Ok, so before I launch into this blog you should know that my decision on the tattoo front has nothing to do with the fact that I turn 39 and 12 months in November and am having some sort of crisis ( I’m even struggling to use the numbers 0 and 4 in the correct order)!
I think that the right tattoos on some people can look incredible and are a really creative way of expressing themselves. I find myself feeling quite jealous of impressive body art work and love hearing the stories behind tattoos, even the ones that start with “Well, I’d had a few drinks…” but I am really not sure whether to have one myself.
If I do have one, it will be of one or a small bunch of daffodils in memory of my Nan who loved the flower. I absolutely adored her and miss her terribly but at the same time I know that having a tattoo wont change that or make me love or remember her any more than I already do. I just really like the idea of the tribute to her and I’d be careful to have it somewhere that was discrete and personal to me, maybe my hip. I would definitely avoid anything topical of the moment. I’m sure if tattoos went bone deep, there would be archaeologists dating our skeletons in the future based on our barbed wire / aztec arm bands and scrolls at the bottom of the spine (who had one of those in the 90s?) If I have a tattoo it has to be meaningful.
However, I’m not thrilled with the idea of being an 83 years old woman with wilted daffs on my saggy hips. I also worry that I will have the permanent tattoo inked onto me and then will regret it, not the design but the fact that I have it forever and tattoo removal is both costly and painful! Maybe a temporary tattoo is the solution although I think it would sway me towards having one anyway as the times when I had henna designs on my hand or foot at school fairs when I was teaching in primary school always made me want the design permanently. I guess my indecision holds me back from committing but is now the time? Everyone tells me that turning 4 decades (*cries*) is liberating as you really come into your own. Should this be the year that I stop over thinking and just go for it! But then what if the tattoo artist is rubbish at art and my daffodils look like something my year 3 pupils would draw? – can you see my problem. My brain plays with the idea of a tattoo like a ping pong match, back wards and forwards.
I asked a few others whether they had tattoos they loved, loathed or whether they would never have one and it turns out that the reasons behind the tattoos are as unique as the tattoos themselves.
Becka Smith I have 4 tattoos. My favorite is this one as it represents both my little boy (J) and the baby we miscarried (the Star). I got it as a tribute to my kiddies and will add to it as we have more children. I love looking at it and J loves that he has his name on mummy.
Jaymee Heaton I have an indian ink tattoo of = ) on my left ankle and “Jack” on my right ankle. I love them, however I wish Jack was smaller and now I feel like I need to get the other 2 boys names on me somewhere.
I do however have my heart set on a full back piece of Mark and I’s Birth flowers entwined down my spine and the boys flowers branching off
Reneé Davis I have two – a small one on my foot and a larger one on my back. Got them done in 2003 and 2004 and love them both still! My back is a cover up from a smaller one I had when I was 21 and regretted about six months later!
Chantelle Hazelden I have quite a few, and I’m hoping for more in years to come. I see them as pieces of art that are unique to you personally. There was one I did have covered up with a bigger tattoo so although I don’t regret having any of mine done, what I would say is don’t rush into getting one, think long and hard about the type of design you’d like.
Nickie O’Hara I’m part way through a sleeve – since this was done, I’ve had some of my upper arm done. My husband is covered in them and my three kids both have full sleeves and work on their legs too.
For what its worth, I’ve had people judge me on my tattoos but I’ve never been refused a job – it’s more of a talking point that a barrier but I hope that I’ve helped to lower those boundaries by talking about my tats and being up front about them.
Rachael Robinson I have two and I love them both. They’re both wordy ones, one is the last line of The Hunger Games when Peta asks Katniss “you love me, real or not real?”, she says “Real”. So I have the word Real with an arrow going through it. I love it and love the romance behind it (the torment between the two of them is much better in the books, you don’t really get it in the films). But I would like to get it touched up as the arrow is a bit wonky. I also have “Be Brave” on my shoulder blade, a bit of a motivational message to myself in my fight against anxiety. Would love to get more for the kiddos ? and I want a big Aztec rabbit on my thigh. In short, I love them so long as they’re done well and they’re meaningful!
Kaiden Laverty (A Suffolk Dad) I have 6 tattoos and I got them all for different reasons. I got two small ones spur of the moment which are the equals symbol and semi-colon. Equals meaning, all love is equal and semi-colon meaning ‘my story isn’t over’. I also have my son’s name, song lyrics “preach all you want but who’s gonna save me” and a pencil with “stay creative” wrapping around. I plan on getting full sleeves, chest tattoos etc over the next few years. I love the idea of covering myself in pieces of artwork. Not all tattoos have to ‘mean’ something and not all mine do.
