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Tattoos: Innocent Fashion Or Sign Of Danger?

Tattoos: Innocent Fashion Or Sign Of Danger? Promo Image

A poll is probably not necessary to know that tattoos are more popular than ever in the United States.

However, Harris Polls has conducted a national tattoo survey anyway, and the results reveal that 30 percent of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo.

Inked skin is particularly popular among younger Americans, adorning nearly half of Millennials and over a third of Gen Xers, the Harris Poll also shows.

In comparison, only 13 percent of Baby Boomers and 10 percent of Matures are tattooed, the poll found.

Millennials and Gen Xers are also far more likely to have multiple tattoos.

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Slightly more than one-third of inked adults say having a tattoo makes them feel more sexy. Just over a quarter say it makes them feel more rebellious, and 20 percent indicate they get tattooed for spiritual reasons.

Outside of the mainstream, however, they serve primarily as brands indicating membership in a gang or other subculture, observes the website American Web Media.

Cobweb tattoos, which typically appear on the elbow, represent a long stint in prison.

Teardrop tattoos often indicate that the person has committed murder, typically gang-related.

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A five-pointed crown is associated with the Latin Kings gang. 

Three dots near the eyes indicates the "mi vida loca" gang lifestyle, which translates to "my crazy life." 

Five dots represent hard prison time. Often referred to as "quincunx," the four marks on the outside represent the four walls of the prison, while the fifth represents the incarcerated inmates. 

The letters "MS" is widely understood to indicate membership in the Mara Salvatrucha gang, which is associated with Salvadorian immigrants. 

"A.C.A.B" is a common British tattoo that stands for "All Cops Are B****ds". Another acronym, "E.W.M.N.," means "Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty." 

The white supremacist subculture uses tattoos extensively.

For the Aryan Brotherhood, tattoos signify gang membership. In addition to sporting their "AB" initials, they often have tattoos of clover leaves and Nazy symbols such as swastikas.

For example, the number 88, decoded as HH because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, is presumed to mean "Heil Hitler."

Anthony Leon Rushing's "HH" tattoo might have been what got him arrested for jaywalking in October in Rancho Cordova, California, as reported by the Daily Mail.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), there has been "an explosive rise in the number of hate groups since the turn of the century."

The reason, the organization contends, is due in part to anger over immigration from Latin America and fear of the demographic trend toward a white minority by about 2040.

As of 2016, there were 917 active hate groups in the United States, as defined by the SPLC.

Sources: The Harris Poll, American Web Media, Daily Mail, Southern Poverty Law Center / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Keith McDuffee/Flickr, ICE via Wikimedia Commons

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