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Science has good news for women with four or more tattoos

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Here in the stylist.co.uk office, we've long been admirers of tattoos. From the small and dainty to the bold and beautiful, we've always been fascinated by the way tattoos look.

Now a new study has suggested the benefits of getting inked extend well beyond the superficial, with women who have four or more tattoos reporting an increase in self-esteem.

The study examined 2,395 American college students and found those who had four or more inkings reported a higher level of self-esteem than anyone else in the experiment. 

Some of Rihanna's hand tattoos

Some of Rihanna's hand tattoos

Sociology professor, Jerome Koch, who led the study, theorises that this link might be due to the tattoos empowering their owner. Speaking to Science Daily, he said, "I think women, especially, are more aware of their bodies through, among other things, fat shaming, the cosmetics and plastic surgery industry and hyper-sexualised imagery in media. What we may be seeing is women translating that awareness into empowerment." 

Certainly, some of the most confident and empowered women in the world have four or more tattoos. Rihanna has an impressive 21 tattoos, from a delicate music note on her ankle to a stunning replica of the Goddess Isis across her chest, which was inked as a tribute to the singer's late Grandmother.

Rihanna described the Goddess as the "complete woman" and a "model for future generations" on her Instagram page. She also has a traditional tribal tattoo on her hand that she said represented "strength and love", tying in with the idea that a tattoo could boost self-esteem.

Rihanna's Goddess Isis tattoo is visible here

Rihanna's Goddess Isis tattoo is visible here

Angelina Jolie has over a dozen tattoos, including designs that she has altered or removed over the years, such as numbers representing the geographical locations of where her children entered her life, designed over a former tattoo of her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton's name.

Lana Del Ray has over six tattoos, including the word paradise inked on her left hand, while Victoria Beckham has a number of tributes to husband David and their four children inked on her body.

Angelina Jolie's Geographical tattoo can be seen here

Angelina Jolie's Geographical tattoo can be seen here

One of Victoria Beckham's tributes to David

One of Victoria Beckham's tributes to David

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