Make Sure It Means Something

I love tattoos. I got my first at the age of 18 when they weren't as socially acceptable and have gotten others throughout the years. I love the freedom of expression they provide and the ability to define myself as an individual. I have designed several myself and the all represent something in my life.

I have grown children and as they grew up I taught them that tattoos were a form of personal expression. I never encouraged them to get them or to not get them. I only offered the advice to be sure and choose something that has a value to you and that you will not be ashamed of at some point in your life.

If you share a love for tattoos, please impart this wisdom to our younger tattoo lovers and make sure they understand the stigma that comes with the ink!
kunar12 kunar12
41-45, M
17 Responses Jul 30, 2012

Yeah stigma stinks I love tattoos have 4 would like to add to one of them. Respect the tattooed and the artist!!! It's personal!! Awesome !! I'm not a judgemental person at all.

I think they are really cool, and agree with you that it needs to be something important to you!

I refuse to get a tattoo at the moment because I plan on doing some serious bulking and getting a tattoo now would be pointless as in a year or two it will be ruined!

And I have only two ideas for a tattoo, the first is a sleeve on my right arm, it's a Tudor rose (because of English rugby) wrapping round my arm and the actual flower on my right bicep... I would have to fill the gaps with something and as of this moment I am not sure what that would be.
The second is the royal marine commandos insignia on my left peck (above the heart) I have a dream of become a royal marine and if I archive this I will get that tattoo to go along with the green beret!

I once watched "How Do I Look", the makeover show on the Style Channel. The woman who was being made over tried on this beautiful off the shoulder, sleeveless dress--one of her favorites. She looked good in it except for the exposed arm that had tattoos running from her shoulder to her wrist. Her arm looked like the arm of a reptile. Not only that, but the tattoo colors conflicted with the color of the dress. It wasn't commented on during the show, but I can't help but wonder if at that time she regretted it. Imagine walking into a beautiful formal setting in a gorgeous sleeveless, off-the-shoulder gown, looking very beautiful. And then, there's that arm covered with a tattoo from top to bottom.

I have had many opportunities to have a tattoo. When I was in the military in VietNam the other guys tried to get me to display our colors on my arm, but I steadfastly refused. The reason being that I believed that a tattoo can come back and bite you in the rear. My wife at one time wanted a tattoo but I refused to let her get one; instead she ended up getting her nipples pierced. At that time my wife and I often entertained and attended other formal dinners with other business acquaintances. A tattoo would have stood out like a sore thumb on my wife. Where pierced nipples were private and no one would know about them. When you are in business you can't afford too offend people that you do business with or to offend your bosses. As an example a tattoo form my service could have done harm when doing business with Asians that might have resentment of our involvement in Asia.

Aged 17 on a drunken trip to Blackpool with a group of older lads I got tattooed. It was a heart design with Mam and Dad inscribed in it. It was a fashionable tattoo to have here in England in 1979 but I regretted having it done immediately.<br />
As much as I loved my dear parents as soon as laser removal was available and within my financial means I had it erased. Both my parents have recently passed away but I have no regrets on having the tattoo removed and my fond memories of them are etched in my heart.<br />
If a special life memory means so much you don't need a tattoo to remember it.

I used to want tatoos because the stars had on and I saw Puff tats and they fade in their skin and they is high, my sister got several

Tattoos are a cry for help. Look at me. I'm different. Well everybody is different but they dont advertise it on their bodies.

The revulsion I feel when I see tattoos is almost beyond my comprehension--deep, visceral revulsion. Polling data shows that about half the population find them repugnant and associate them with low intelligence and unsavory character traits. This is unfair--feelings are never fair--but real. I wish I could transcend these feelings; I'm very fond of several tattooed folks. I left a woman last year after she surprised me with a new tattoo. She loved it, I tried to live with it, but the revulsion crept into every casual conversation as I tried to ignore that permanent smudge she loved so well. I just couldn't deal with this beautiful woman willfully making herself look like trailer trash.

Your prediction may be right. I guess we'll see. In the meantime, one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. (according to the Washington Post) is tattoo removal, which gives me hope for the future. As for the difference between highlighting your features with makeup, which will wash off, and defacing your body with a permanent doodle, it just seems obvious.

