Holly loves tattoos and has worked in a wide variety of settings, some of which were tattoo-friendly, and some of which were not.
Corporate Settings Judge Books by Their Covers
Although it's not fair, it is true that some people will judge you based on your appearance. You may want to consider this before getting a tattoo. Many companies have dress codes that state that employees must cover all tattoos while in the workplace. If you are not able to cover a tattoo and it is noticeable during an interview, you could miss out on a job you'd otherwise land!
In some settings, it's not considered professional to have a tattoo peeking out from the collar of your shirt and wrapping around your neck. If you get inked, you may be limiting your own potential. Just something to think about!
The Meaning Behind the Art
You can say anything that you want to with a tattoo. It can be simple and sweet, or it can have hidden meanings behind it. Take a rainbow tattoo, for example—is it a symbol of beauty, innocence, and purity? Or is it an expression of sexual orientation?
Just Incase Your Relationship Heads to Jerry Springer
Although you may be head-over-heels in love, the choice to permanently have someone's name inked on your body can sometimes come back to haunt you. Let's face it: people break up. Marriages end. Do you really want to be stuck with your ex's name tattooed on your body forever? At least wait until you have children and name a child after your spouse. Then, when the relationship ends, you are covered with a believable excuse for having "Forever & Always Amanda" or "Dreaming of Nick" tattooed across your back.
You Will Constantly Be Asked, "Why Did You Get That?"
No matter the tattoo, you will have to answer questions about it to people that see it and either admire it or wish to understand it. When you're 21 and go to Las Vegas, what happens there may not stay there. In fact, Vegas may follow you home and never ever leave you. When you are old and Gray with grandchildren running around, they may stop and ask you, while gazing upon a cartoon character you picked out in a tattoo shop one not-so-sober night, "What's that, Grandma? what made you want to get that?"
Tattoos don't leave you. They are still present even after the hangover has come and gone. Stay away from tattoo shops when you do not have the ability to think before you choose, or you will be explaining it for the rest of your life. What was funny at 20 may not be as amusing when you are 80—just a little something to think about.
Picking Your Ink
The best thing about life is being able to live it your way and experience different things. Your body is a blank canvas, and decorating this canvas is a great way to express yourself. Tattoos used to be looked at as either something that bikers got to represent their gang or something felons received in prison. This is no longer the case.
In this day and age, mothers have them, school teachers have them, doctors have them, and athletes have them. The key to getting a tattoo is finding something that you don't mind living with for the rest of your life. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of what you decide to put onto your skin as long as you are okay with the way that people may (or may not) judge you.
I have never been the type to color in between the lines, but I am also a person that wants to be respected for my abilities and not judged before I am given a chance to succeed. That is why when I decided I would design a tattoo for myself and make sure it had personal meaning. I wanted to be sure it was something that I enjoyed and something that I could, if necessary, cover-up, and no one would ever know it was there. Be whoever you are, but my advice is this: do not limit the person that you will become and the opportunities that you will have down the road.
Moulik Mistry from Burdwan, West Bengal, India on February 22, 2010:
I like tattoos but I don't have any - very interesting article, thank you...
Read More from Tatring
Holly (author) from Lone Star State on February 22, 2010:
Thanks Sage-Thanks for reading and commenting :) Let me know if you do make it to the tattoo shop- interested in what you would get :)\
Sage Williams on February 21, 2010:
HC-Very well written hub, I enjoyed reading it. I personally have always liked tattoos when they are tastefully done and have some sort of personal meaning. But have never actually made it to the tattoo parlor myself. My daughter has a very beautiful one.
You brought up some very good advice as far as the work place goes.
Holly (author) from Lone Star State on February 20, 2010:
I like tattoos-when they are original and not completely stupid. Why would anyone want to put something on their body that a million people already have (can we say BaBa---Sheep). Your idea is different-would you get them on the inside of your arm or the outside? Just asking cause I heard that the area above your elbow on the outer part of your arm is very sensitive, so if you are getting a large tattoo, that is a lot of prolonged pain. Thanks for your comment :)
Raymond D Choiniere from USA on February 20, 2010:
Hey H.C.Porter, I've never gotten around to get the two I want, but then again, many people have told me I am nuts. I wanted to two different types of swords, one down each arm. However, just never done it. Thank you for sharing. It was a great hub. :) Thumbs UP! as in Rate Up too. :)
Holly (author) from Lone Star State on February 20, 2010:
Thanks for your comment. Tattoos are somewhat controversial aren’t they, I am glad I thought twice about getting one when I wanted one just to have it.
mtsi1098 on February 20, 2010:
Great job on a controversial topic...goes right along with earrings for men and which ear to put it in...I saw a tattoo in a magazine once that was an ad for Sony...It was a cool looking Vaio on the small of a woman's back...thanks
Holly (author) from Lone Star State on February 19, 2010:
Thanks Madison22, As always you are very sweet and kind with your comments. I am glad you had a chance to read this one.
Madison from NYC on February 19, 2010:
Very good and sensible advice. Love your advice on being who you are. Thank you:-)
Holly (author) from Lone Star State on February 18, 2010:
Thanks for commenting-I am glad that you approve. Those forever love tats and branding yourself with another persons name can all too often come back and bite you in the butt...
Thanks for commenting sir, I appreciate it. Tattoos don't really bother me- I just think too many young people get them for the wrong reasons and tend to regret it later down the road. Thanks again for commenting
Tony McGregor from South Africa on February 18, 2010:
Good advice. I have never been attracted to tattoos and often wondered why people have them. You have provided an answer. Thanks
Love and peace
Andrew from Italy on February 18, 2010:
I like tattoos, otherwise I wouldn't have some, and I like a lot the first picture. You said everything right, tattoos must be made because you like them, not for fashion, and you must remember that they'll be always with you. So staying far away from forever love stuff is a great advice. Beautiful and useful hub. :)
Nan on February 17, 2010:
Good advice, but the business might accept your form of expession, and as you said you will out of a job.
Holly (author) from Lone Star State on February 17, 2010:
Thanks! I am glad I contributed something new to the community- Thank you for leaving your comments :)
I feel so bad when a good kid doesn't get the opportunities that they deserve because they made a choice when they were 18 to get I Luv .... on their knuckles. People need to think a little before deciding to get a tattoo. Thanks for the comments
Veronica Allen from Georgia on February 17, 2010:
This is very good advice. I especially like how you ended this hub - "Be who you are-but do not limit the person that you will become and the opportunities that you will have down the road". I think it would behoove anyone to heed this adivce before taking on this form of expression.
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on February 17, 2010:
I don't think I've come across any hubs like this one thus far, so kudos to you for telling those who are indeed thinking about getting a tattoo to think twice! Great job. I myself am not a fan, but I will admit that there are some tattoos out there that are just magnificent to look at.