Tattoos… you either love or hate ’em it seems. Maybe it seemed a good idea when you were drunk to have a ‘W’ tattooed on each butt-cheek so that when you bend over it reads ‘WOW’ but the chances are that you’re not so sure in the cold light of day. And is it ever a good idea to permanently mark your skin with the name of a partner, because you’re so in love? Get a puppy or something! Then once you split up it will be a comfort to whoever is left as its owner. But it won’t last forever to remind you of your sad mistake.
It’s not that I don’t understand the attraction of having a really unique, well designed tattoo. Hell, I even understand (kind of) that some people may get off on the pain of the needle. And clearly, many people love the attention that their tattoos give them. Why else would you tattoo a teardrop on your face? Oh right, to show that you are sensitive? Aah, bless your little cotton socks.Sure, some people have intimate tattoos in ‘private’ areas, such as a butterfly (pass me the bucket) or, in the case of an ex-girlfriend, a hideous tarantula spider – the females eat the males after mating, you know. Oh, so that’s what she was trying to do… When she mentioned that she was thinking of getting a venus fly trap down there I knew the relationship was over.
Other tattoo horrors that I have come across include a friend who thought it would be cool to have a dragon on his arm. Grr, a mighty, fire-breathing dragon! What he got looked like Puff the Magic Dragon – only thought of as cool by the kiddies at the local primary school. Undeterred, he then had a henna design that was supposed to read something inspiring in Mandarin. Our Chinese friend informed him that it read ‘town’… Lucky it wasn’t permanent. Also, a girl I worked with had a tattoo that read ‘mother’ in Sanskrit, yet she hadn’t seem her mother for over two years as they didn’t get on!
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have the imagination to think of a tattoo that’s both original and brilliantly designed, that maybe tells a story of a life event with meaning. Take the Lord of the Rings actors who each had a ring tattooed to symbolise their friendship and dedication to an enduring project. Subtle and something that will age well. But the danger with tattoos is looking like you’ve been ‘tramp-stamped’ with an unimaginative, commonly found tattoo that says nothing for your uniqueness and personality. Other than the fact that you’re a sheep with no imagination.
To those who have covered much of their bodies in ink, I applaud your dedication to the cause, but I would hate to be in your shoes, or possibly steel-toe-capped boots, when you pass 40 and that rose design starts to droop. A sad sight indeed! So, if anyone out there is tempted to take to the tattoo artist’s chair, just have a word with yourself first. Is it really what you want long-term? The future will come soon enough so you need to be sure that you have chosen carefully and can be proud of your choice. Me? I’ll stick to my ink-free pasty-white skin thanks…