When it comes to personal forms of expression tattooing your body is as personal and as expressive as it gets, but we don’t live in a bubble. People are going to see your tattoo. You may be thinking, oh, I will get it some place where no one can see. My personal opinion is what’s the point, but regardless, unless you never plan on taking your closes off in front of anyone every again. Someone, at some point, somewhere is going to see it. So, do their opinions matter? I guess it just depends.
When I got my first tattoo, my parents were not thrilled about the idea. But, they weren’t exactly surprised about my decision, either. I have always been the one in the family that was a little different. I have a long history of stunts that pushed the boundaries on their patients under the guise of self expression (I once shaved my head in high school, but that is another story for another day). When I told them I was going to get a tattoo, they tried to talk me out of it.
I heard all the typical excuses: your to young, what you like now will change, tattooed people are delinquents, you will regret it when you are older. I didn’t care. I had made up my mind and I was not going to be dissuaded. On a family vacation to New York, I broke away from the group, went down to The Village and got may first tattoo from an Asian guy named Sammy.
And you know what, my parent got used to it. Don’t get me wrong, every time I show up at home with a new tat, my mother still gives me that look, but it is worth it for the opportunity to express myself as I see fit. After all, they were the ones that raised this strong willed, independent, and a little crazy sometimes daughter. It’s all their fault anyway. Shout out to my supportive parents.
When you got a tattoo, how did your people react? Did their opinion effect what you got and where you got it? If you don’t have one, but want one, is this the reason why?
I am always looking for great tattoo stories. If you would like be featured on Tattoo Tuesday in the future, let me know.
Thanks so much to Kate for being my first Tattoo Tuesday friend. Check out her book inspired tattoo, here.
Oh, I almost forgot. I have a special treat for you next week. Guess what, I am getting a tattoo.
24 thoughts on “Tattoo Tuesday – They Don’t Like My Ink”
I’m thinking about getting another one too! What are you going to get????
Hi Whitney. I could say wait till next Tuesday, but that would be rude. haha. I am getting the lotus that is on my website. Black with the outline in black. It is a continuation of the other two lotus I already have. One is just an outline, the other is shaded and then this one will be solid black. Then it has this trail of star clusters running through them. I will post a photo next week. It represents the journey I am on. I am super excited.
I’ve never understood the need to express oneself with tattoos. I am a strong-willed, independent and sometimes a little crazy daughter too, but I don’t have a tattoo and I don’t need one to prove I am any of those things. I am who I am, and everyone who meets me figures out who that is pretty damn fast, because I express myself with my personality.
Like it or not, tattoos can also affect career choices, because there are simple some jobs you won’t get with tattoos in visible locations.
And lastly, if tattoos are a form of self-expression, what happens when the self you are expressing changes and no longer fits the tattoo? A form of self-expression that is more adaptable to suiting the self seems more logical to me. You won’t be the same person for the rest of your life.
That said, it in no way affects me if other people get tattoos. These are just the reasons I’ve never felt the need to have one.
Hi Ciara, I did used to be concerned that my tattoo’s would effect my job choice, but not anymore. I got my visible tattoos after I landed this job and my boss and the people in the industry which is pretty conservative seem to dig it.
And, I have heard this one before about not being the same person I was when I got the tattoo. I tend to think of it more of celebrating moments and places in my past and who wouldn’t want to be reminded of the good things that happened to them. I got my first tattoo after graduating from college and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do and be at that time. The specifics have changed since then, but the general idea is still the same. Maybe I am fortunate in that regard.
Thanks for your comments.
My tattoos, particularly the one’s I see every hour of every day, tend to symbolize things I want – and need – to remember. I’ve become a walking artistic timeline of where I’ve been and where I someday hope to be.
I love that thought. I have a tattoo on my wrist that reminds me what I value in life. When my surroundings get negative, it gives me a boost just by looking at it. Much cheaper then therapy. I will never grow out of that.
The one I mentioned on my hand down below – the one I’m nervous about my grandparents seeing – is probably the one tattoo that, if I were asked, I would NEVER compromise on. Four letters, but four letters that I have needed to be reminded of far too often (or often enough, depending on how you look at it).
My mom signed the consent form for me to get my first tattoo at the age of 16, a reward for good grades and overall good behavior. Then she left to get her hair done so I was all alone, haha. Good thing I have a high threshhold for pain.
