Are ink heads angry?! Or unemployable?

Angry Back Tattoo

Recent studies have shown that people with tattoos tend to be more angry than people without them. There has also been a correlation between gender in some research that stated women with tats seem to be more angry than men with ink.

Whether the body art affects job prospects is also up for debate.

Ink equals aggression

The latest report in the journal Body Image, a survey of residents in London, revealed about 25 percent of respondents had tattoos, anywhere from one to 12. Men and women were about equal in the number with and the numbers of ink.

The social psychology researchers found those with tattoos, and those with more tattoos, reported higher levels of verbal aggression, anger and rebelliousness in reaction to certain stimuli.

In that same study, women reported more verbal aggression, proactive and reactive rebelliousness than men.

Tats and temper(ment)

Several Notre Dame College students said they disagree with these studies.

“I just feel like tattoos don’t really define who you are personality wise or your characteristics as a person. Instead, they are more so just a way of expressing yourself or telling a story of events that happened in your life.” said Anissa Mcdaniel, junior.

A student from Miami University Ali Girunas agreed. She said she thinks people with tattoos may be more angry not specifically because they have ink but because that is just who they are.

“Some people who are more likely to get tattoos may live different lifestyles, grow up in specific areas with certain economic backgrounds,” Girunas said.

Body art age, anger and attacks

The Body Image journal study did not find age, educational attainment or ethnicity to affect ink or aggression. While the average age of the respondent in that research was about 30, the Pew Research Center stated about 40 percent of millenials have at least one tattoo.

And the Journal of The American Medical Association released a recent study saying 63 percent of participants between 13 and 17 years old had anger attacks involving vandalism, threats and violence.


According to Mitch Mickovic, who is a member of the wrestling team at the college, about 70 percent of wrestlers on the team have tattoos and most of them tend to be somewhat angry. But he does not think that people with tattoos are angrier than any others.

Mickovic also said that a wrestler’s success is not determined by tattoos or temper but rather by performance.

Ink in job interviews

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology conducted a survey that showed that 98 percent of tattooed students reported they have never been prevented from achieving further promotion within their jobs due to having a tattoo.

However, the Pew Research Center indicated 76 percent of Americans think that tattoos negatively affect an applicant’s chances of being hired.

The center also reported about 40 percent of millenials have at least one tattoo, but nearly three out of every four have the ink somewhere it can’t be seen by potential employers.

Several students at Notre Dame have hidden tattoos. Common places to cover up the ink include on the lower back, back of the shoulder and sometimes the chest, they said.

Skin in the game

In Downtown Cleveland, the company Jackprints was started by skaters and most of their employers have full body tattoos. A representative at their company said that “tattoos are highly encouraged and accepted.”

The Notre Dame faculty and staff handbook does not address tattoos specifically in the “personal appearance” section for employees.

Alumnus David Hall, who works full time at the college, said if the body art is minimal or hidden it shouldn’t matter to potential employers or to how someone would perceive a person’s temperament.

To each his or her own ink

In the new study, the Body Image researchers suggested angry people get inked after experiencing “a negative emotional event” because the tattoo is a “defiant” response.

Hall believes it is hard to say whether someone will or will not get body art depending on their situation and disposition, especially without knowing their personal history.

“Everyone has a unique story that some choose to share through art instead of talking about it,” said Hall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.