Tattoos - how do you feel about them?

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Tattoos - how do you feel about them?
Wed, 05-01-2013 - 1:18pm

I just came across a series of photos of a few tattoos on women which I'll share here.  They are pretty amazing in different ways.

I am not a big fan of tattoos, though I have become more accepting of them - seeing as there are so many to be seen these days!  Then again, some are so beautiful...pure works of art and to be appreciated in their own right.  But it's just sometimes still hard for me to accept seeing them adorning a body...though it clearly is a kind of personal expression for the persons involved who have them. 

My DD is the only one of our children who have fully embraced having tattoos.  My three sons have not, although DS2 has at times expressed interest in getting an Escher drawing tattooed on his calf or calves...but never has saved or put out the money to do so.  Also his legs are pretty hairy, so I wonder if that would kind of interfere with the look of the tattoo?  My DD has a feather tattooed on the back of her right upper arm.  And on this same arm but on the inside upper arm (well, visible as when she lifts her arm up) is a very well drawn picture of a C.P.R. steam locomotive.  She did this 'for her father' (though Ray was quite shocked to see it...not sure he loves it, but he is a steam locomotive buff).  She chose something that is his great  hobby and interest.  She was wondering what she'd put on her body for me?  I told her if she wants she can choose one of my cartoons, but to keep it small (well, most of my cartoon drawings are small!).  She's not gone ahead to do this...and I assume she might want to ask me which cartoon I might want?  But we've not had that discussion.

She has one more tattoo that no one hardly sees.  It's on her torso - to the side...quite large and a kind of valentine drawing, but not a 'pretty' one...It is supposed to be taken from some band logo (?)...not sure about that really, but it's large and I was shocked to see it when I first was her first tattoo and I didn't think it looked nice.  But she doesn't wear bikinis, and so only certain persons (ahem) will ever see this tattoo.  I don't think she likes it much now...but not that she's ever said so much.  I can only guess but at least it's not a visible one! 

Do any of your children have tattoos?  Do you like this sort of thing or just have come to accept it as what's "in" these days?  Do YOU have a tattoo?


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 05-01-2013 - 2:19pm

My feeling about tattoos has always been, "If you wouldn't wear the same clothes 10 years from now that you're wearing today, what makes you think you'll want the same tattoo on your body 10 years from now?"

Most of my young employees (when I had them a couple of years ago) had tattoos, though usually not big ones.  I didn't feel it made them look unprofessional, because they didn't really "say" anything about them, and most of them were either tiny or would be covered when wearing standard business attire.  For people in unconventional fields, or who enjoy being independent contributors in an organization, well executed tattoos are fine.  I'm always more interested in whether tattoos are well done than in whether they are there at all.

OTOH I really wouldn't want to see one on my kids.  Then again, this seems unlikely - my kids have never even colored their hair, haven't worn nail polish since middle school, and are generally quite conservative about clothes - their choices, not mine.  Generally, they're not willing to either suffer or to pay much for their appearance, so we're probably safe when it comes to tattoos.

As for me - nope, never did, never will. 

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Wed, 05-01-2013 - 2:34pm

Good question!  But I don't think many people (mostly young persons) who have chosen to have tattoos think beyond today...Maybe some will come to reqret their tattoo choices in the future!  I think because it is so common today, it's not the shocking thing it was for me, when it first became a popular thing to do.  I too appreciate well done tattoos.  But there are some places on the body that I don't like them to be on - the face, or those 'sleeves' - or at least the ones that start at the shoulder and go all the way down the arm.  Then again, I am prejudiced against women sporting these more than men, I must confess!  I guess I just like what I like in tattoos for whatever reasons I choose.  I saw a lovely black pattern (Maori? Just guessing?)..on a young man's wrist once.  I told him how much I liked it.  I think I like tattoos that are not covering too much of the body, basically.  And I guess I like the ones of pictures that I tend to like or favour.  So I've got my prejudices or just personal likes, that way. I'm not interested in getting a tattoo myself.  I just don't have that desire to 'say' anything with a picture on my body...LOL.  


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 05-01-2013 - 3:36pm

Personally I'm not a fan.  I've seen a couple I find very artistic but I would never get one. So far ds20 hasn't shown interest; he did a few years ago before he was 18 but then his gf of 26 months hated them (they broke up in Oct) so hopefully he'll stick with that thought.  Being a laser person, the intial pain of getting one and then having up to 7 laser surgeries to remove is a deterrant enough for me. 

The one tattoo I thought was tasteful was a small sprig of ivy as a ring on a finger - biggest leaf was about 1/3".  Very understated.This somewhat shows the idea but the ivy was green and pretty.


Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 05-01-2013 - 4:31pm

At this point I am accepting of them but that wasn't always the case, at least where my kids were involved. But about 20 yrs ago, in my area there was a subset of the population with "artistic" tattoos already, besides the usual "bikers and military guys" that sported tattoos, so I started getting exposed to them and could appreciate the artwork. There was even a man I would see around who had his entire face tattooed.

