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Think before you ink

Courtesy of MCT

Upon hearing the news that Kat Von D, tattoo artist and reality star of “LA Ink” on TLC, and Jesse James, reality star of “Monster Garage” on the Discovery Channel, were recently engaged, it got me thinking once again about the fairly recent spike in the popularity of tattoos. Tattoos are certainly an art form to be appreciated and often can be a means for healing after a difficult life experience, but all too often people tattoo themselves simply because it is trendy.  

It seems like this is especially popular among college-aged people who are barely old enough to buy alcohol, yet have already made the decision to mark their body for life. I am not suggesting tattoos have only just gained favor, for it is well known they have been widely appreciated among rebels and soldiers since WWI and II and have slowly grown in popularity since the early ‘90s, with Pamela Anderson’s famous barbed-wire bicep tattoo. But within the last five years, the interest has definitely peaked.

Tattoos look absolutely awesome on some people, and are truly fitted to their personalities, but then there are others who look like they are trying too hard to get attention. I have several female acquaintances that have more than just a pair of cute hearts or a cool phrase on their body. I’m talking about full-on arm-sleeves and/or heavy chest tattoos.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to dog on tattoos or the tattooed, as I am in the process of conceptualizing a memorial tattoo in honor of my late son. But what I am trying to say is that people should recognize a tattoo as a long-term commitment. Many young people would probably never consider getting married and making that type of a commitment so early in life, yet do not think twice about marking their body for life.

Personally, I have considered getting a tattoo more than once, but for me, so far, it just has not been right. I would think, ‘When I’m 50, walking on the beach with my grandchild, am I still going to want that Playboy bunny tattoo near my bikini line?’ Hmm, I think not.

However, if that is who you truly are, like Kat Von D, then I say great! Get as many as you like. People should absolutely be who they are and be free to express themselves, but if that is not who you know, without a shadow of a doubt, you want to be in 20, 30, or even 60 years from now, think twice before making such a long-term commitment.  

And yes, there is the option of laser removal, but the end-result does not return you to the way you looked before. Also, it is expensive, painful, and takes many sessions to diminish the image. So, the next time that wild urge comes on, just stop, and really think about it before you tattoo yourself. And remember, what you think is cool at 20 years old is not going to be what you will think is cool at 30 or 40. I guarantee it.

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