I was asked recently what my thoughts are on tattoos. My honest answer? I really am divided.
A key thing for me with tattoos is the individual who has chosen to have them. And of course, what the actual tattoo is. I always remember a big muscular guy who lived in halls with us at University, he came back one day having had a tattoo done – no word of a lie, a big heart on his bicep with ‘Mum’ inscribed in it. Not what we were expecting at all. This student was rather scary and very butch and to see such a permanent mark on his arm like this, well it kind of make us laugh to be honest. Or what about the new contestant on X Factor, Frankie? Having girls names tattooed onto your bum cheeks, hm classy!
People who choose to cover their whole bodies in tattoos is not something I really get. For some people, perhaps those who are very creative, tattoos are an artform and a way to express themselves. For me, I think it’s too much.
Tattoos are like cool clothes/individual looks, there are those who can pull them off and those that can’t. Those that aren’t so successful with their tattoos end up often making themselves look rough, cheap or chavvy.
I may sound like an old woman, but what about when you’re old and wrinkly? When that design you picked when young and fun, looks totally inappropriate for a pensioner!
So, when do I like them? Certain designs on a muscular man’s arm can be very attractive. Well positioned, discreet designs can be sexy on a girl. On the other hand, a proud father having a well designed and not too showy tattoo as a gesture towards his child or children, I find this really touching. Perhaps David Beckham may have gone a bit far with his, but something a bit lower key is acceptable.
There are those tattoos you have to look cool, those to show support – perhaps for your favourite band or football team. Showing your commitment to a loved one, but best to wait until you’re married than getting somebody’s name permanently inked on your body… Chinese symbols seem a hit, but how do you know what they really say?
Of course, we were given the chance to remove those accident tattoos. This costs a lot of money though and can still leave scarring or some marks.
Dodgy or dirty images aren’t the best choice either, do people not think of the impact overall? It sounds dull, but if it’s noticeable then you need to think about how people will react – potential employers, future partners – people will judge. Or even in your future, your children or grandchildren – how would you explain that inappropriate wording or picture on your arm?
Still, as I blogged previously, I opted for a temporary tattoo when I went to the Isle of Wight festival this year. I laughed as the original ‘drawing on’ of the design scratched a bit and where we had to peel off the initial layer it actually hurt quite a lot! What a wuss, how would I cope with a real tattoo?
However, once I had it done I became a bit obsessed with the design and loved how it looked on my shoulder and back. Although, on starting my new job I soon realised in that position it was in quite a noticeable spot. This also highlighted to me just how important it is to get it right. After all, a tattoo is for life and not just for that drunken night out or those carefree teenage years…