Marilyn Monroe once crooned the phrase, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” and it became instantly popular. Even to this day, girls plaster the phrase across tee shirts and Facebook statuses. But, let’s talk real for a moment, shall we, ladies? When Monroe first mouthed those words, it was in 1949 and that was the absolute truth. Diamonds, at the time, made girls feel better about themselves—they were luxurious, dazzling, and most of all, sexy.
But it’s 2016 and I think this statement needs a little tweaking.
While diamonds are still fun, I don’t think they’re a gal’s best friend these days. Sure, they’re a symbol of marriage, love, and elegance—but there’s something just as expensive and a whole lot more unique that can make a woman feel sexy.
What is it, you ask?
Why, tattoos, of course.
According to a recent poll, there are now more tattooed women in the United States than men. In fact, as a poll conducted by the popular television show “Best Ink” (in partnership with Lightspeed Research) showed, 59% of women are inked versus only 41% of men. During the same poll, it was noted that women’s tattoos generally held a deeper meaning and were more thought-out than their masculine counterparts.
So why are women flocking to the practice and why am I suggesting body ink replace diamonds as a girl’s best friend?
A study conducted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Westminster, in the United Kingdom, uncovered some amazing side effects of being tattooed. According to this recent study, individuals who were tattooed showed “significantly lower appearance anxiety and dissatisfaction immediately after obtaining a tattoo.” In layman’s terms, they felt less self-conscious about their body image directly after their tattoo was completed. The study also uncovered that being tattooed gives one a “higher body appreciation, distinctive appearance investment, self-ascribed uniqueness, and self-esteem.”
Given that the current social media trending topic as of late has been focused on body shaming women, tattooing is a great method to take your body back; to own it as truly yours—giving you the freedom to make the conscious decision to alter, enhance, or change the appearance of. Placing a piece of ink you love on your body gives you something to admire when you’re having a ‘fat day.’ It will make you smile when you catch a glimpse of it in the mirror or shop window you walked past because you’re bloated that day.
Pride in one’s ink also plays into body image. Think about it . . . when you have a good hair day or happen to pick out a killer outfit, you’re likely to check yourself out in every mirror or strut around feeling awfully attractive that day. You’re more likely to snap a selfie with a friend or talk to that cute guy (or girl) at the end of the bar. You find yourself filled with confidence, ready to take on the world. But, the next day, when your hair is flat because of rain or you’re stuck with your laundry day outfit because you haven’t had time to wash the cute jeans—well, that feeling dissipates. But, if your pride stems from a permanent piece of ink, that feeling can never go away. You’ll never forget to put your tattoo on or tear a hole in it. You’ll never cut it too short by accident or frizz it out with a bad dye job. Face it, a tattoo is an accessory that you can be proud of day in and day out, making it easier to accept your body for what it is and show it off with delight.
In addition to the higher body appreciation, self-expression stands tall as another reason women are rushing to the tattoo parlors for their next piece. Having artwork of your choice inked upon your skin creates an individualism that cannot be completed by clothing, hair color, or other stand-out measures. Unless the image you selected is trademarked (like a Doctor Who TARDIS or your favorite sports team’s logo) or a flash piece, the design you’re wearing on your body is yours and yours alone—something nobody else will have upon themselves in any shape or form.
It’s an empowering feeling to take control of your body in a way that only you have the right to do so. Especially with so many rules regarding the female body—the latest talks of abortion restrictions, birth control complications, and taxes on feminine hygiene products—tattooing a design of your choice on your body feels rebellious, freeing, and relaxing all at once. It’s an amazing feeling to say, “You know what? I’m going to put this, here,” and actually do it. It’s a relief, especially when sometimes we may feel like we have no control over factors in our lives.
So, ladies, let’s stand up together and shout it from the rooftops: Move over Diamonds, you’ve had your time. Tattoos are now a girl’s best friend.