As tattoos become more ingrained in our culture’s identity across the generations, fashionistas around the country are asking themselves: do I REALLY want that tattoo?
Things to Consider
Tattoos are (pretty much) forever–the fact is that having tattoos removed is pretty painful (not to mention expensive) and from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t always work all that well. So whatever ink you get today you will still have in 20, 30, 40 years. If you’re 19 years old and thinking of tattooing your face–take this advice if you take nothing else from this post: DO NOT tattoo yourself ANYWHERE that you can’t easily hide in business attire if needed. You never know where life will take you, and if you “grow up” and find yourself getting screwed out of the best job offer ever, you’ll know exactly who to blame!
(Sorry about going all Mom on you, but come on now! Let’s stop with the neck tattoos and the face tattoos and the arms and the huge giant leg, back and whatever else tattoos. I mean, unless that’s your style, or whatever–just saying, if you want to have the option to change your mind, change your direction in life–whatever–you need to ask yourself if you’re prepared to wear long pants, long sleeves, crazy thick makeup or whatever else you’ll need to cover up the evidence of your crazy misguided younger self! Ok, I digress…moving on.)
Don’t date yourself–skip tattoos that include names of of bands, games, individuals you don’t know in person and people you have or want to have sex with, even if you’re married.
Bands, games, singers, actors, etc. in tattoo form are just a way to be seriously “dated” in the future. Remember how much you loved New Kids on the Block or NSYNC or whichever band turned your crank 10, 20 years ago? Which actor did you love? Were you a Justin Bieber devotee? Anyway, I promise you that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll REALLY always love them.
And when it comes to people you want to have sex with (or have had sex with), maybe that’s just a personal thing. Someone told me once that tattooing a lover’s name on your body is basically a predictor of the end of the relationship. Now, I’m sure it’s just superstition, but I cannot tell you how many people I know who have (or love people who have) someone else’s name tattooed somewhere on their bodies. Nope, not kidding.
Start small, and don’t go overboard. There’s no reason to have your whole back covered in a tattoo that takes 67 hours to finish your first time out. Just get a little tiny heart on your shoulder blade or a star on your lower back, maybe. Or whatever you prefer–just consider starting small because a. you really don’t know how much it’s going to hurt if you’ve never had a tattooo (and even if you have, the pain is more intense in some areas of the body than others) and b. you never know what the future holds, and it would totally suck if you lost out on a potentially life-changing opportunity due to crazy face tattoos. (Obviously, none of the above applies to already-successful rock, pop, hiphop and rap stars–they’re making enough money now that it won’t matter when they’re older and look hilarious.)
Frequently Asked Tattoo Questions, Answered by a Tattoo Artist
While most tattoo shops are clean and up-to-code, there are some cases where getting a tattoo puts you at risk for complications such as infections, communicable diseases and more.
The process needs to be better understood, so we gathered up these frequently asked questions and got advice from a tattoo expert.
1. Can I Get Infectious Diseases From Tattoo Needles?
There has been some concern recently regarding transmittable diseases (particularly Hepatitis-B and AIDS [HIV]) and tattoo shops. Just as in a dentist’s office, as long as the area is strictly sanitized, your chances for infection will be greatly reduced.
2. Can I Get Aids From Tattooing?
When needles are passed from IDU to IDU and reused without sterilization, some of that blood remains in the syringe and is passed on to the next user. If infected blood is passed, the recipient can become infected with HIV, which leads to AIDS.
Tattooing is VERY different from injecting drugs. The needles used in tattooing are not hollow. They do, however, travel back and forth through a hollow tube that acts as an ink reservoir. The tip of the tube is dipped into the ink, which draws a little into the tube.
3. Can My Tattoos Get Infected?
Not as long as you take care of your new tat. Some people have trouble healing tattoos with colors they are allergic to.
4. How Do I Ensure That My Tattoo Stays Clear and Bright?
Once it is healed, there is very little that will screw up a tattoo. Aside from a scar-causing injury, the one exception is prolonged exposure to sunlight. The newer inks are better at resisting fading, but whatever you do, if you spend lots of time in bright sunlight, your tats will fade (over a lifetime, not over a week). So, for best results, just try to keep them out of bright sunlight.
No one wants to become a cave dweller just to keep their tats looking good, so just use some common sense.
Think of your tat as an investment–slather on that sunblock so it doesn’t turn into a dark blob.
Tattoo art has become very popular and people are getting tattoos for lots of reasons. Taking good steps in choosing the right tattoo, getting it applied properly and with the proper care are among the most important things to consider when thinking about getting a tattoo.
One last bit of advice–Make sure you do your research. Read all you can about tattoo art safety and when you’re ready to get your tattoo, you will feel much better about your decision!
So, how about you? Do you have any tattoos? Are you considering getting any? Let me hear about it in the comments section, below!