I am definitely not anti-tattoo. To me they’re just another form of self-expression and we shouldn’t really be judging anyone for having them. On the flip side you really need to be thinking about YOU and how a tattoo is going to serve you best in the present and future. It’s hard to know what you will regret later because you’re inevitably going to change.
A 2004 poll determined that 17% of Americans who have tattoos regret them. A friend of mine had her tattoo drawn by an artist and held onto the picture for 9 years before she decided to get it inked. That may sound like a long wait, but consider the alternatives.
I have one tattoo, an exclamation point (!) on my wrist, it’s tiny and I love it, but one day I may not. My freshman year of college, just about as soon as I turned 18, my dorm roommates and I were BEYOND BORED. So we thought, “Let’s get tattoos!” We hopped on the next train, went into the first tattoo parlor we saw, and got tattoos. My roommate asked for a quote from Bartleby The Scrivener written in print. The artist wrote it in cursive–she was so shy she couldn’t tell him that it wasn’t how she wanted it to look. She was so shy that she wouldn’t even let me ask him to change it. Now she has a crooked, tattoo in cursive that says, “I should prefer not to.” She’ll probably have it for the rest of her life.
None of us had put very much thought into what we were getting, which is why we shouldn’t have gotten those tattoos in the first place. I am still happy with mine, but that’s just luck. Once you get a bad tattoo you’re stuck with it forever unless you have it removed. Tattoo removal isn’t very fun, either.
Tattoo removal is usually done with laser removal or surgical skin grafting. Laser removal is the most common, but it can only guarantee that most of the tattoo will be removed not all of it. Laser removal can be painful (described as “being splattered with hot grease”) and irritating to the skin and has to be done in 1-10 sessions over about a two-month period. It can cost up to a $850 per session, which is a lot more than what your tattoo originally cost. There are some side effects like skin discoloration and scarring. Your tattoo may be gone, but there could be a giant scar or dark spots in its place. Skin grafting is way scarier. It’s a surgical procedure that is essentially a skin transplant where you have to find a donor with matching skin cells to replace your old skin.
None of this sounds worth getting that Zayn Malik tattoo on my butt! As someone who infamously tried to pierce her BFF’s belly button with a dull, safety pin in 10th grade, I understand the urgent need to get a tattoo or piercing. It’s really not worth doing something that is painful and permanent for the instant gratification. Give yourself some time to think about what you want. That way you’ll avoid a lot of hurt to your body and wallet. Plus, Zayn will know you REALLY mean it when you do get it.
Do you have a tattoo? Let us know in the comments!