Tatoo Mania

I read with great interest the thread in the HR/Employment Law forum regarding tatoos. It seems that many of you who posted have body art in some form or another. What I DIDN'T really see addressed was the WHY of it all. My husband recently got a rather sizeable tatoo on this upper arm, which I'm not real crazy about. (The tatoo isn't offensive, I just don't really care for tatoos.) I'm really trying to understand his professed extreme desire to get this tatoo. Can somebody give me some insight here??!! What propels someone to get a tatoo and WHY is it so important?
Thank you in advance for your gratis counselling!


  • 22 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I was always fascinated with my father's tattoo when I was little. I'm not sure there is any real specific reason, either you want one or you don't, either you like them or you don't. I don't think they have the same rebellious connotation that they did years ago. I got my first tattoo before they became the "in thing" to do and I was a bit dismayed that anyone might think I jumped on the tattoo bandwagon. I have three, they are all small, and I just like them. I know lots of people who get them as a rememberance to a deceased loved one(as is one of mine) or a new child, I think its a way of adding permanence to their existance.
  • Personally, I do not want to go thru the pain of getting a tattoo, so I don't understand the need either, thankfully my husband feels the same way.

    A few years ago, I met a friend of a friend that is making it his life's mission to be completely covered in tattoos except for a small space on his back. Reasoning, he has his DOB tattooed just below his neck, and the space just below that will be for one final tattoo with his DOD. I certainly don't want to be the tattoo artist that gets that call! (btw, this friend is also into the whole 'scarring' idea and has piercings everywhere. One word: ewwww!)

    I just don't understand some people!

  • Scarring? I must have missed something - what is that?

    I have a belly ring - no huge reason. My husband thinks they're cute & so do I. It's nothing that has to be displayed (unless I want it to be) and is not permanent like a tattoo would be.
  • Is scarring when people carve words or pictures in to their skin with glass or something so it leaves a big scar? There is a pro football player, I don't know his name, who has his fraternity letters carved in his arm. Now thats pain! The tattoo was nothing.
  • Scarring is when you deface your skin in different patterns, i.e. weaving (cutting flaps of skin and weaving them to create a pattern (think pie crust)). This guy showed me a book of things that are out there, some orginating in certain cultures...aborigonie I think.
  • Eeww...that's ickier than I thought.
  • If you think that's icky...

    I have a friend who was branded a few years ago. And yes, that is exactly what it sounds like. He let someone use a red-hot iron to put a pattern of S-like shapes around his wrist. It became so horribly infected looking that my husband advised him to put some kind of antibiotic ointment on it, which he did. Now you can barely see it. He found out later that you're supposed to let it be infected and icky so you get the "good scarring." I can't believe he went through that for nothing. Actually, I can't believe he went through that at all.
  • I have 3 tatoos, all of which are in places where noone sees unless I want them to. I got mine because they all have a signifigance in my life and of who I am. Yes, I know they are permanenet, but I do not care. All of mine are custom pieces that were drawn for me, and will always have meaning. One I drew myself. I love mine, and would not change them at all. I also have a belly ring which no one sees but me, and on the occassional rare moment when I venture into a 2 piece bathing suit, friends.
  • I have one tatoo - in a place where virtually no one will see it, and it has a musical motif.

    I got it when I was 39 years old - going through either a mid-life crisis or a long-postponed adolescent rebellion. My first spouse and I were on shaky ground, and we separated about 8 months after I got the tatoo. Oddly enough, in that time, he either never noticed it or was too polite to say anything about it!

    My new son-in-law (the one who wore his vampire teeth as part of his wedding formalware) spends most of his time designing his future tatoos, while my daughter works to support him and two little kids. Go figure.
  • My brother was in a bar in California when a guy struck up a conversation about this n that. After a while, the guy bet my brother that he had the most original tattoo that my brother would ever see. Well, my brother is beyond odd, and so are his friends. Many with bizarre tattoo's, body mods, etc. He's basically freak flypaper. He took the bet. (It was for a pitcher of beer)

    Well, the guy pulled his pants leg up and my brother was floored. It was a string of Christmas lights winding up from his ankle to the top of his leg. Needless to say, the guy won the beer. My brother only had one word for the him... Why?

    The guy said he always wanted a tattoo, but only one that wouldn't scare the grandkids should he ever get any!

