One Man’s Opinion: Tattoo You


Joe Lose, Writer

We see them every day on family, friends, and strangers alike.  Some make you cringe while others make you wonder what on earth this person’s story is.  I’m speaking of course, of tattoos.

Love ’em or hate ’em, tattoos have become huge in today’s culture.  These custom ink jobs have gone from something only hardcore bikers and rock stars would have, to a socially accepted (to an extent) piece of art that millions are rocking.  Not to mention, it’s a multi-million dollar industry.  Even Spike TV has cashed in with its huge show, “Ink Master.”  Tattoos shops are popping up all over the country and tattoos are popping up on CEO’s, professional athletes, teachers, and us college kids.

While tattoos in general have become a much more inclusive art form, some do still have their stigmas.  There’s the aw-inspiring tramp stamp (which I’m still a huge fan of), face and neck tattoos (commonly referred to as dishwasher ink), and the sleeves up and down your arms.

So where do you draw the line on what is and isn’t acceptable?  What’s cliche and what’s original?  What’s trashy and what’s beautiful?  First, stop asking so many questions and let me answer.  Tattoos are something you get for you.  No one else.  Sure, a tattoo might be in honor of someone, but you’re getting permanent ink on your own skin for your own reasons.  If you want to rock a skull in the middle of your forehead, that’s entirely up to you.  Just know it will come with consequences.

Visible tattoos are just that.  Visible for everyone to see.  If you get a tattoo of a beautiful naked chick on your forearm, you’d better wear sleeves to job interviews or you can expect to not get a call back…  Unless you’re applying at a strip club.  There’s an exception to every rule.  A visible tattoo that may be vulgar to someone or keep you out of a certain job might be perfect for a different job.  You should also consider that you could have a family one day and they’re all going to see it.

Me?  I love tattoos.  I think they’re great.  It’s like adding a sticker of your favorite team to your rear windshield.  They’re not something to just rush into, though.  You should think about what you really love and know it’s going to be there for the rest of your life.  Think of something original.  Don’t go with trends.  They come and go.  Tattoos don’t.  If you think your parents would cringe or potential future kids will be scared of it, don’t do it.  While the tattoo is for you, just remember who may or may not be seeing it.