I’m thinking of getting my fifth tattoo in the next couple of months and was researching online the best places to go and some ideas for designs I might like. After about ten minutes of doing this, I stumbled upon a website which listed the most hideous tattoo horror stories I have ever read in my life. When coupled with the pictures, it was quite amusing however it left me thinking “How do people even think getting tattoos like this is a good idea?” Hence the inspiration for this article. Don’t worry, general public, Laura is here to save you from a lifetime of horrific body art!
Thou Shalt Do Your Research
It’s paramount that you do your research about a potential tattoo, especially if you’re getting script. Words, phrases or song lyrics are very popular among inking fanatics, with a lot of those being translated into a foreign language to look and sound nicer. It’s no use thinking you have a profound string of words plastered on your body, when in actual fact the real translation is “pig farts”.
Thou Shalt Be Over 18
I know the idea of getting a tattoo is very exciting to a 16 or 17 year old, especially when a potential rebellion against your parents is involved. However, generally, any tattoos you get at that age will be regretted later on in life. You’re in a completely different mind-set to your later adult self, with vastly differing priorities. No sane grown woman would ever want a picture of a Rimmel London Lipstick on her hip, nor would a matured man appreciate an image of Homer Simpson downing a Duff beer protruding from the top of his open-buttoned shirt.
Thou Shalt Splash Out
Please, whatever you do, do NOT get a cheap tattoo. I cannot stress this enough. Quality is directly proportionate to cost and for good reason. Any Tom, Dick or Harry could buy a tattoo kit and then start inking all over the place. When paying hundreds of pounds for a work of body art, you’re paying for expertise and skill too. Not to mention the health concerns that come with it. If you go to a backstreet tattoo parlour and pay £7 for a “bargain tattoo”, don’t complain when you’re injected with a whole host of diseases from the dirty needle used. I’m talking Tetanus, Herpes, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and even Syphilis. You can’t afford a tattoo but really want one? Save up, it’s simple!
Thou Shalt Embrace The Pain
Look, it’s a needle being dragged across your skin. It WILL hurt. Don’t dither around beforehand asking people who have had a tattoo before whether it’s going to hurt. You know it is. Whilst you’re sitting in the tattoo parlour watching the needle move closer and closer to your skin, whatever you do don’t flinch at the feeling of pain. Firstly, you’re going to botch up the tattoo and instead of looking like the image you desired it will resemble something similar to Mr Hanky The Christmas Poo. Secondly, you’re going to irritate the tattoo artist as you’re ruining his hard work. Man up and embrace the pain, it doesn’t even hurt that much!
Thou Shalt Honour Social Norms
I’m all for being different and unique, however there is a line which cannot be crossed when deciding upon your tattoo. Keep away from things which will offend people if displayed in public or that you would be ashamed of showing to others. Fair enough if you enjoy listening to rap songs that talk about rape in the comfort of your own home, however getting lyrics from your favourite D12 song that read “Sit down girl, let me get you a drink, I’mma buy you a milk and rape you on the sink” probably is going to offend 99.9% of people who see it. Don’t be stupid now, you’re branded with this for life.
Thou Shalt Not Get A Name
With so many stories about how getting a tattoo of your girlfriend/boyfriend’s name was a very bad idea, you’d think people would learn their lesson. It only seems to spur people on, as this is now seen as some weird sign of “commitment” to each other. When you’re in a bitter battle for which plates and cutlery are yours after a break up, you’ll regret plastering this object of hate’s name across your body. Just like you wouldn’t get a puppy in an attempt to strengthen a doomed relationship, don’t having a mutual inking session. Tattoos are for life, not just for Christmas.
Thou Shalt Not Be Intoxicated
There are two very good reasons for this. Firstly, alcohol thins your blood and so if you decide to drink beforehand you will bleed like a motherf***er. Take it from me. Back when I was a silly 17 year old, I decided to get a tattoo (already broke one of the commandments here) and was scared about how much it would hurt (and another here). So what did I do? I got drunk. I mixed god knows what out of my parents’ alcohol stash and downed it on the train. Classy. You can take the girl out of the North but you can’t take the North out of the girl. Anyway, in an attempt to conceal my symbol of rebellion from my Mother I wore a white England shirt to bed (duh!). When I woke up, the tribal picture I had on my back was now imprinted onto my top in blood. Nice. I had to hide that top for weeks, before she eventually found out. The second reason lies with the obvious fact that your judgements are not quite on point when under the influence of alcohol. Look at the girl from ‘The Valley’s’, who got tattoos of sheep on their “foofs”.
Thou Shalt Refrain From Celebrity Worshipping
Today’s society worships celebrity culture. That’s fine if you keep it confined to your own house, however don’t inflict it upon others. I watched a programme where a fully grown man was literally obsessed with Miley Cyrus. So what was the logical thing for him to do? Fill his body with pictures of the singer and her lyrics. Honestly, it was the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. If you feel the need to honour your celebrity idol, then stick to plastering posters over your walls. After all, these can be removed once your passion for this individual dies down and prevents any embarrassment and regret.
Thou Shalt Not Succumb To Peer Pressure
You know the famous saying, if your friend jumped off a bridge would you? It applies here too. Just because one of your mates is getting inked, it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Tattoos are highly personal things, or should be at least. This is a mark you will be left with for life, so you need to be 100% sure you want it. If getting a work of body art is something you’ve wanted for a while, then don’t let your choice be influenced by your friends’ opinions either. I have some pretty cringe worthy song lyrics tattooed across my ribs, or so I’ve been told by my ever so lovely “friends”. However, they hold meaning for me so I don’t give a crap what anybody else thinks. I remember one of my exs telling me to get a sun tattooed around my belly button. Thank god I’m head-strong and independent, otherwise I’d be a walking-talking solar system.
Thou Shalt Not Be An Ignorant Tw*t
If the tattoo artist tells you to take certain precautions and use certain treatments following your inking experience, listen to them. Don’t be an ignorant plonker who ends up in A&E because their leg is gangrenous due to a lack of adequate after-care.
By: Laura Hindley – @LauraHindley2