News, Culture & Society

Call for ban on face tattoos for under-21s after rise in youngsters seeking ‘jobstopper’ inkings

Call to ban face tattoos for under-21s after rise in youngsters seeking extreme ‘jobstopper’ inkings made fashionable by celebrities including Justin Bieber

  • Tattoos on the face, neck and hands are becoming increasingly popular in the UK
  • Professionals say that face markings are known as ‘job stoppers’ in the industry
  • Calls for age limit of tattoos to be upped from 18 to 21 after face tattoo increase  

Singer song-writer Kehlani (pictured above) is one of a handful of celebrities who have made face inkings popular

Tattoo artists have called for stricter laws on who can practise the profession because more young people continue to have permanent ink drawn onto their faces, as professionals say such placing of the tattoos could ‘affect job prospects’.

The law in the UK currently allows those who are 18 or over to have a tattoo anywhere on their body, but tattooists have now called for the age limit of inkings on the face to be raised to 21.

It comes as they say increasing numbers of young people are requesting images on their neck, face and hands, after such markings were made popular by pop stars such as Justin Bieber, Kehlani, Jesy Nelson and gang member turned model Jeremy Meeks. 

The British Tattoo Artist Federation (BTAF) said that face markings are known in the industry as ‘job stoppers’, as they can prevent young people from securing a job.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Lee Clements of the BTAF said there has been a ‘huge increase’ in the trend of facial tattoos.

‘I can’t go a week without a young person coming into our studio asking for a tattoo on their neck, face, or hands.’

Justin Bieber (pictured above) has tattoos on his chest and arms and also a small one above his right eyebrow which says 'grace'

Justin Bieber (pictured above) has tattoos on his chest and arms and also a small one above his right eyebrow which says ‘grace’

He said that the fact that such inkings are lowering job prospects could help to secure a higher age limit on the illustrations.

‘It could carry weight to higher the age people can get facial tattoos. It is concerning for us as professionals because in the future it is going to affect job prospects’. 

But, Mr Clements, who runs a studio in Barry, South Wales, said for many of the clients who come into the studio, it’s more about the tattoo being visible ‘when they take the perfect Instagram photo’. 

The rise in use of social media platforms such as Instagram and the fact that influencers can now earns thousands of pounds in one post has made the perfect shot even more desirable.

Jesy Nelson

Jeremy Meeks

Little Mix star Jesy Nelson (left) and model Jeremy Meeks (right) both have facial tattoos

Many teenagers and children use such platforms and Mr Clements said he has had children as young as 14 coming into his studio.

In the industry, a ‘scratcher’ is known as an unprofessional studio and Mr Clements said children had come into his studio after having tattoos done in in such places.

He said anyone can open up a tattoo studio and that one of the main problems is that younger people visit scratchers as they are less likely to turn them away or to refuse to do certain pieces.

Mr Clements is now working with the Welsh government in order to introduce stricter rules as to who can work as a tattoo artist.

This is while Instagram star Nadine Anderson claimed some of the most popular face tattoos are shapes on the cheek or above the eyebrow, the 23-year-old said there are ‘definitely more people willing to do it now’.

Ms Anderson has over 100,000 followers on Instagram and said there is still a ‘social taboo’ around tattoos but said the trend has been fueled by celebrities ‘normalising’ the inkings.

She got her first facial tattoo last year and said young people jump into such decisions and don’t think about how much it would ‘ruin your life’.

She added: ‘Too many people do not think about their future’.  


Comments are closed.