Is it possible to be “addicted” to tattoos like Sam Smith

Photo of Sam Smith on the red carpet they revealed they were

Sam Smith has revealed they thought they were “addicted” to tattoos. (Getty Images)

Sam Smith has shared that they think they might be “addicted” to tattoos, having a body ink count of over 35.

The 30-year-old singer – who prefers to use the gender pronoun ‘they’ – performed at Capital FM’s Jingle Bell Ball with Barclaycard this weekend and discussed the subject of tattoos in a backstage chat with presenter Roman Kemp.

In response to Kemp saying Smith’s fans commented on his body art, the star discussed some of their recent inkings.

“I went on the chest… It was intense, but it was good. We were listening to a lot of pop music and it was fun and we had a lot of fun,” they revealed. “I was just eating Cheetos, just getting in the mood.”

Kemp then asked what the star had tattooed on her body, to which Smith replied, “It says ‘romance’ on my stomach. And then my anchor on my chest. I’m addicted now. I’m 35 – more tattoos.”

Smith often shares their new inkings with her social media followers and has previously discussed some of the meanings behind her tattoos.

In 2017, they revealed to Heart Radio presenters Emma Bunton and Jamie Theakston their tattoo of an ice cream on their leg, admitting at the time: “I have like ice cream on my ankle and I don’t know why it’s there,” they revealed.

Read more: Lottie Moss reveals new ‘lover’ face tattoo in TikTok post

Sam Smith shows off his tattoos.  (Getty Images)

Sam Smith shows off his tattoos. (Getty Images)

Last year, Smith seemed to hint that one of their inking was done to reflect their gender identity having come out as non-binary in 2019 and explaining that they were changing their pronouns into them.

Their new arm inking seems to reflect this, as it features a shirtless cropped figure posing in front of a mirror, while wearing high heels.

The snap was posted to Instagram by tattoo and piercing shop The London Social, along with another of Smith alongside tattoo artist Miles Langford.

Despite so much ink, Smith also revealed he has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

“When I’m 70, I think I’ll have one on my face,” they told PEOPLE. “Throughout my life I’m just going to stock up and when I’m 70 I’ll probably have something here,” Smith said, pointing to their left cheek. They noted that it would be something “small”.

“And then 80th will be like, ‘Woah!'” Smith added.

Image of Fearne Cotton with some of his tattoos on his foot.  (Getty Images)

Fearne Cotton has previously revealed that she thinks she’s “addicted” to tattoos. (Getty Images)

Close-up image of some of Fearne Cotton's tattoos.  (Getty Images)

Fearne Cotton previously told Jonathan Ross that she was “addicted” to tattoos. (Getty Images)

Smith isn’t the only celebrity to have hinted that she might have an addiction to ink.

Fearne Cotton also opened up about his love of tattoos on The Johnathan Ross Show. The TV presenter told the chat show host: “Seriously, if I wasn’t on TV I would have tattoos all over my body. I would go crazy. I’m addicted to tattoos. I love the look, the process, the feeling of ‘Yes! I didn’t pass out, I just achieved something’.”

Meanwhile, David Beckham is believed to have over 40 inks on his body, and while there’s no suggestion he’s “addicted” to tattoos, he’s clearly a fan of body art.

Look: Sam Smith arrives at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball

Read more: Bride and groom devastated after getting canceled wedding date tattooed on their arms

Is it really possible to get addicted to tattoos?

According to psychology professor Viren Swami, of Anglia Ruskin University, tattoo addiction does not exist.

“Addiction is a very broad term,” he told the Guardian. “You can be addicted to the pain, or the pleasure of people commenting on the tattoos, or the pleasure of the artwork.”

He believes that there is another feeling at play, which can blur the feelings of addition.

“When someone gets a tattoo for the first time, their body image temporarily improves and they feel more unique,” ​​he explains.

Read more: Five facts about the history of tattoos

File photo of David Beckham with some of his many inkings on display.  (Getty Images)

David Beckham is an inking fan. (Getty Images)

Close-up image of some of David Beckham's tattoos.  (Getty Images)

David Beckham is well known for his love of tattoos. (Getty Images)

A fan of tattoos himself, Abbas Kanani, a pharmacist at online pharmacy Chemist Click, offered his own thoughts on tattoo “addiction” to Yahoo UK.

“There are scientific claims that the chemicals released to deal with the pain of a tattoo are adrenaline and endorphins,” he explains. “The short bursts of these chemicals, along with the excitement of getting tattooed, may associate tattoos with a pleasurable feeling.”

But speaking from her own experience, Kanani thinks there are other emotions at play that keep tattoo ‘addicts’ coming back.

“It’s probably the novelty of a new tattoo that fades and the desire to get another one to achieve the same level of satisfaction,” he suggests. “Whether it’s to feel alive, or to seek validation and attention from others, it’s not really a case of addiction from a scientific point of view.

“It’s more about the change in appearance of a body part, the meaning attached to tattoos, or the attention that comes with a new tattoo, that makes people want more.”

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