Tattoos: A Form of Self-Expression
Judging a Book by Its Cover
Although it is not right, it is true that some people will judge you based on your appearance. You may want to consider this before you get 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 that you are qualified for.
In some settings, it is not deemed professional-looking to have a tattoo peeking out from the collar of your shirt and wrapping around your neck. You may not get where you are capable of being if you are not able to cover up some of that colorful ink you decorate your body with.
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 meaning 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 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.