Tattoos: Would You Put a Bumper Sticker on a Rolls Royce?

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During my J2E (Journey to Empowerment) seminars for teen and young adults, I invariably talk with them about what they should consider before getting a tattoo.

During the past several months, I have received several e-mails from past students who are having their tattoos removed.

When they made the choice to get them, they had refused to listen to their parents or me when we suggested waiting until they were at least 26 years old.

Now, they’ll have to endure painful and costly procedures that they could’ve avoided, if only they’d waited.  In some cases, tattoo removal can cost up to ten times the original cost of the tattoo.

Here are the reasons why they, and 50 percent of those who get tattoos, end up having them removed:

  • They’re tired of always having to cover them up for auditions, performances, professional meetings, interviews, etc.
  • Their wild days are behind them and they want to work in an office. They realize that their symbols of youthful self-expression don’t exactly scream, “I’m a professional.”
  • The tattoo artist (probably an amateur or first-timer) did a lousy job and the design is flawed, misspelled, or they never really liked the tattoo to begin with.
  • They got the tattoo on a dare, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the tattoo is meaningless. (One gentleman wasn’t even sure what his was or what it meant.)
  • Young women are planning their weddings and want to wear a beautiful dress.
  • Their spouse or partner is tired of having to constantly look at the name of their ex tattooed on their body.
  • Weight gain or age (sagging skin) has caused the original design to morph into something very unattractive.
  • Their personal ideals on religion, politics, rock bands, gang affiliation, etc. have changed.

Teens and young adults can be impulsive and often have difficulty imagining themselves at 30 or 40 years of age.

We all need to be able to work to support our families and ourselves and while it may not be fair, tattoos are sometimes considered inappropriate in many professional environments and some employers will not hire people who are covered in tattoos.

So before you rush out to get a tattoo, ask yourself if this is something you can live with for the rest of your life.

If you’re under the age of 26 and you’re going to get a tattoo, here’s my advice:

  1. Consider placing it where it can be easily covered with clothing.
  2. Don’t get a tattoo on the spur of the moment – research your options.
  3. Consider this question: “Would you put a bumper sticker on a Rolls Royce?”
  4. You might want to consider getting a temporary tattoo.  Beyonce has temporary kits that offer fashionable and trendy temp tattoos that you can wash off when you get tired of them.

Of course, the wisest choice is just to simply wait it out.  Most people who give themselves an opportunity to mature, before getting a tattoo, end up being extremely happy that they did.  After all, what’s cool and trendy when you’re 16 just might end up being totally lame when you’re 26.

Just think about the musicians and songs you loved ten years ago – what if you had a tattoo of one of the Baha Men (Who Let the Dogs Out?) on your arm?

How cool would that be today?

“For someone who likes tattoos, the most precious thing is bare skin.” ~ Cher.

Now it’s your turn.  Do you have a tattoo you regret?  Or were you able to wait it out?  If so, I’d love to hear about the tattoo you would’ve gotten?  What are some other benefits of waiting and giving yourself time to mature?

I’m hyper, don’t have TV, and enjoy making all my own blog graphics.

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Gracias mi amigos.
Yours in love and dance, Laurie

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