The French traditionally didn’t get tattoos, partly because the church frowned on the practice. But there’s been a massive recent shift: a quarter of under-35s have tattoos compared with 1% of over-65s, according to pollsters Ifop. The working-class young are the most decorated.

Since moving to France in 2002, I’ve watched the country complete a cultural revolution. Catholicism has almost died out (only 6% of French people now habitually attend mass), though not as thoroughly as its longtime rival “church”, communism. The non-white population has kept growing...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now