Miami Ink. LA Ink. Tattoo models. Tattoo magazines. Tattoos on me. Tattoos on you. Tattoos on your friends. Tattoos on Grandma. Once looked down upon and considered taboo in some regions, they have definitely made their way into the mainstream and with good reasons. Skin art is a beautiful form of self-expression, but like everything else, the practice should be approached with caution.
With tattoos now being one of the most common ways to show what we love, we forget about other options that exist. Your love of Marilyn Monroe could serve just as well in a beautifully framed picture. Your favorite band could be shown in all types of memorabilia. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your skin, especially if you run the risk of losing some interest in it one day.
Today, you may want that tattoo of the evil ripped up teddy bear smoking a cigar, but in the future, how will you feel about it, and how will it affect your standing with potential employers?
Many establishments still feel that tattoos should be hidden as part of the dress code, but such ideas are beginning to change. With this counterculture phenomenon, it’s becoming increasingly difficult, even in the corporate world, to dismiss someone’s skills and abilities based on body art. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for every career field yet. So, before you move forward with the naked pin-up girl tattoo on your forearm (and I have seen some beautiful ones, so I say that with no disrespect), here are some things to consider.
Before the job prospects, before what your friends think, and before what is trending in pop culture, consider YOURSELF. Speaking from experience, I have gotten more than one tattoo before college that I wasn’t so fond of and I had to opt for cover ups. What led to my regrets was the fact that I didn’t take the time to think it all through and ask myself some important questions. Questions like these:
What do you believe in and what will your ink mean to you? Why do you want this tattoo so badly? Will you be proud to look at it and show it to others for many years to come? These are important questions to ask because they can save some regret in the future. Sure, there are always the options of cover ups and laser removals but cover ups can have their complications, and laser removal is not the best feeling in the world and can still leave ink behind. Also, both options are ultimately more expensive, so why not try to get it right the first time?
Some of the worst tattoo motivations are those of humor and a current emotional state. Sure, your tat may be the funniest thing ever, but there may come a time where the joke is on you when you no longer find the permanent ink so humorous. With the emotions of love, anger, and frustration, you may feel super strongly now, but what about if or when those feelings subside? You don’t want to be stuck with the mark of a bad memory.
Now, depending on your career goals for the future, think about where your tattoos will place you amongst your competitors and within your field. If you think there may be negative consequences, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get the tattoo you want, but it does mean that you should be cautious of where you put it. Avoid the neck, hands, and any other areas that will be easily noticed at the workplace. This way, no matter what you decide to have tattooed on your body, it will be no one’s business but your own and you can avoid unfair judgments and job rejections, which unfortunately, do still exist.
At this point, some of us already have tattoos and if not, we are planning on getting one or more. In the end, it is all a matter of personal choice and some of us do best to learn by trial and error or just life experience in general. So, ink as you please - just think about it first. Really, think about it.