So yesterday I (Bec) emailed Amy and Caitlyn and mentioned that I was thinking about getting a tattoo. They were quick to point out that tattoos are not for them, which is a standpoint that I can respect and until recently I probably would have agreed with. As a topic it provided a rich and interesting conversation and we are keen to get some other peoples point of view. So today we are going to be talking about the whys and the why nots of permanently marking your body.
Why you might think about doing it –
My story: for very personal reasons I have a desire to put the words “Cogito ergo sum” (Latin for I think therefore I am from the French philosopher Descartes) somewhere on my body. This phase has become my mantra over the last 12 months when there were times that I felt like I was going to be swallowed up in a whole bunch of suckiness and cease to be me, that the intellectual spark in me would be extinguished under a massive pile of pain and fear. The decision to get it done has not been an easy one and I’m still not 100% committed to the idea, but I do want something tangible as a reminder of the journey I have taken this year and the lessons learned.
How it came about – About three weeks ago a friend was talking about his tattoo and offered to let me go with him to see how it was done, he jokingly said I could get one as well. I think I surprised him by saying that I knew what I wanted and would love to come. To be honest until that second I had never seriously considered it but I knew instantly what I wanted, roughly where I wanted it (somewhere I could see it but that would not be on display for the whole world) and that I wanted it as a symbol, a personal commitment to never forget how important it is to know your own mind.
What Amy Has To Say:
I don’t have a problem with tattoos, perse. I understand that they are an art-form and an expression of the person wearing it – What I don’t like is how they have sincerely lost their meaning. Tattoos, when I was growing up, were reserved for the super duper cool and tough. My Dad had two (obviously the coolest, toughest dude alive!)… People I met who had them were tough, cool and RARE. Now every man and his dog has one. It just seems to be an art-form for douchbaggery now. Ben Cousins for example; with his stupid, wanky tattoo, ‘Such is Life’… To me that doesn’t read deep and meaningful, to me that reads a Bogan with some dye. The tattoos that say ‘Made in Australia’ (or the southern cross for that matter) were kind of funny and unique when they surfaced, but now they are a badge for racism. People who think they are deep and meaningful when the get Chinese/Japanese/Hindu symbols on their neck, arse, ankle? You’re probably not as deep as you think. You probably just ordered soup!
Then there is the ever wonderful point of how tattoos age. My Dad never got his re-coloured and now they have a green tinge that look kinda weird. I’ve seen people who got tattoos when they were bigger that are now all stretchy and horrid. I’ve also seen the other end of the scale where people get tattoos when they are skinny and then become larger only to have a stretched out version of their former art work. To get tatts removed is a long and painful process… Having them there forever might be worse. Sure, now at 21 you may be thinking, ‘F**k! I’m cool’, but when you’re 31, you may think differently!
To close out my argument, I think getting tattoos is the early 90’s way of saying ‘Yeah, bitches, I’m cool!’ and if that works for you then I applaud you! Good on you for enduring a long and painful process to end up with what I effectively think of as a life long scar (and trust me, I have a few of those and they are UGLY). I understand that it means something to you, I really do and I do believe that some Tattoos are beautiful (such as Becs and the meaning behind it) but you wont ever see me lining up at a tattoo parlour … I’ve got enough scars as it is!
What Caitlyn Has To Say:
I’m still on the fence a little about tattoos. I can see the beauty and art behind a lot of them and then I’m left shaking my head at the ones that are meant to be humorous and just down right horrible. How is that going to be appropriate when you are 40, 50 or 60?!
I tend over analyse a lot of things in my life and the decision to get a tattoo for myself would not be taken lightly. I’m not sure how many people even research the health risks associated with getting a tattoo?
To make my job slightly easier I’ve had a look around on the internet this morning.
Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after you get the tattoo.
Skin infections. A skin infection — which might cause redness, swelling, pain and a pus-like drainage — is possible after tattooing.
Other skin problems. Sometimes bumps called granulomas form around tattoo ink. Tattooing can also lead to keloids — raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
Bloodborne diseases. If the equipment used to create your tattoo is contaminated with infected blood, you can contract various bloodborne diseases — including tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
MRI complications. Rarely, tattoos or permanent makeup might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. In some cases, tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image — such as when a person who has permanent eyeliner has an MRI of the eye.
I just get too paranoid thinking about contracting something from the tattooing process and worry about any future regrets I might have. I know these days you can have laser treatments to “remove” the tattoo but I just think it’s easier for myself to decide against a tattoo now and not have to worry about it later.
I completely understand why people get tattoos with genuine meaning behind them for lost love ones, traumatic times in life, overcoming certain aspects and more, but again I’m often left wondering just how drunk some people were when they got their tattoo.
I respect someone’s decision to get a tattoo and just hope they have the same respect for my decision to not get one.
Spelling mistakes, poor quality, and other things just make me so nervous about getting one. So I’m sticking to not getting one 🙂
Think before you ink and remember to stay ….
Please share your thoughts about tattoos with us in comments.
Do you have one? Would you ever get one? If you do have one how do people react to it? Plenty of celebrities have tattoos, are there any that you would consider getting yourself?