It’s no secret that a significant percentage of the American population is tattooed. It’s even being said that more women than men have tattoos. Americans are obsessed with tattoos; there are celebrity tattoo artists, there are reality TV shows and tattoo merchandise. As a result, tattoos have become more accepted, and more mainstream. For those of you who haven’t taken the plunge yet, why would you or should you choose to get a tattoo?
There are so many reasons people consider permanently marking their bodies. There are also many things to consider when making this decision. Let’s talk about what seems to be the top 5 reasons people choose to get a tattoo.
1. Self Expression or Individuality…. People who choose to mark their bodies with tattoos are those who typically have a strong sense of identity and want to show it. They are generally not afraid of public opinion, and not afraid to voice their own opinions. These people choose imagery, symbols or even words that express who they are and what they stand for. They put their voice and their hearts (literally, sometimes) on their sleeves.
2. Memories and Milestones…More often than not, someone is getting tattooed for the simple reason of remembering a loved one who’s passed or that they are close to. Wanting to hold onto a memory or reminder of a special event or time in one’s life, is also a reason to get a tattoo. Birth, death, graduation, accomplishment, or childhood memories, these kinds of tattoos are very personal and meaningful. It’s important that one finds the right artist to connect with and that time and thought is put into the creation of the design and even the actual inking session.
3. Symbols of Luck and Superstition….Even if you’re not superstitious, sometimes it can just seem like a good idea to get that lucky rabbit’s foot, shamrock or horseshoe marked on you permanently; just in case that superstitious mumbo jumbo is true! I mean anything to ward off the evils of the world and to bring prosperity your way! RIGHT?!
4. Commitment, Man!…..These kinds of tattoos can be anything from the name of a lover, spouse, significant other, or best friend. Religious symbols or imagery are also popular in this category, as well as symbols that tie you to a particular group, gang or tribe. BUYER BEWARE: commitments were made to be broken! These often turn out to not be the best reasons to get a tattoo, as these things can change. So is this is your reason, think long and hard about it!
5. Pure Adornment…A tattoo doesn’t always have to have a meaning. People have been adorning their bodies simply for the sake of beauty since the beginning of time. So, if you’re inclined to just choose something that you think will make you prettier, sexier, or give you more self confidence, then go for it! Find an artist that will work with you on proper placement and design to compliment your body and who will take the time to help you achieve the look you are going for.
So, whether you choose to get tattooed for self-expression, remembrance, milestones, to show your love and commitment, or for pure adornment sake, “THINK BEFORE YOU INK!” Sometimes the things we choose to wear as tattoos stand the test of time, and sometimes they don’t. As we age, we grow, and sometimes that means we grow out of whatever we chose to mark our bodies with. It’s possible we made poor choices, but maybe we just aren’t into that symbol or design any longer, or that relationship ended. Perhaps we bought into a “tattoo trend” or we made a hasty decision. Whatever the reason, people sometimes make the decision to cover up their mistakes or to remove them.
Tattoo removal has come a long way in the past decade. There are new lasers and even an all natural alternative soon to be the new standard of care for tattoo removal called Tatt2Away. However, don’t go into this whole decision making process with removal as an option! Think about it, meditate on it, go with your gut and research and find the right artist and design for you. Take your time and enjoy the process. Consider all the what ifs and what for’s and then GO FOR IT!