Fast forward to 10 years ago when my dd (now 27yo) started lobbying for a tattoo. They were not yet so common amongst the general population and I really discouraged her, fearing that she might stigmatize herself or make it hard to find work outside of certain types of jobs. When she turned 18 she no longer needed my permission so she then got her first tattoo, of the Andy Warhol "Revolver" just above her hipbone. Its well executed, just black, and is seen only when she wears a bikini. Since then she has gotten several more tats, some that I find pretty or cute (in the case of a colored cupcake), many that I am indifferent to, and one that I hate. The second tattoo(s) that she got are on her wrists and she has said that she wishes she didn't have them anymore, but I don't think she's bothered enough to get them removed or covered with another tattoo. There may be some that I have never seen. The most recent one that I know about is a very elaborate tattoo of her cat (my grandcat) done by a supposedly reknowned tattoo artist, I have no idea how much she paid for it. I can appreciate it as a work of art but its not really a likeness of the cat, and maybe she wasn't expecting such anyway. To consider it as ink put into skin its pretty amazing, the shadowing effects that he achieved. It is on her inner forearm so noticible unless she's wearing long sleeves. Dd is very unconventional and artsy and has a unique style, so its not surprising that she would want art on her body...she's always doing something different with her appearance, right now her hair AND eyebrows are bleached (I think the eyebrows bleached looks strange) so I'm probably just getting used to her unusual looks. Ds (29 yo) has no tattoos or piercings and I doubt he ever will.

Now they are so common here that I barely even notice them anymore unless there is something outstanding about the design or artwork. And I was certainly proven wrong about them limiting job possibilities...even the bank tellers have them.

I don't have a tattoo nor any intention of getting one, mainly because there's just no image that I want to have on my body permanently enough to endure the pain.

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 9:22am

There are times when my "Old Lady" kicks in-& seeing everyone around me sporting tattoos is one of those times. Our son has one-that I can see on his thigh, our dil has one on her ankle. I know our oldest dd was thinking of getting one for her 40th birthday-though if she did, I haven't seen it. My niece (aged 37)keeps adding to her collection of them.

I live in a city that has many federal penitentiaries & so many of the former cons (& their wives or gf's) have them-everywhere-arms, necks, they seem to come crawling out of every piece of clothing. UGH! Some days, waiting in lines at the bank or cashiers at stores, I alternate between being creeped out & wondering if I could ask them to please turn around & remove the clothing to see where that head or tail or ?? comes from or means.

Me?-no thank you. For a nurse, I am an amazing chicken when it comes to having pain inflicted upon myself-so no thanks. And while I know there are standards now, with the onslaught of HIV, it still creeps me out to think that the needle might not be exactly sterile. I know that the ex-bf of the above niece used to threaten to take Adam to a bar when he turned 19, & I said OK-but when he said & then to a tattoo parlour-I said NO, not with his immune compromised system.

(I even thought of getting one with Adam's name on an invisible part of my body after he died & then thought I could hear his voice of disgust saying "Get Real, Mom"-so the urge passed quickly)


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 9:37am

  Not a fan.  I agree that young people aren't thinking ahead to when they're senior citizens.  What will their tatoos look like then??  yuck  lol

  I can proudly say  have 4 DDs all in their 20's and not one has a tattoo.  :)  I think the older 2 thought about it when they went to college, but decided they were too expensive and chose to spend their money in other ways. 

  My 29 year old stepson has 3 tattoos, I think.  The big one on his chest his entire guard unit got right before they went to Iraq in 2005.  I can respect that.  It was the one thing he actually has to be proud of since he's suffered PTSD since he returned home and is just now finally recovering from drug & alcohol use.  The VA is taking care of him now. 

  I thought about getting one in 2007 when I visited my oldest DD in LA.  I just wanted a small cross on my lower back that said "faith" because it was THAT the got me through the worst part of my life and I was proud of it.  BUT, I didn't.  I felt giving birth 4 times was enough pain in my life!  lol

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 1:55pm

Don't like them at all. Depending on your job, it does impact your career. None of my younger colleagues have tats and if they do, there are not visible in their work clothes. I would think twice of hiring a young engineer with visible tats.

Why would anyone want to mark their skin like that?  Fashions change and in 10 or 20 years from now, they will be stuck with a tat honoring some old girlfriend.

Fortunately, both my kids are not interested.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 8:16pm

I almost got a tattoo when I was in tech school in 1980.  Kind of wish I had.  Then it was more unique. Now it would seem like I was trying to be like everyone else.

All three of my DDs have at least one tattoo.  My only advice was to get them where the cannot be seen in normal work attire which they all followed.  On DD3's 18th birthday she got one on  the back of her shoulder and DD1 got one one on her back between her shoulder blades.  DD3 later got another one on the same place on her other shoulder.  DD2 was the last to get one, it is one the front of her thigh.