Thoughts Before Getting A Tattoo

I have always been a huge admirer of tattoos - people with them and people that design them. Tattoos express bits of one’s identity. However, I have come to understand that people that have tattoos don’t take them as seriously as badges of aesthetic expression, sometimes tattoos are just tattoos. I could also argue that that reveals how carefree some people are. The point is, I think that tattoos are awesome. When I was younger, and having been raised in a Christian household, tattoos were thought of negatively. My aunt got a tattoo on her foot and she hid it as best as she could around my grandmother. The intention was to hide the tattoo forever, but my grandma knew what was up. The point is, tattoos are things that need to be hidden in my family because they allegedly go against Christianity. I think that if our bodies are temples, we have the right to design the appearance of our temples as we please. However, I may be interpreting scripture just to mould it to my own desires.

The only thing that makes me wary of getting tattoos is how they are perceived in the workplace. I don’t want to spend my life buying work clothes for the purpose of hiding a tattoo or two. I want to be free to come as I am. The other day, I saw a tweet that said that the generation that thinks tattoos are unprofessional is retiring soon. I hope that our generation will be less judgemental about appearance and be less rigid when it comes to tattoos. One should not have to hide the art on their skin, whether it be a Picasso inspired drawing or a glass of wine, tattoos are fun, beautiful and completely normal. I know a lot of people who think it's only acceptable to have a tattoo if you’re planning on being in a more “creative” or “abstract” industry: being an artist, a photographer, a writer or a particular type of musician. This outlook on life, identities and careers is dangerously limiting for individuals. I’d like to think that most individuals have range, that most individuals are multifaceted and that they cannot be reduced to one defining trait, career or stereotype. Therefore, it would be ridiculous to allow tattoos to have such power in defining people.

I am planning on getting a minimum of three tattoos by the end of this year, and the advice I have been given is the following:

  1. Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to getting a tattoo. Go to a tattoo parlour with a credible reputation and licenced professional tattoo artists. It will be pricey, but it will guarantee a quality tattoo and your health will not be compromised.

  2.  If you’re indecisive, find/create a design that you know you’ll love for the long run. This is honestly as important as choosing a partner or a friend; choose a tattoo that compliments you, understands you and looks good. It won’t suck if it can make you laugh, too.

  3. It’s your body so really, you can do whatever the hell you want.

The most important point is number one: don’t compromise your health. Make sure that the tattoo artist knows what they are doing.