Tattooing has long been practiced in many cultures around the world, but has only become acceptable in American mainstream society since the 1990s. In the past, acceptable body art was limited to small-gauge earlobe piercings and heavy makeup. However, tattoos are now quite commonplace in even the most conservative circles and careers. Those who wish to decorate their skin with permanent art would do well to consider all of the potential repercussions, and young women in particular should be aware of these five body areas that are usually a terrible placement for ink. If you’re considering a tattoo, here are the placements to avoid.
The Lower Back, Also Referred to as a ‘Tramp Stamp’
A woman’s lower back is often seen as an erotic, intimate area. With the proliferation of low-rise jeans and short-waisted shirts, it is also an area a woman may intentionally or unintentionally display. Tattoos placed in this area were first popularized by celebrities Pamela Anderson and Britney Spears and became extremely popular with young women. Unfortunately, the ink placement soon became notorious as a ‘tramp stamp’ and fell out of favor quite quickly in most locales. If you’re considering a lower back tattoo, you may want to think of an alternative such as placing the image to one side, over your kidney. Some young ladies decide to simply move the image upwards where it will fit neatly between the shoulderblades. Of course, if you are going to have a full back piece tattooed, extending the art all the way to the top of the buttocks is acceptable and is not considered a ‘tramp stamp.’
On or Above the Breasts
As ladies age, breast tissue will naturally stretch and elongate. This is especially true for women who become pregnant and breastfeed. Tattoos placed anywhere between the collarbones and the lower curvatures of the breasts can be pulled and misshapen by weight gain and the natural changes of time. Additionally, tattoos placed in this area can be very hard to cover and may limit your future wardrobe choices should you choose not to show off your artwork in a professional setting. Finally, any woman who needs a mastectomy, breast reconstruction, or a breast reduction later in life will end up with an unattractive tattoo. This entire area is simply not a good placement for ink and should be avoided. The only possible exceptions to this stipulation are women who are quite small-breasted with a small frame. However, be aware that small breasts can grow later in life. If you come from a line of tiny, small-breasted women who do not tend to gain weight, you may consider the risks acceptable if you’re sure you will never want breast implants. Otherwise, you should absolutely choose another location for your ink.
Anywhere on the Feet
While the ankles are a quite safe location for tattoos, the tops of the feet and the toes are terrible places to get work done. Healing is quite difficult for these tattoos, considering most people spend a lot of time with socks and shoes on their feet. Even if you make it through the healing stage with the artwork intact, the skin on the feet is very thin and does not hold ink well. If you live in a warm climate and wear sandals often, the constant sun exposure will also act to fade and wash out the artwork. Should you insist on this location, make the artwork as simple as possible and in black ink only. This will make it easier for your tattoo artist to touch up, which you will likely need to have done every five years or so.
On the Stomach or Abdomen
Many women who get tattoos on the front of their torso live to regret the decision as soon as they get pregnant with their first child. No matter how much cocoa butter or lotion you rub on your stomach, stretch marks are nearly unavoidable and will make any tattoos involved look awful. The same can be said for women who experience weight gain. If you ever need a tummy tuck procedure or other surgery to the area, surgeons will not always be able to avoid the artwork. If you are interested in torso tattoos, the areas on both sides of your ribcage are a safer bet.
The Base of the Neck
The base of the neck became popular in the early 2000s due to celebrity influence. Many young women rationalized that the artwork could be hidden by letting down their long hair. However, displaying a tattoo every time you pull up your hair can be a problem in the professional world. Once ladies reach a certain age, cutting the hair shorter is also quite common. However, a woman with a neck tattoo may not feel comfortable cutting her hair. Neck tattoos have become one of the most common areas for laser tattoo removal in recent years, and the results are not always aesthetically pleasing because the skin can be sensitive and thin in this area.
A tattoo is a lifelong commitment. Before you decide on the location for the art, think long and hard about the demands the tattooed skin will be placed under throughout your life. Surgeries, pregnancies, and the normal passage of time can turn beautiful works of art into destroyed, faded messes if you choose a poor location.