A tattoo can be a wonderful decoration, a material form of some of your most precious memories or a stupid childish decision you beat yourself up about every day. It all depends on how much time, energy and rational thinking you’ve invested in the whole process. Well, at least that’s how I see it. Now, since I’m a Libra, a.k.a the one who thinks three times before doing anything, I believe any action that will affect your later life deserves to be thought through. And here are some questions I felt the need to ask myself and think you should too:
1. Is This the Ideal Place for It?
Once you get it done, there’s no turning back, so think about the area of your skin you want to cover in ink. Try getting a henna tattoo first and see how it feels having that image on that particular place. If you still like it, go for it. I, for example, wanted to get a tattoo very much but none of the possible body parts seemed like the one I’d want to get permanently inked. I was contemplating it for months, did numerous henna tattoos and although each and every one of them looked cool, I somehow knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the real deal.
2. Will I like It in 5 to 10 Years?
Colors fade over the years, lines kind of stretch too and, as our bodies change, so does everything on them, including the tattoos. So, before you finally schedule your inking, do try to imagine that same tattoo ten or fifteen years from now. Sure, your belly looks perfect now, but what’s going to happen when you decide to have kids? Just something to think about…
3. Did I Choose the Right Image?
Are you about to do a popular tribal symbol or something that has a deeper meaning for you? That’s really something you want to think long and hard about, because I’ve met a lot of people who got a tattoo just because it “looks cool” and deeply regretted it later. It's better to get something meaningful, so just be sure before making it permanent.
4. Did I Choose the Best Tattoo Artist?
The tattoo artist is the most important person in the whole story because he’s supposed to turn your idea into a reality. That, of course, means you won’t walk into the first tattoo studio you see, but you'll instead research a little bit and check out more than just one man and his works. If you already have a finished image, the process is much easier because all you’ll have to do is find somebody that can copy that onto your skin exactly the way you want it. However, if the image you want to see on yourself is nothing more than a blurry collection of ideas, you’ll definitely need somebody who’s ready to listen, pitch in and help turn those ideas into a visible, tangible image you’ll want to have on your body forever and ever.
5. Will It Interfere with My Career/job Opportunities?
Be careful of where you place those tattoos because they might prove to be a bad career move. This goes for both guys and girls – we all know employers are not very keen to take on employees whose appearance may seem too unprofessional for the corporate world. A tattoo is your private little decoration anyway, so there is no need to put it on your face or anywhere where the chances of “hiding” it are very slim.
6. What if I Don’t like It?
What are you going to do if you decide you don’t like your tattoo? It’s not a skirt you can return and get your money back so there are only two possible scenarios: you’ll either get one of those special, expensive cover-up foundations or go and get it removed. I’m not trying to scare any of you, I’m merely pointing out the fact that not considering this option doesn’t make it disappear.
7. Am I Doing It for Myself or Somebody else?
Can I be brutally honest? Don’t be silly enough to actually tattoo your boyfriend’s or husband’s name! You never know what the future holds and if you don’t believe me, take a look at celebrities. Those people are beautiful, rich and 90% of our normal, everyday problems don’t exist in their lives. And yet, they fight, cheat, break up or get divorced. Get a tattoo of something that has more to do with you – your wedding date, for example isn’t such a bad idea because that’s something you’ll always find worthy of remembering. Your tattoo must be entirely your decision and must involve something you are very passionate about. Yes, I love my fiancé too, but I wouldn't willingly brand myself with his name. I’m not his property and he is not mine.
I, for example, still feel the need to get a tattoo sometimes, and every time that happens I keep going through this list of questions trying to be fair and give honest answers. That still doesn’t mean I won’t get a tattoo at all, I’m just waiting until my list of answers has more pros than cons. Do you think that’s the right way to approach this matter?
Top Photo Credit: Travis Isaacs