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Your lifestyle, your quirk
I really want to get a tattoo, but some of my friends think it’s a bad idea. It’s scary because I know it’s something I will have for the rest of my life; and I don’t want to regret it later on. What do you think?
Johnny Depp is quoted as saying, “My body is a journal, and my tattoos are my story.” Most people have contemplated a tattoo at some point in their lives; like you, many are skeptical—and rightfully so! Before going through with it, give some serious thought to three factors: why, what, and where.
It seemed like a good idea at the time…
Although there are several options for tattoo removal these days, you should still consider your tattoo as something permanent on your body. Don’t let anyone else pressure you into it. This decision must be made by you and for you alone, not to prove something to someone else. Remember what happened to Tamra Barney on Real Housewives of Orange County? Desperate to prove her commitment to her husband when their marriage was failing, Tamra had his name tattooed on her wedding ring finger. Before we knew it, we were watching with empathetic anguish as a plastic surgeon literally had to rip the skin off Tamra’s finger to remove the tribute to her ex-husband. Avoid this painful mistake!
I used to be a huge Harry Potter fan…
Let’s be honest: what or who you love today can—and probably will—change as you get older. What was your favorite band five years ago? If you’re worried about regretting that LMFAO tattoo, then you shouldn’t get it! Avoid anything that might just be a phase by choosing a design that has a deeper meaning to you, such as a symbol of your faith, heritage, or family. Keep in mind that people will want to know what it means and why you have it, so make sure that you are comfortable discussing your choice. Designing your own tattoo further personalizes the experience. You know that you’re getting something unique that reflects who you are, and that is something that will always make you feel proud.
Location, location, location…
Perhaps more critical than what you are putting on your body is where you are putting it. Of course, you will want to proudly display your tattoo after all of the deliberation—and pain—you have endured. However, keep in mind that not everyone is going to share your appreciation for body art. I’m not just talking about Grandma! Potential employers, customers, clients, etc., may be put off by your tattoo, and it could end up costing you a great opportunity. If this concerns you, be sure that your tattoo can be easily and inconspicuously covered up with clothing or accessories. If you want a wrist or ankle tattoo, choose a design that can be covered with a watch or bracelet.
Once you are confident in your decision, research tattoo shops and artists. This is important, so be selective. Read online reviews to ensure safety and professionalism and check with friends for recommendations. Ask to see examples of the artist’s work and meet with him or her to discuss your expectations. Be sure to request aftercare instructions and follow them to avoid a return trip for touchups and corrections. Tattoos can either be a really great or really negative experience—it’s up to you. Just remember, think before you ink!
Need advice about your career, relationships, style, health, or just life in general? Ask Melissa! Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org