I have seen some beautiful tattoos. That said, in my opinion, most of the people I have seen with tattoos seem somewhat lost spiritually. <br />
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Humans have three parts - a physical component, a mental component, and a spiritual component. Our nation is fantastic at building the physical and mental aspects. We have the healthiest and most fit people you can imagine, and our schools applaud good physical fitness. Likewise, we have the most incredible mental education, with free schooling in almost all possible fields. But, as for spiritual needs, our education system starves the soul, leaving people hurting in the very essence of their humanity. And, in an effort to let the world know just how much they hurt inside, they then mark up their bodies with tattoos on the outside that show the pain and images they see as who they are.<br />
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Haven't we all seen the sleeved up lost soul with multiple death heads and devils emblazoned on every possible patch of skin? Or the poor lanky ***** tatted up and tarted up, lost to drugs and sexual abuse? These are the extremes, but the sense of being a starved soul is the common theme that comes from an education system that poo-poo's the human spirit.<br />
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In my opinion, before you line up at the "church of the damned" tattoo parlor for a permanent brand that shows how much you hurt inside, try lining up at a church where you can feed your soul first. Drink in the quenching words of the greatest minds to ever ponder the eternal questions of how man has come to be, and the nature of life itself. Give your soul a rest before you carve some cartoon or death image on your arm. Stop and ask yourself what you really want - a badge of pain or a meal for your soul.

Very well put! I couldn't have said it better....and sure, more and more people here and in other countries are doing it....of course...more prudent to find another way of expressing yourself. I'm not sure that when your're on your deathbed you see all those things as all that important at that point! We humans are prone to attach ourselves to trivial things...and I think a little mystery in a person is always more attractive.

I see tattoos as body vandalism, I feel the same way about piercings, they're gross.<br />
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I have always found it amusing how people fear needles at the doctors or the dentists, yet they'll endure hell with a tattoo which will only eventually bring them regrets.<br />
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Lets face it, they scream loudly that you're either afraid, or trying to pretend your someone you can never be.<br />
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It's hard enough to maintain good health without risking all that can come with a tattoo, Hepatitus and AIDS to mention a few.<br />
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They are crazy and unecesary, the action of a pathetic insecure child, or a childish in denial adult. <br />
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You have all you need to get through life when you're naked in the shower, no one needs any kind of enhancements. <br />
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Grow a spine and deal with life for real, instead of fantasing about being someone you're not.

That was quite uncalled for. It's one thing to not like tattoos, but it's another to go calling someone fake for having them.

I'm sorry, I was just offering my honest view of tattoos. Don't you think people who may be considering branding themselves for life should know the range of views people have of what they're planning to do? Worse than that, the way a tattoo will impact on their lives should they eventually grow a brain and want different things to what they see as important in the ignorance and innocence of their youth?. You have your views which are offensive to me, yet you don't want to hear my views because they offend you. I'm sorry, I believe in freedom of speech and I will not be silenced simply because I gave you a reality check with my honest and open views.

I completely think everyone is entitled to their opinion but I have to be honest you come off as sounding uneducated and bit of an ***. If you get tattooed at business in most countries their are laws about using medical sterization, actually there are more cases of infection in hospitals than tattoo shops. Having a fear of medical procedures or dental work is completely different than being tattooed and unless you've been tattooed you wouldn't know that. Dental fear is mostly related to nerve pain.

People that get tattoos generally know what tight assed people think of them and usually don't care.

I happen to have many tattoos and love when I encounter people who are uncomfortable with it, especially when they treat me like I was in prison or something, then find out I'm a self made millionaire. The big difference between people with tattoos and without, is people with tattoos are not afraid to be themselves. I'm sure their are people that get them for many reasons, mine personally tell my life story and remind me of people in my life and the struggles I had while working to get what I have today.

Though I respect your right to voice your opinion you should maybe open your eyes and mind to different people. I guarantee that there area many people out there that don't fall into your "acceptable" image of normal but that's what makes the world so great. We're all different.

