Did you ever think that when you got your first tattoo that you had just turned your body into a human canvas? Sometimes they can be private but other times they are on display for all to see. Most people see tattoo’s as a beautiful way of expressing themselves or as a tribute to a person or an event. Anyone considering getting one should put a lot of thought into the type and placement of a tattoo for many reasons. Safety is another important factor to think about. Tattoo’s can be a beautiful piece of artwork, but you need to be careful about where you get them.
Tattooing has been around for centuries, but has just become very popular in the last several years. At one time tattoos were only associated with a bikers or gang members. These days about one-quarter of people under the age of 30 get at least one tattoo in their lifetime (Healey 1). People decide to get tattoos for varied reasons. Many do it as a memory of a loved one who is passed on or like my daughter who has “Walk With God” tattooed on the top of her right foot. As she puts it “It is just a daily reminder to keep me focused on what is right” (Henry). Others do it to express themselves or as a right of passage, like turning eighteen years old. As in my daughters case she waited until she was eighteen and up at college with her friends.
To say the least I wasn’t very happy with her decision, I thought of it as a form of rebellion. However, it was her first real adult decision all on her own. After all who hasn’t done something like this when we were young? Any one who is considering getting a tattoo should do their research, especially when thinking about the place that they want to go to have it done. Check out the tattoo shop you plan to go to before hand. It should be clean and not some dirty back room behind a bar. Make sure the tattoo artist wears gloves, uses new disposable razors and packaged single use sterile tattoo needles (Tielsel-Goddard 2).
Also, be sure to ask that the ink being used is from a new package and not left over from another procedure. This will help in preventing infection at the site. You can never be to careful when getting a tattoo. According to Dr. Bernadine Healy “The Food and Drug Administration which regulates food, cosmetics, and drugs with a vengeance, has chosen not to regulate the tattoo industry”. “Ingredients of tattoo ink are a mystery and are not approved by the FDA. Some chemists have turned up some unhealthy surprises like mercury, lead, and antifreeze” (Healy 1). Professionalism of the tattoo shop you go to is important. Lastly make sure that they send you away with the proper written after care instruction when they are done.
Another thing to consider when getting a tattoo is where you’re going to have it put on your body and what it will say if it is in words. Most tattoos are small, cute and meaningful to the person having it done and could be placed anywhere. Others might be vulgar or offensive if placed in a very noticeable location. Even though it is your right to put it anywhere you want to, you should think about what it may look like to others and also what it says about you. Another reason to think about placement is, could it be a problem to cover up when you get a job? Many employers have strict rules about making sure that any tattoo is covered during your working hours.
At my new job we are require to wear short sleeve pull over shirts, and any visible tattoos must be covered. One other thing you will want to think about is your future. Is this tattoo something that you will still want twenty years from now? Removal of tattoos is a big deal. It is very painful and expensive. As Dr. Bernadine Healy puts it “Lasering tattoos opens a toxic chemical dump in your body and health insurance won’t pay for removal” (Healy 1). Remember, it may cost only a few hundred dollars to get a tattoo, but it will cost thousands to have it removed.
Getting a tattoo can be a beautiful and wonderful experience. Make sure you are ready for what you are getting into. A reputable tattoo business is a must, be sure to do your research on this place of business. Give careful consideration of what kind of tattoo you are getting, the placement of it and be sure that it is something that you can live with for the rest of your life. Having a tattoo is a beautiful expression and a wonderful piece of artwork, just make certain you know what you want and where you want it.