"Think before you ink." That should be the motto of anyone who is considering getting a tattoo.
Most people are familiar with the horror stories about those who got a tattoo on impulse. There is the bride-to-be who tattoos her fiancee's name on her ring finger and then is left standing at the altar. There is the guy who has a drunken one night stand and wakes up with a strange woman's name emblazoned across his chest as well as the forty year old corporate executive who can never roll up his sleeves lest his colleagues discover the Sex Pistols tattoo he got on a trip to London in 1978.
In a nutshell, the worst times to get a tattoo are when you are drunk, high, in love or on vacation. When you are drunk or high, you are more likely to choose a design that looks just as bad as you are going to feel the next morning. If you decide to tattoo your lover's name on your forearm, make sure it's forever, otherwise you could find yourself hating your arm as much as you do your ex. People on vacation are also vulnerable to making hasty decisions, often taking home souvenirs on their skin that don't fit their normal lifestyle at all.
Before you get a tattoo, you should sit down and seriously question your own motivations for wanting to do so. For instance, "because it would make your mother cry" is not a good reason to get a tattoo. Getting a tattoo also rarely does not achieve the intention of "changing society" nor is it exactly an expression of rebellion against authority any more as everyone from Britney Spears to Paris Hilton to Tammy Faye Baker has one. "Doing it because everyone else is doing it" is also not a solid justification. Before you get that Hello Kitty or Teletubby tattooed on your ankle, make sure it is not going to turn your stomach every time you look at it sixty years from now.
There are a lot of good reasons to get a tattoo and many not that are not so great (as discussed above.)
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