And she’s totally right- pretty much as long as you cover it up and aren’t all noisy about your crazy tattoos then it’s not a big deal.
To completely debunk the myth that tattooed people are evil and scary social degenerates, some very very intelligent people choose to be tattooed for one reason or another, as seen in what eventually became the material for the book Science Ink. I feel like, as more and more people are getting tattoos, that they are starting to be a little more acceptable. The stigma is lessening, thank goodness.
I have a couple tattoos and I plan on completing a cap sleeve in the next several years. I got my first tattoo when I was 18 on kind of a whim when a friend needed a ride to get hers touched up. It’s a crescent moon and star outline on my big toe. I feel like it was the least painful of my (currently) 3 tattoos, which is weird. It’s pretty meaningless and silly, but started everything.
A warning, they can be addicting. I’m lying there, the artist has a gun/pen contraption that is essentially lightly stabbing me thousands of times a minute and injecting little quantities of ink in my skin. It hurts like hell, and at the exact same time I’m experiencing terrible pain I just keep thinking I want more.
Tattoos have become, for me at least, a way to commemorate huge events in my life. The one on my back is a traditional sparrow and banner that says “Everything happens at its appointed time” in French as a reminder to me to not take my own plans so seriously; this one was received as part of coming to terms with being dumped out of the blue by my fiance. The one on the front of my shoulder is of the statue Winged Victory, or the Nike of Samothrace, which I got after getting into medical school and because of my connection with art. When I graduate med school, I plan on getting a rod of Hermes tattooed on my upper arm and connecting all three tattoos with a morning glory/particle collision motif, perhaps I’ll start on the motif this summer.
I am proud of my tattoos. I got them because I want them on my body forever. However, as WayfaringMD points out, be mindful of the location. Winged Victory’s wing peeps under half of my collarbone (which was the most painful bit of tattooing I’ve experienced), and as a result a lot of more open/wide necklines are out the window for me, something I never really thought about before. Shopping for grownup clothes for school and work is quite the hunt- but I’m not going to whine, because I chose to put this stuff on my body and I can deal with the consequences accordingly.
Another thing to consider when picking location is how the skin will look when gravity has been working on it for 50 years from now. That’s why I chose the areas for my work that I did: it will sag, but not the the degree that other areas of the body will. Of course, in 50 years we could all be mind melded to the internet and live our lives in a digital realm Matrix-style. What do I know.
So there’s my two cents: get something that means something, have a good design, don’t go someplace cheap and sketchy (the craftsmanship is usually shit and it’s on your body forever), and put it someplace where it won’t drastically interfere with your grownup clothes. Go forth!
(much thanks to WayfaringMD and her askbox; I was going to post most of this as a comment on a post, but it was too long and you can’t reblog asks…)
(also, read Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man. A guy with full-body tattoos that start to move and tell stories and in the end they tell you how you die. SO. GOOD.)
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