Advice on Getting Tattooed

This morning I was having this conversation with my daughter about tattoos.  Both her father and I have gotten inked and so there’s very little I could say to dissuade her of getting one herself when she’s of age.  However, I did impart the following knowledge on her.  As she said, “mom, I’m kind of too young to really use what you’re telling me”, I realized yeah she’s right. But I’m writing this blog as a future reference for her and to possibly help out a few people who might find it.

To my daughter I say, please please use these guidelines on where and what should never be a tattoo.

1. Armbands. No. This went out of style in the early 90’s, right? Nothing dates you like a barbed wire armband.  It’s kind of a lazy tattoo really.  I’ve seen a couple of nice tribal ones, but I’d only recommend that for people who can actually trace their family line to certain tribes. Maybe an animal (like a snake) wrapping around artfully. But most armband tattoos you’ll see are… eh.

I love you Kiefer, even if you do have TWO armband tattoos.

Which brings me to another location tattoo:

2. Tramp Stamps. No. What I’m sure didn’t begin with such infamous intentions has now become a joke, a “spot the slut” if you will.  There’s no reason to do this anymore except to say “hey I’m a slut” or “I don’t care if people think I’m a slut” . But I care, sweetie, I do.   There are lots of spots on your body you can tattoo instead.

Let Ted teach us a lesson.

Which brings me to:

3. What’s wrong with your face? It’s just easier to get tattoos where you can easily hide them in case you want a job you know, or something.  If you have a lot of visible tattoos it tends to limit where you can find employment in this country.  Or you have to be so bad ass at what you do that they won’t care about the scorpion on your face.

Kat Von D is a tattoo artist. This could technically be called advertising.
this guy works testing police mug shot cameras

4. No Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, BFF’s… no one who is not related to you by blood.   I’m sure everyone’s heard this rule, but not everyone seems to follow it.  I add “friends” to the list because honestly, it should be there.  My best friends at 18 are not my best friends at 34. We’ve all gone in different directions in life. We didn’t stab each other in the back, it was just life that took us different ways. But my daughter will always be my world, even when you go off to college sweetie, an so a tattoo would be appropriate.  Although at a certain point, G, if you read this, it’s been 20 years now, let’s go get matching tattoos.

Ask Johnny Depp about Winona Ryder… just kidding, Google it.

5. If you’re getting someone’s face, do your research.  You should always research tattoo artists before getting a tattoo, but never is there more on the line than when you are getting someone’s face done.  Not only do you have to worry about the usual infections and diseases, now you have to make sure you get an actual artist that can tattoo a face.  I suggest going to a tattoo expo and looking through artists books. Perhaps even sitting in and watching them ink someone to make sure their portfolio is legit.


6. No Wedding Ring Tattoo.  I don’t need to explain this one do I? The divorce rate in this country is 50/50.  I suppose people who do get one of these can just re-use it in their next marriage and it’s cheaper than buying another ring.

You’re just tempting fate.

7. Triple check foreign languages and spelling. A lot of people get Chinese characters as tattoos. Personally, I wouldn’t do it because I’m not Chinese. It just feels wrong to me to adorn my body with a culture I’m not a part of. As much as I love all things British, I’d feel pretty dumb with their flag tattooed on my person because I’m not from there nor has any one in my family including myself ever lived there.  That’s not even the worst part which is really, are you sure that word means what you think it means? When your dad got the tattoo on his neck I asked my co-worker from Hong Kong to write out the word for him. His tattoo is in her handwriting.

Never forget Penny in the Big Bang Theory

8. Think about it for a long, long time. I normally wait a year once I decided what I want to get before I actually do it. It’s why I only have three tattoos right now. I make sure I really want it. I get an idea, I find a design, decide where on my body I want to put it and then wait a year. Maybe when you’re older, tattoo removal will be better and less expensive, but… it’s still cheaper to think about it.

yes, even that tattoo was made after a long thought process. I know that’s hard to believe.

Anyway, those are the rules I live by when it comes to tattoos.  And here’s a good reason why you should follow my rules at ugliest tattoos blog and why there really should be more rules.


One thought on “Advice on Getting Tattooed

  1. Adding my advise- don’t do any body modification (piercing, tatts , plastic surgery m etc) until you are 25 or over. You don’t truly begin to know yourself, your path , the world until you ‘ve got about 25 yrs under your belt. Just throwing that out there. (I also use the 25 rule for marriage/co-habitation.) Hoping if I say it enough it will stick with my kiddo. Hoping that it will make life a little “less obstacled” if she can wait .

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