Though tattoos are gaining greater acceptance in society, they are still viewed negatively by many Americans. Tattoos have been associated with crime in the past, and this stereotypes persists in many parts of the culture. Tattoos are also viewed as reckless by many people, and can reflect poorly on a person and affect things like job prospects and dating opportunities.
Although public opinion is becoming more favorable, many in the U.S. view a person with tattoos as being a criminal or a degenerate. This perception partly came about from prisoners and gang members sporting tattoos. Culturally, rock stars that the older generations thought were lower class had tattoos, and did not want their sons and daughters fraternizing with them.That notion has lasted to modern times.
Although tattoos were once viewed negatively, most people in the United States now accept tattoos as an individual's personal expression. As with other forms of expression, most people acknowledge a person's right to tattoo themselves. However, as with any other form of expression, people do judge the appropriatness of the tattoo.
Once, tattoos were viewed as a sign of someone who lived largely outside the realm of society. Although some employers in the United States still refuse to hire people with visible tattoos, the stigma is rapidly dying. Celebrities have been a major factor in the growing acceptance of tattoos. Many people look up to them and celebrities who very openly live within society sporting them has helped more people accept them.