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      Why do people go under the tattoo needle and behind the ink?

      Tattoos have been around for thousands of years. They span cultures and cross social backgrounds. But what is the draw to this ancient tradition that permanently marks a person?

      Many people get tattoos as a form of self-expression. They can express someone's roots, hobbies or even love for their children.

      "My kids will always be a part of me,?? explains Mandi Brayak of Wilson. ??You know, I love them to death, and this tattoo of my new baby??s name is a way to just have my kids with me all the time."

      KIX Country's Mike Flavor first got inked when he was 16. One tattoo in particular expresses a culinary interest.

      ??I had said I loved food so much that I??m going to get that symbol tattooed on my body," said Flavor. "So I did. I think it means beef and rice."

      Still, it's a good decision to think long and hard before you get a tattoo.

      ??That's why you try to make sure somebody knows what they want and gets what they want,?? said Brian Waters, owner of Ink Supremacy. ??Hopefully they??re not just doing it on a whim because that's when you're going to regret it."

      According to a survey from the American Academy of Dermatology, 24 percent of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed.

      George Briere of Escanaba worked in sales at radio stations for 12 years. While it wasn't mandatory, he said he wore shirts and ties so he could be more relatable to clients. Briere noticed how things changed once the shirt and tie came off. He shared an incident during a Caribbean cruise when he walked out to the hot tub.

      ??It was the first time they ever saw me without a shirt on,?? explains Brier, "and they were like, oh, I didn't know he had those tattoos! I could tell one of the older ladies was a little offended."

      Still, most people say they don??t regret their body art, not even when it's a parent who disapproves.

      ??My mom's not a huge fan of it,?? said Mark Morehouse. ??She's probably going to be pretty upset that I??m getting another one. Yeah, if this was my last tattoo, my mom would be happy."

      But if you've already got a tattoo, what are the options to hide it? There is a cheaper and faster way that doesn't involve a laser.

      The answer is coming up Friday in Part 2 of TV6??s Behind the Ink series.