I have some tattoos.
I LOVE my tattoos!
Sometimes, I like to take out a little mirror and just stare at them. Mostly because I can’t believe that I actually went down that road.
But because I am a mom, and I want my children to make wise choices in their young adult years, I worry about the possibility of the mixed message on the subject that my tattoos will send them. So now, years before they have a chance to start asking, I am going to plan my answer.
Q: “Why not? You have one”
A: “I know. I was there when I got it.”
Q: “So, what? You’re all against them now?”
A: “No, not at all. I love mine and fully support them with the following giant disclaimer:
- A Tattoo is forever. There’s no rush. If you really want one that badly, figure out exactly what you want, and sleep on it for a year. Chances are, in 12 months, you’ll be glad you did. Years of careful planning, thought, and research went into mine.
- Location, location, location! Many employers won’t share your enthusiasm for your ink and you don’t want to lose out on a great opportunity over “artistic differences”. If you must ink up, choose a place that is easy to conceal for a job interview, work uniform, or other events where your tats may pose a distraction or offense to others.
- Hobbies, interests, your favorite pet, popularity of song lyrics, and seasons of life change. Often. Don’t tat that. You have to be able to look into the future and know what is still going to be relevant to you 40 years from now when you still have it (Well, when you have the sagging, faded version of it). And that is difficult to do. You’re not going to be 18 forever. I know this because I once was 18, and now I am not. What is important to you in your limited scope of life experiences is going to be very different then even just a few years from now when you’re older and married. Which brings me to my next point:
- One day you’ll be married to someone who isn’t you. 1 Corinthians 7:4 says, ” The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” If my husband wasn’t on board with it, I wouldn’t have done it. Does that make me an anti-feminist who wants to throw away a century of women’s rights to live under the rule of man? Quite the opposite. I am all for empowering women, but since a successful marriage is built on mutual respect, it is important to keep your spouses’ likes and preferences in mind as well. I would expect the same from my husband. Do you have to wait until you are married to get one? That’s up to you, it’s just another thing to consider.
- Do your homework! Ask people you know who have had great work done where they went. Get references, pull health department records. Ask yourself, “Am I in a financial position where I can pay the medical expenses if this thing gets infected?” “What is the recovery time?” “How should I care for it when it’s healing?”
- They hurt like hell! I mean it. Like hell. (But totally worth it)
But don’t let that discourage you. If it’s something you really, really want, AND you have considered all of the above and have given it time, then, yes, go for it! Tattoos can be a beautiful expression of art, great conversation pieces that can help you tell a story about what God has done for you, or express who you are. I will even come with you to hold your hand, just like my mom did for me.