According to U.S. News, about 36 percent of 18 to 25 year olds have tattoos, but how truly informed is the young adult public? As college students, we often act on impulse and make decisions we later regret. So, just because you think a tattoo looks fashionable or represents something you like now, are you going to feel the same way about it in twenty years? Here are some things to consider before getting inked.
- Tattoos are permanent.
Just because there are tattoo removal services out there, doesn’t mean a tattoo is any less permanent. Half of people who get tattoos regret them later on; so seriously think about whether or not you want to permanently decorate your body. Tattoo removal is a slow, expensive, and painful process and can leave permanent scars and results are not guaranteed.
- Location is crucial.
It’s very important to think about where to get your tattoo. If you’re going into a professional career that discourages visible tattoos, your future could be affected by an impulsive decision. Face, neck, wrist, and hand tattoos are more difficult to conceal and typically advised against in the corporate world. It’s also important to think about how a tattoo will look 50 years from now depending on where it’s located on the body. Your chest and stomach are two spots especially susceptible to sagging and stretching, which can ultimately affect the way your tattoo looks.
- There are risks in getting tattoos.
It’s extremely important to look into the health credibility of a tattoo parlor. Make sure the parlor is registered and artist you’re going to is licensed. Make sure your artist verifies that everything that will touch your skin is single-use and unwrapped in front of you (ink cups, needles, gloves) and that the ink hasn’t passed its expiration date!
- Meaning is important.
Just because you love a quote or picture now doesn’t mean you’re going to like it 20 years from now. Seriously think about the symbolism behind a tattoo and what it means to other people and yourself. If you like a Chinese character as a tattoo, triple check that it means exactly what you think it does. If you want to tattoo song lyrics onto your body, think about what those lyrics will mean to you in the future. Lastly, never get a tattoo when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What may seem like a good idea drunk can lead to years of regret in the future.
By Morgan Chamberlain