Whether you are completely covered or sparsely decorated, if you have a tattoo then you have most likely been subjected to the disapproving looks or even to the words (at least some variation of them anyway): ''You'll regret that when you're older.''
In my experience these kinds of statements almost always come dripping with arrogance and self righteousness from those who seem to gain a sense of gratification from vocalising their general distaste towards tattoos and those who choose to get them. Whilst I don't expect everyone to love, or even like tattoos, I find it laughable that those who hold such strong opinions against them feel that they are somehow entitled to voice their abhorrence without having to deal with any conflicting views.
Very often when people say these kinds of things it's as though they are speaking to a rebellious child and perhaps that's why they find it so shocking when we make a retort. To me this really speaks volumes for how they perceive those of us who are tattooed, as though by making the decision to get tattooed we are somehow reckless, immature and a bit on the vacuous side.
This of course is not the case as the majority of people with tattoos lead normal and successful lives and whether or not someone has ink on their skin (unless it's offensive) should not affect them when it comes to pursuing their life goals. As tattoo popularity is rising employers are becoming more relaxed when it comes to hiring those with tattoos so the belief that they are a hindrance when applying for a ''good'' job is obsolete.
When it comes to strangers making these comments I find that it is much easier to brush off and ignore but when it comes to family members or friends making those kinds of judgments it can be harder to take. To be told by your loved ones who ''want nothing more than for you to be happy'' that you will later regret your tattoos or that you'll look ridiculous when you're older seems hypocritical and unsupportive.
Whilst I understand that they may say these things from a place of care and concern, it rarely ever come across that way.
I'm not saying that no one ever regrets the tattoos they get because that's just not the case. Of course some people will regret their tattoos later in life whether it be the dreaded ex's name, a drunken mistake or a poorly executed piece of art by a dodgy ''artist,'' there will always be those who wish they had made a different decision. But with that being said, regretting a tattoo isn't the end of the world, there are many things that can be done from cover ups, laser removal or the more extreme skin grafting option. The argument that ''tattoos are forever'' simply doesn't apply in the same way that it used to because of all of these options that have become easily accessible to people.
Throughout our lives we will each make decisions that will shape how our futures will look and the idea that if something is permanent and should therefore be avoided is ludicrous. In that token those who decide that they want to have children shouldn't because they may regret the decision in later life. There are many decisions in life that could be permanent but that is not a valid reason not to go through with them.
If you don't like tattoos that is completely fine, no one is asking you to and you don't have to get them if you don't want them. But at least try to consider why someone else might like or want tattoos. Everyone has a passion in life and for some people that passion is tattoos. Can you imagine having those around you, even those you care about constantly sharing their disapproval for something that makes you happy?
Tattoos may seem like scribbles of ink to those of you who don't like them but they are so much more than that. They can build the confidence of those with little self esteem, cover insecurities with beautiful works of art or even memorialise loved ones lost. They are an opportunity to have the things you love and care about (even the silly things) with you at all times.
So please before you open your mouth to tell someone that they are going to regret their tattoo choices -a choice that you don't have to live with-, maybe take a lesson from Thumper and don't say anything at all.
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