Tell me why… you have tattoos?
Rachel Laidler, 19
Why do I have tattoos? To be totally honest, I have absolutely no idea. With every new person that I meet, I am constantly faced with questions regarding my tattoos. Did they hurt? How much did they cost? What do they mean? And the most prominent of all, do you regret any? It has been a little over a year since I got my first tattoo, and ever since I have not been able to stop. It’s kind of a rush. It’s when you first enter the tattoo shop and get butterflies in your stomach, knowing you’re going to leave there in a few hours with a piece of “art” on you. I understand that people get specific tattoos to honour loved ones or memories that they wish to treasure but to be blunt, if I like it, I’ll get it. It’s safer than drugs, right? I’ve tried to stick to a traditional style with those such as my rose, swallow and most recently a Native American woman, but as long as I’m happy, who cares? My tattoos are all pretty easy to hide if need be and at times even I forget I have them. Even now, while writing this, I’m thinking about getting a new one. My mum always told me that if I got one, let alone five, make sure I can hide it for when it comes to things like job interviews or how they will look when I’m old. I think this is the main reason why many people are turned off by the idea of tattoos, regardless of where they are. Tattoos are not for those who only see skin deep. Like clothing and music, tattoos are a form of expression. They aren’t there to please everyone.
Tell me why… you don’t have tattoos?
Joshua Cantle Jones, 20
For some reason it has once again become ‘fashionable’, ‘cool’ or ‘attractive’ to have tattoos. Like everything else, this is a phase. Phases come and go, tattoos do not. I personally don’t think I’d ever get a tattoo for many reasons, but the main reason being, they look a bit crap. I’ve genuinely never seen a tat that I thought looked impressive and made me want to rush to the parlour to get some ink of my own.
But even in a hypothetical world where all tattoos look well nice, my next problem would be, what would I get? I’m quite the indecisive person. If I got a tattoo today, would that tattoo really be the same one I would choose to get in 10 years’ time? Probably not, but I’d be stuck with it. Of course the perfect solution would be to continue getting more and more tattoos until I get to the point of becoming unemployable and slightly scary.
If I want to remember a time in my life, I’ll make a photo album. If I want to remember a holiday, I’ll keep a postcard. If I’m passionate about a musician, I’ll buy their album. If I want to express love to those closest to me, I’ll do so by keeping them close in my heart, not on my skin.
I’d like to think that there are far more creative ways of expressing myself. Doing things, creating things and achieving things are surely much better ways of establishing individuality. Scarring a label on to your skin? That don’t impress me much.