The Pros & Cons of Tattoos

Xavier in Guides

Tattoos have come a long way from being insignias of social outcasts to permanent trendy accessories of the odd and famous.

Back then, you had to go to the wrong side of town to get a tattoo in exchange for a picture from a tough-looking guy named Bruno. But we now live in a time where it's almost normal to take your daughter to get an infinity tattoo on her wrist for her eighteenth birthday.

Tattoo artist giving recommendations
Tattoo artist giving recommendations

To think of it, we can go even further to thousands of years ago when the seven lines tattooed across your chest can only mean the seven heads you've beheaded from the rival tribe. Insane.

Self-Expression

Artist unknown.
Artist unknown.

In the modern world of the 21st century, tattoos are all about self-expression. It's all about the stories, the style, the artist, the uniqueness and sometimes, the exclusiveness of it all.

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Old school tattoos
Old school tattoos

Actually, tattoos as symbols of self-expression dates back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. We have our dear sailors to credit for that. Aside from identification purposes, the sailors had significant dates and names tattooed on them to remember their loved ones by while at sea.

Social Status Symbol

Cool knuckle tattoos
Cool knuckle tattoos

Tattoos are still unquestionably regarded with a mixture of reactions in contemporary culture. Nonetheless, the presence of a tattoo never fails to give the wearer a certain edge that's deemed by many with fascination.

by Paul Booth
by Paul Booth

The standing of the tattoo heightens with the skill and prominence of the artist. For instance, getting a Paul Booth piece is an impressive experience, especially to most fanatic tattoo collectors.

In the 1870s, tattoos were a mark of wealth among the elites in Europe
In the 1870s, tattoos were a mark of wealth among the elites in Europe

Unbeknownst to some, tattoos weren't always symbols of the 'uneducated' or of 'ruffians'. In the 1870s, due to its introduction and expensive cost, it became a mark of wealth among the elites in Europe.

Sleeve tattoo
Sleeve tattoo

These days, a good tattoo with respect to placement and quality, can enhance a person's sex appeal.

Technology

High tech tattoo tool
High tech tattoo tool

With the use of technology, we make the most of innovations. We now have a variety of high-quality pigments and machines with better performance. There are also many improvements on sanitation and aftercare. Pretty much, we don't have anything to worry about with tattoos because there are constant changes in making the experience as safe as possible and more comfortable for the clients.

Body Electric Tattoo
Body Electric Tattoo

Gone are the days when you have to depend on your will to go through covert tattoo operations where they used makeshift tools and improvised everything. Heck, some tattoo shops nowadays even make the experience seem as if you're going to a damn spa.

Barrier/Bridge

Unreal back pieces !
Unreal back pieces !

This is the middle point of this post. Having a tattoo can either hinder you from some opportunities, and it can also lead you to the right people. It's all a matter of chances and motives. Climbing the corporate ladder with neck tattoos may not be a good idea, but in festivals and events such as say, Burning Man, chances are, you'll be sparking up some good conversation with the same neck piece.

Aging

Young vs. old
Young vs. old

Anyone who's gotten several tattoos know that these things require maintenance. Tattoos have to get re-inked, depending on the placement. For example, the ones on the lip, palm and feet area tends to fade in 1-3 years, while those on the abdominal area (most likely on pregnant women) tends to lose shape over time. This is why a portrait right on the gut area is not going to be a good idea for someone who does not have a consistent diet. Both losing and gaining weight are factors in considering the placement of the tattoo. The sags and stretches can be a downer.

Health

Safe tattoo practices
Safe tattoo practices

This is not much ruled as a concern if you went in a reputable and licensed tattoo shop. But it's a different story if you're getting it done in a good friend's kitchen. Some of the best tattoo stories I've heard have consisted of a body part that is not exposed on a daily basis and a friend's new tattoo gun (there may or may not have been an involvement of an alcoholic drink).

Kitchen tattoo...
Kitchen tattoo...

I know a couple guys who can give you a safe and clean job right at your home, but the world isn't full of a couple guys I know. More often than not, you're drunk off your wits and the whole thing is a tragedy waiting to happen when you're hungover in the morning and nine shades of thrashed.

Work Restrictions

Sleeve
Sleeve

Despite the higher tolerance with tattoos these days, many companies are still pretty strict regarding their policies with body modifications. Some companies are fine with tattoos as long as they can be covered with work clothes, while some can be so uptight that they even require a physical test. If you're planning to get a career in the corporate world or in aless creative work setting, you should always think hard before getting tattooed on exposed areas.

Many tattooed individuals are still experiencing workplace discrimination because of their body art. There is still this ugly association with tattoos, where tattooed people are seen as unprofessional, incompetent and often, trashy. Of course, this is absolutely bollocks.

Hand tattoos
Hand tattoos

But the point is, the ignorance of many people are still evident even in a professional environment. This is an important thing to ponder, especially if your boss is unfortunately among the aforementioned, artistically uneducated.

P-E-R-M-A-N-E-N-T

Oh boy...
Oh boy...

There are two kinds of people: those who get excited by the permanence of tattoos and those who are terrified by it. Like the guy we featured in this previous post, some get tattoos purely by the spur of the moment. This includes passing trends, fads and the 'it' thing. Hey, you know we don't judge anyone by the subject of their tattoo as long as it's a sick job well done. We could only think about the amount of money people spend each get tattoos lasered which they could have spent in a better tattoo. Tattoos are stories, and you better make sure those stories are worth-telling.

But most importantly,

It's Yours

Doll Face!
Doll Face!

This is the best thing about having a tattoo. It's rightfully yours. It's a memory you take with you wherever you go. No matter how many cheap scratchers try to replicate your own design, it's not going to change how that very tattoo represents something in your life; a milestone, a person, an achievement and many other things. And by stories worth-telling, I didn't mean that your tattoo has to be about the time you spent in Madagascar for six days on fruits and raw meat with a girl named Savannah whom you met in Paris while backpacking that summer. We all have our versions of worth-telling.

Xavier

@Xavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

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