  • I have numerous family members and friends who have gotten tattoos in recent years - my mom even had a teddy bear tattooed on her back! The strangest, and probably most painful, one I have seen is one my uncle had done on his neck - a spiderweb (just like in that George Clooney movie with the vampires)!
  • We hire lots of young people and it really bothers me when they get visible (on the neck or face) or massive amounts of tatoos. I don't have a problem with tattoos I just think you should be past a certain age to make that kind of commitment. When I was around 23 I got a tattoo on my left shoulderblade and I don't like the design now.
    I have recently gotten a maple leaf tattoo right where the foot starts becoming the ankle on the front so it is visible when I wear shorts. It is actually an outline of a maple leaf and my SO colors it in every once in a while to reflect the seasons. It is in honor of the state that I adore and is my spiritual home if not my actual one, Vermont.
  • I agree with you on the age. I was 25 when I got my first tattoo and regret neither the design nor the location. Most people who see it think its pretty. I have tried to dissuade many young people from getting a tattoo until they are old enough to make adult decisions and are working in an envioronment where others may prejudge them because of a tattoo. That would certainly help them decide upon the location and the design.

    I'm getting ready for number 4 but can't decide on a location or design...any suggstions anyone?
  • I have a tatoo and I used to have a nose ring over 10 years ago. My tatoo was part of my college soccer teams initiation. I think getting a tatoo is very personal. Some people have them as personal statements about themselves. Mine is a shamrock because I am mostly Irish. The nose ring I can't explain. A college friend and I just decided and went and had it done. After the back of his nose ring came off and was lodged in a sinus, I decided to remove mine on my own. Luckily it was before my career started.
  • Actually Scott one of the tattos on an employee was a giant shamrock on a twenty year old's throat. She was a sweet, reliable hard working individual with lots of ambition to get ahead in the world. It killed me when she got it cause I could practically see her future go up in smoke because of it. I think she was WAY to young to make that kind of commitment.
    I like shamrocks though, don't get me wrong.
  • My Shamrock is in a place very few have seen, I wanted it that way because I knew one day I would have a career. Deez, I think you are right about your ee. I still think it will be a long time before tatoos are considered a norm for the work place. Maybe she could wear a turtleneck until then. x;-)
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-10-03 AT 12:58PM (CST)[/font][p]My SO is in construction and he told me about a young laborer who took off his shirt and had a huge, very lewd picture on his back with the words "Breakfast of Champions" emblazoned underneath (use your imagination.) He walked over to the kid and asked what he was going to do if he ever had children. The kid admitted he'd done it the second he turned 18, and now regretted it.

    A friend's son in the Navy has been overseas for more than a year. He's on leave right now, and it appears that he is determined to cover at least 80 percent of his body with tatoos. None on his neck or face...yet. Those will have to wait until he gets out.
  • My Dad was very conservative in most regards so we were surprised that he had a tatto. . .on his ankle. . of a tombstone shaped like a cross. He liked to tell people that he had "one foot in the grave."

    I mentioned on another thread that mine is designed and ready to go, but my mother has said she will never speak to me again if I get it and come back to haunt if I wait til she's gone :)
  • When you do get that tattoo, you must post your picture. We are still waiting.
  • If I do get the tatto, it will not be in photographs (my Mom might see :) Still trying to find a digital camera . . I, at least did not request a T-shirt . I think there are some shirts out there for which we have yet to see the photo. :)
  • My daughter got a tatoo on her calf at 18 much to my dismay, but it was her money and her leg. The tatoo was very pretty (a flower with a dagger or something) and nicely done. She is now 22 and works in a bank and for the past 6 months has been receiving laser treatments to remove the tatoo. Tatoo removal is very painful and expensive! She is having laser every 6 weeks at $125 a pop and will need 12 treatments to remove the tatoo. $75 to apply, $1500 to remove. Only good thing is she now admits "I should have listened to mom".
  • My has significant to me. I started doing triathlons in 1989......did a couple and stopped, started again in 1997. Since way back in 1989 I have always desired to do an Ironman...2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. I did my first one last year, doing it again two weeks from Saturday. My tatoo on my left shoulder is the Ironman logo.............. very symbolic an has meaning to me.........as well as others in the tri community. Will I get another? Probably not, I don't heal well with scars, so while this one looks good and turned out okay, I don't know if I will be lucky twice. Besides can't imagine anything else I would want.
    My $0.02 worth.
    DJ The Balloonman
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