Hmmm, I'm afraid there are those who are far "too different" for more normal members of society to want in society and believe it or not, most of them have tattoos. Therefore, those with sheep mentalities who follow the wrong leaders are not different, they're foolish, they show they have no mind of their own, they are far from individuals we can respect, they're not leaders, they're followers, they wear signage to allow us to see their lack of value to society, let alone themselves. I hear all kinds of excuses for this branding and body vandalism, but it's usually from disturbed people, people who are crying out for something, who cannot exist without some kind of security blanket. I do life as I was born, it's scary, it's difficult, but I eventually get there, I got to a point where I was self sufficient, where I didn't have to rely on anyone for anything, not even my country, I wear my badge of honour with the pride I earned by sticking with things through thick and thin, the good times and bad times, yet I do not need the world to know this, I know it, and that's all that matters. Tatt's are for wannabes, scared little people, weaklings who want to appear tough, but know they'll never have the courage needed to be so.

It seems to me we need to agree to disagree. You can never sell me your ways, and you're too scared to buy mine, so you stick with your Tatt's. Go ahead, show the world what an individual you are by being a mindless sheep and following a trend that is centuries older than you, which was once a cultural thing, but was then picked up by drunken sailors and other low life types, and eventually became a status symbol for those who were so scared, they used them to create an image of themselves that they foolishly thought made them look fiersome, therefore offered them some security, but courage is only known by those who have faced fear and dealt with it. You cannot paint courage onto your body, it comes from the person within. Do you know who you really are deep down? Then show it, do life without the enhancements, do it as you, not a perception of who you'd like to be.

1 More Response

Just make sure your youngsters understand the impact that tattoos have on the way that others view them. In particular, think about how they might affect their careers. I have sat on a number of interview panels over the years and I can honestly say that candidates with visible tattoos on their necks or faces stand less chance of winning senior positions and promotions than others. So, my advice to young people is to place the tattoos in areas that can be easily covered by clothing.<br />
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Of course, they might not choose career paths where this is a problem. However, I've not met too many CEOs with visible tattoos. <br />
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The other piece of advice I'd give is not to try to save money by going to a cheap tattoo artist. It's always better to spend that extra little bit of money, rather than end-up with a result you'll be embarrassed about in ten years' time.

I am older and also have a tattoo. I think that they are wonderful but it depends on what you get and how much thought is put into them. Sometimes teenagers who get tattoos go with the moment and then when they are older regret having done it. So my advice would be to think about it for a bit and don't do it spur of the moment and remember is it something that you will still want when you are older!

There should not be a stigma. Tattoo's have been an art form for thousands of years. For some cultures a right of passage.I agree 100% on teaching that it needs to be thought out. To many kids end up with these idiotic tattoo's on their faces, necks etc. Then they have to go and get them laser removed. <br />
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Each tattoo I have I designed and drew up. My son and even his friends see some of mine and want them. I have them sit down. Think of the idea of what they want. Some internet searches etc. Then they get markers, paper, etc and have to draw it how they truly want it and correct placement. Then we get out my markers. <br />
They sit so well and love the "tattoo's" I give them. But it is with the understanding that it must be clearly thought through and place in an appropriate spot. <br />
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Teach them young. There is nothing wrong with them. Just do it correct.

Are you freaking nuts?! Where is your spin? Where is your moral character? Tattoos tell me you don't have anything more important in your life. A man oughtta be able to walk upright and not have to worry about hiding those fcuking tattoos.

I also thought very carefully about my tatoos. I am a teacher, so have to consider if they can be covered for work. Have never regretted either of them. My recommendation is to consider your future prospects and whether you may need to not have visible tatoos. Other than that, enjoy the art!

Totally agree with the last part of your story.<br />
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I got my first and only one when I was 15, the tramp stamp lol. I defo dont regret but I will be seriously thinking about where/why/what I'm getting for my next one.


Lots of good advice. I also have tattoos that I love. Years later, still think they are works of art. I have six grown children, and as they grew up, lots of questions about tattoos. How much did they cost? Did they hurt alot? etc. Told them, if you get a tattoo, make sure it is something that you have thought about, and has meaning for you. Two of my daughters, and three grand daughters have tattoos. The acceptance of tattooing has certainly changed a lot. Not many back when I got mine.