Yes, I have a tattoo, somewhere on my lower back. This tattoo reminds me daily that, when you are 17, you are stupid. Yes, stupid. I wanted to be cool and do something “extreme” to show all my friends that I was a rebel without a cause, a hard-ass. So here I sit, 13 years later, not being able to actually see my tattoo, and to be very honest, I am scared to death that when I am older, my tattoo will look like a flower that survived a hurricane – wilted and weathered.
If you had to ask me whether I regret it, I would not be able to hide the truth – yes I do.
I believe that people who love tattoos are artists in their own right. They talk about the fact that, after your first tattoo, you will get hooked. I was probably immune because that was never the case with me.
Some of the most interesting people I have met have tattoos. I don’t know if that is coincidence, but I just had to say that. It is truly an art form and I love scrolling through photos of tattoos that transform people’s bodies. When I say that tattoo is an art form, I am excluding the backyard guy that gives you a bottle of tequila and waits for you to pass out before he chisels away. I’m also not including the person that truly believes he is actually a lizard and totally loses the plot by tattooing his whole body (I have my limits with art). No, I am talking about true artists that have an amazing talent and who use the human skin as their canvas. I am talking about the people that use their bodies to tell a story. The artist and the canvas.
I am glad that I am able to hide my tattoo. For me, this is an indication that I probably shouldn’t have one. People who love their tattoos are fearless when it comes to exhibiting their bodily artwork. I take my hat off to them.
Not all people should have a tattoo. It’s true. You are either a tattoo person, or you are not. There is no way around it. If you are not a tattoo person, and you get one in spite of your inner voice warning you that this is not what you are, then you will end up like me, hiding my stamp and opting for laser removal. I am just not sure that I am willing to go through that turmoil and be left with a scar to get rid of some ink.
My choice for my rebel tattoo also could have been better, if I have to be honest. It was my star sign, Leo. Thinking back, I was probably vain to put the sign on my back with fire below it. The lion came back to bite me in my ass. Well done Lion, well done.
My best is to sit around a table of conservative people that do not know that I have a tattoo and to listen to them air their views on the matter. I can just shake my head and laugh on the inside on how they try to demonize this art form. I have no problem with tattoos; I just realized that I am not the person that a tattoo should be on. It would be a sin to have a decent tattoo and someone like me, trying to hide it.
I realized that I am the person who loves to look at art, but wouldn’t want to be, or try to be, an artist. I am a looker, an admirer and I am happy that way.
If I can give some advice if you have never had a tattoo, and you are contemplating getting one, this would be it:
- When you get your first tattoo, make sure that you will be able to live with it later on in life, because there is nothing worse than realizing that you don’t want it anymore.
- I don’t care how many lovers you have – DO NOT PUT THEIR NAMES ON YOUR BODY!
- Preferably, you should be sober when making the final decision regarding what you want to put on your body.
Tattooing should be appreciated and not done just to be part of a movement or to be “cool”… People with tattoos are special, some more issue-ridden that others, but never the less they are the walking graffiti that tells a story. Respect that.