There’s no denying that tattoos are getting increasingly popular among people in the mainstream. No longer just a symbol for goths, bikers, and tough guys, the concept of body art has taken new groups by storm. One thing has not changed, however. The decision to get a tattoo should never be taken lightly. Unlike cutting your hair, getting a piercing, or trying a new style, tattoos are permanent, and you want to be 100% sure that you will be happy with your decision for the rest of your life. Here are a few considerations that you should think about before you decide to head to the tattoo parlor.
- What design do you want and why? – If you are considering getting an image permanently stamped onto your body, there had better be a very good reason why you want it there. The tattoos that hold up the best are those with some sort of significance to you, which you can be sure you want to present to the world. While snakes, skulls, and Chinese lettering are all some of the most popular tattoos, many people get them without considering the reason why. Getting a generic tattoo will likely lead to you regretting the decision down the road, so try to think of something original and be able to stand behind the reasoning for why you’ve chosen your design.
- Where do you want to get it? – The decision of where on your body you want your tattoo can be one of the most difficult because there are so many factors to consider. If your tattoo is on display for the world to see at all times, you will be sending a message about yourself to anyone who meets you. Don’t just consider how your friends and family will perceive your new tattoo (though you should consider that too), but put yourself in the shoes of a stranger meeting you for the first time. It’s impossible, for instance, to ignore a face tattoo like Mike Tyson’s. In fact, many tattoo artists refuse to do tattoos on faces or hands because of the inherent risk that you will regret the decision later on. Even beyond the impression that you make, you need to think if your tattoo could potentially make you unemployable in a certain career down the line. Some companies have a policy that they won’t hire anyone with a visible tattoo. Even if you don’t foresee ending up in this position, you have to understand that having one on your wrist, neck, or arm could make you ineligible for some jobs. Next, you should think about why you are choosing the position of your particular tattoo. Do you want to be able to see it throughout the day? Do you want it to be visible no matter what clothes you’re wearing? Like the design, the location of your tattoo is a decision that requires some serious thought.
- Who do you want to do your tattoo? – Some tattoo artists are true artists while others can be considered hacks with a needle. Make sure to do your research when you are choosing the person you want to do your tattoo. Remember that the best artists will generally charge much more money than those who are just looking to make a quick buck. Also, be sure to discuss any questions you might have about health and safety before you get into the chair. Finally, you should do everything you can to guarantee that the style and vision of the person doing the tattoo is in line with what you’re imagining.
- Is there any chance you’re going to regret your tattoo? – You have to think long-term when you are getting a tattoo. The reason why so many people end up shelling out the money to get their tattoos removed down the line is because they didn’t consider the big picture. Ask yourself if the tattoo you’re considering has anything to do with a current fad that could fade in time. Think about what the area of skin that you’re planning to use as the canvas will look like in 40 years. Will it be permanently altered by pregnancy, wrinkles developing, or skin sagging? Remember that you are in this for the long haul. Don’t get a tattoo of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s name if you’re not absolutely certain that they are “the one.” Above all, make sure that you are sober and in a good frame of mind when you get your tattoo. Though you may be itching to run to the tattoo parlor the minute you have a fun idea, this is something you really shouldn’t rush into. Take the time to be certain about your design and location, talk to people that you trust, and after an appropriate amount of time has passed, you can move forward in the process.
For every person who regrets their tattoos, there are just as many people who are completely happy with their decisions. By stopping to think about these few considerations, you can be sure that your new body art is something you will be proud of for the rest of your life.