integration.

So, why this drive to pierce or tattoo your body? I think, and this is only my humble opinion, that it has to do with a small Generation Y rebellion against the German order and excellence, as established after 1989. Rebellion against the Germany that allows companies to keep people as temporary low-paid workers for years, against bureaucracy and high society.

And maybe this drive for piercing and tattooing has nothing to do with any rebellion, but is a reflection of the free and independent life that young people here enjoy. As many youngsters sign up for the so-called Ausbildung (practical education), they start earning their own money already at the age of 15-16 and move out of their parents' place either immediately or a couple of years later when they come of age at 18.

Could the divorce rate have a role? According to statistics from 2002, 39% of marriages in Germany end with a divorce. I know this is an old static, but today's young people were children then! 

What do you think? Comment below!

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