What a cool Mom. Yeah, I was by myself, too.
I love the tattoos I have and I hope to get at least one more. The boyfriend keeps trying to talk me out of it because he does not like my intended placement. I told him I would think on it one more year before getting it.
I would be happy to share the story of my first tattoo. Email me if you would like me to write it up for your Tattoo Tuesday.
Hi DC. I just sent you an email. Can’t wait to get your tattoo story. Now, I am curious as to where you are putting it. But, I get it. You have to be completely comfortable with it and where it is and I don’t think its a bad thing to consider others opinions. Like I said, we don’t live in a bubble, but ultimately, you decision.
My parents are increasingly okay with my ink. It’s really been after starting the process of getting my back done, and seeing how much thought, effort and talent that has gone into seeing it to fruition that they’ve become fully supportive of my choice to Ink. That being said, I’m seeing my vehemently anti-tattoo grandparents at the end of August and I recently got a tat on my hand. If you don’t hear from me in two months it’s because my 86yo grandmother has killed me.
None of my extended family has seen my wrist tattoo. That will be the ultimate test as to whether they are used to it our not. I will have to give you all an update when I go home this Christmas. One thing that I found interesting about my dad. He had a stroke a couple of years ago. Before the stroke he was pretty verbal against them, now, he is always wanting to see them. It is funny the way the mind work. Let me know how it goes with your grandparents.
I’m 90% sure that if they bring it up I will tell them the truth. Upon hearing the truth if they still give me grief then there’ll be a whole new thing to be concerned about.
My tattoo’s are so personal to me. I love sharing the stories, but they are personal or I wouldn’t have tattoo’ed them on me in the first place. Maybe those people who do regret their tattoos got them for the wrong reasons in the first place.
I like the idea that a tattoo is an illustrated timeline of your life, but I have never gotten inked… I’ve thought about it, but can’t decide on anything that will express who I am. I think one is all the more I could ever stand to get (I’m a baby when it comes to pain!) but who knows?
Sydney, if I ever do get a tattoo, I will for sure share the story with you. My sister (a wickedly awesome artist) would be the one to do the design for me. Can’t wait to see your new art!
Hey Amanda, it only hurts for a minute. hehe.
That would be quite special and really cool to have your sisters art on your skin. Sibling love and all. I would be happy to feature it, if you do.
Wow, I can’t believe you escaped on a family trip to get a tattoo! That’s awesome haha.
I don’t think I’ll ever get a tattoo just because I know I’d worry a ton about what to get, then end up seeing something later and going “Oh, THAT’S what I should’ve gotten!” But I like them on other, more decisive people!
Yeah. The parents loved that. haha. I actually do that ever day. I see some image or someone else’s tattoo and I am like, “I want that.”
I have a tattoo file and collect images or write down ideas and if I am still hyped about it 6 month’s later, then I will get it.
I have a tattoo on my ribs. By the time I had it done, I was already an adult and had been married for five years (I spent *so* long considering the tattoo before I had it done to make sure I wouldn’t regret it later, LOL), so it’s not as if I was a younger person living at home having to worry about my parents’ reactions. They do know about it, however. I think they’re mostly indifferent, though my mom said (surprisingly) that she liked it (as far as tattoos go – I know she’s generally not a huge fan of them). Most of my family members have tattoos, so it’s not a huge deal.
Hi Ranae, I am the only immediate family member with tattoos. In fact, the only extended family member who has one is my cousin who is not exactly an upstanding member of society. So, they associated tattoos with him, but theY came around. Let me know if you want to be featured on Tattoo Tuesday with your tattoo story.
My wife just got her first tattoo at the age of 57. I have none. Yet. I went into deep depression for weeks and weeks after. Now that everyone in my family has one, I feel the need to get one as well. I don’t think I’ll find anything with a deep personal meaning because apparently (after much soul searching) I am a shallow person. I am a musician so I will probably just get a music note on my wrist so i can see it and know that I have one. That way I can fit in.
Haha. I no it looks like today everyone has one. I have a couple that I got just because. But, for a newbie, wait for the inspiration.
No. Literally. My Wife, Stepson, Stepdaughter, Every brother-In-Law. I am the outcast. The “White Sheep” if you will.