Don't Regret Your Next Tattoo
Written by: Jaclyn Popola
Some common arguments against getting tattooed are "How do you know you're going to want that there forever? Tattoos are permanent. What if it's just a phase? What if you don't like it ten years from now? What are you going to do when you're sixty-years old and have a tattoo on you?" or "Your body is beautiful just as it is, why would you want to go and ruin it?" And if you're planning on getting a matching tattoo with a friend or lover, forget about it. "OH MY GOD what if you break up?! What if he/she breaks your heart?! What if you aren't friends ten years from now?!?!" Let's debunk these arguments one by one.
"What are you going to do when you're sixty years old and have a tattoo on you?!"
Be sixty-years old and have a tattoo.
"How do you know you're going to want that there forever? Tattoos are permanent."
That's true. I don't know that I'm going to want it there forever. But that doesn't matter; I want it there now, today. And by the time I reach old age, God willing, I'll have had the tattoo so long it will have become a part of me.
"What if you don't like that image/phrase/band ten years from not?"
[Now this is the important, so pay attention.] You're absolutely right. Ten years from now I probably won't be listening to the same music or be as obsessed with images of stars as I am now, but the tattoo will be a reminder of the time in my life when I did like those things, a symbol of youth/experimentation/freedom/etc.
"Your body is beautiful just the way it is, why would you want to go and ruin it?"
My body is beautiful, but it won't be any less beautiful if I accentuate it with ink. My body is my temple but it is also a canvas. I can either leave it empty or decorate it.
"What if one day you break up/aren't friends anymore?"
Just because it doesn't last doesn't mean it didn't happen. Maybe we'll last and maybe we won't. I personally have a tattoo--a quote--that I share with two other people, one of whom I am estranged from at the moment and the other I don't speak to at all. For a while after the dissolution of our threesome I was slightly disturbed by the presence of the tattoo, but after thinking about it I soon came to terms with it. There is always a way to rationalize one's feelings or actions in a way that makes sense. When I got that particular tattoo inked onto my skin I was at an incredible moment in my life. I had reached a long awaited turning point and had never felt healthier or more alive. A breath of fresh air that had previously been polluted. Tattoos cannot just be taken at face value; their meaning is much more extensive. They can represent ideals and ideas as well as being landmarks on our life's journey. It doesn't matter what happens next, it only matters that it happened at all.
A friend of mine once said, "Tattoos shouldn't be gotten by people who think the moment lasts forever, but by those who see forever in all the moments."