My first encounter with Flash Tats began this past summer when I was strolling through a local boutique with the young girl I nannied. They were giving them away for free in order to promote this supposed new trend. Originally thinking them to be tacky, I declined imprinting my body with the little gold anchor that the saleswoman insisted would be “super cute,” but when the girl I nannied pressed upon it as well, I felt I had no choice. For the next week and a half, my wrist was discretely adorned with my first Flash Tat.
Admittedly, the idea of a temporary tattoo made me feel a bit like a 10 year old still shopping at Limited Too and wearing stick-on earrings. People my age were committing themselves to permanent ink in rebellious, parental-displeasing tattoos, and the biggest commitment I could make was to a short-term adhesive. Yet, I was surprised when my small anchor starting receiving so many compliments. My friends quickly joined the trend and got their own Flash Tats, and throughout the week, the concept grew on me as I appreciated the subtle hint of gold without having to deal with the annoying clinking of bracelets. It was a new form of jewelry that wouldn’t get lost while working out or snagged on my favorite shirt. I had officially joined the Flash Tat trend bandwagon.
My first full pack of Flash Tats, the “Dakota” set, brought much excitement as I couldn’t wait to try out all the different patterns and styles. The girls on the website looked so effortlessly tatted in their bronzed skin and bikinis. I guess I forgot I go to school on the East Coast—I haven’t seen a swimsuit in months, and there are few places on my body that aren’t covered by jeans, boots, and a sweater. It’s much harder here to get the full effect.
The perfect opportunity for full Flash Tat display came on the night of a toga party. My Saturday night self could think of nothing better than embellishing all visible parts of my body in glitzy gold tattoos to accompany my toga; the Romans surely would’ve been proud. With triangles on my face, stripes on my collarbones, and arm bands covering shoulder to wrist, I looked like a walking advertisement for Flash Tat. Everyone at the toga party loved the costume addition.
Soon Saturday night “Toga Party Flash Tats” turned into Sunday morning “brunch with dad Flash Tats.” Safe to say, the occasion felt less fitting. What Flash Tat failed to warn me of is that their 1-2 week Flash Tat commitment is non-negotiable. Despite adamant shower scrubbing, they are there to stay. I regretted it more and more as my school week was full of long sleeved, high-neck sweaters in less than ideal weather.
While it was a hassle there after, my love for Flash Tats remains, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I’m certainly not ready for the long-term bodily promise of real ink. Instead, I’ll relive those childish 10-year-old days of decorating myself with stickers for as long as it’s still (mildly) appropriate.