Aby Moore I have one. My daughter’s name on the inside of my wrist. The lovely Laura Wilson designed the lettering for me. I got it because I knew I’d never regret it.
Lucie Aiston I have 8 and would love more!! I’d love to get a half sleeve. I even have an autism tattoo. Lack of pennies stops me from being covered!
Jaki Jelley I have lots and actually regret most of them apart from my sons name on my wrist. Having said that, I do like tattoos and one day want to turn the ones I’m not so keen on into a half sleeve to make it more of a piece rather than random tattoos. My husband has a full sleeve on one arm & the second arm is half done, it’s a work in progress. They look amazing.
Leanne Nash I dont have any but having just had a mastectomy I’m planning one to cover my scars.
Lianne Harris I have two, one with my stepmoms name in Hebrew as she passed away when I was little (I was raised Jewish) I am so happy that I got it, but now find it amusing as I realise that Jews object to body modification!!! I also have a massive fairy on my back with “everybody deserves a happily ever after” which I’m so super happy with!!
Kelly Kemp I have a tramp stamp from the 90s which never sees the light of day, thank goodness. And I got one on the nape of my neck last summer – an arrow with a semi colon in the middle. It represents my mental health journey
But of course there were people who were just a flat ‘no’ which is fine too and those who had regretted theirs!
Victoria Glass I would never get one. I don’t like needles so anything that looks like that just puts me off. Secondly I’m not sure I could stand the pain. Also as I don’t know what the future holds, I wouldn’t want to have a permanent mark on my skin that I can’t get rid of or is a hassle to do so. Stick-on ones all the way ?
Laura Dove I have 3 – one partly lasered, one about to be covered, and the other will be gone soon too! I was in my early teens, completely stupid, and did it just to piss my parents off, haha!
Jen Mellor I have one of my ex’s name regret big time and will be getting one to cover it!!
Jenni Grainger I got one saying Princess in Hindi (at least I hope that what it says haha) and I regret it. It’s on the top of my bum so not something I pay much attention too or people can see but if I had the money spare, I would have it removed. I don’t feel it has any relevance to me and would prefer to be tattoo free
Sarah Anguish I don’t have any and don’t plan on having any either. One day I hope to be someone’s Granny and I personally don’t think that tattoos on an old lady is a good look
Éva Katona I never had one and won’t have any because I have a kind of phobia – can’t stand the idea of being permanent. I think I would panic one day after getting it, that it won’t come off! Having said that I love them on others, especially the really pretty colourful ones, kind of the rockabilly tattoos.
Rebecca Cox I have my daughters name and date of birth on my wrist, I got it done when i was 15, and its horrid! can’t wait to get a tattoo over it!
Lyndsey Kim O’Halloran I have 6 and would have most of them removed if I could. I got 4 of them before I was 18 and they don’t mean anything at all. They’re all different and don’t look nice together. Luckily, 5/6 are on my back so not many people see them any more.
Tina Bailey When I was 18 I wanted one at the base of my spine. My dad hated tattoos and told me if I had it he’d be gutted, but if I waited til my 21st birthday and still wanted the exact same thing, he would pay for it. I waited. When I turned 21 I couldn’t remember what it was I wanted so I didn’t get a tattoo. Now I’m 34 I’m glad as my friends who had them done at the same time are paying for laser removal or cover ups.
Lisa Valentine I have 32. Had my first one at 15 and don’t regret any of them. In hindsight, it was a rebellion against the ‘pretty blonde’ that everyone saw. I have lots of classic Sailor Jerry styles and they have proved to be quite timeless so far, not dating too much!
Rachel Bustin I met my husband through match.com and stipulated I didn’t like tattoos on my profile. When we went on our first date he had a long sleeve shirt on and tattoos never came up in conversation. A few dates later he wore a t shirt and I was like woah!! Where did they come from?? He said I knew you didn’t like them but didn’t want them to come between us before we got to know one another. 10 years down the line we are married with 2 kids and I wouldn’t change him or them for the world!
If I’ve taken anythign from the experiences of others its not to have one when I’m a teenager (that ship has long sailed!), not to get a boyfriends name etched on me in case the relationship isnt forever like the ink and to choose a tattoo artist carefully. For some people its a definite no no! For others, their tattoos have great significance, had them on a whim or are addicted to getting inked! I hope if you are undecided, its helped to clear things up for you but I still haven’t got a bloody clue. Maybe it will be the thing I do when I turn 50? Maybe not. The ping pong game continues!
Do you have a tattoo? If so, what is it of, why did you have it and have you ever regretted it? I’d love to know.