Unattractive, promiscuous and heavy drinkers: perceptions of women with tattoos

Body Image. 2007 Dec;4(4):343-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2007.06.005. Epub 2007 Sep 20.


This study examined social and physical perceptions of blonde and brunette women with different degrees of tattooing. Eighty-four female and 76 male undergraduates rated a series of 16 female line drawings that varied in 2 levels of hair colour and 8 levels of tattooing. Ratings were made for physical attractiveness and sexual promiscuity, as well as estimates of the number of alcohol units consumed on a typical night out. Results showed that tattooed women were rated as less physically attractive, more sexually promiscuous and heavier drinkers than untattooed women, with more negative ratings with increasing number of tattoos. There were also weak interactions between body art and hair colour, with blonde women in general rated more negatively than brunettes. Results are discussed in terms of stereotypes about women who have tattoos and the effects of such stereotypes on well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Attitude*
  • Beauty*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Hair Color
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Desirability
  • Social Perception*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Tattooing / psychology*