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We already knew Harper Seven Beckham had a hold on Daddy’s heart from the moment she was born four weeks ago, but now David Beckham’s got the ink to prove it. The soccer stud and father-of-four revealed his latest tattoo -- the name "Harper" in script just below his neck on his left clavicle -- after whipping off his shirt following his L.A. Galaxy vs. FC Dallas game in Carson, Calif. on Saturday. The newest tattoo made its debut just one day before mama Victoria Beckham posted a gorgeous Twitpic of little Harper snuggling with her smitten father.
For many, a tattoo is a visual symbol of the enduring love between a parent and child, and Becks is certainly not the first celeb to honor his children in ink -- Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Heidi Klum all have tattoos for their broods.
But before you run off to your nearest tattoo parlor to follow Beckham’s lead, check out the following safety and common-sense guidelines from Adam Suerte, co-owner of Brooklyn Tattoo, to ensure your tattoo honors your sweet offspring the safest, smartest way possible.
Wait until after delivery. Moms should wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to get inked. Suerte said it’s considered an industry taboo to tattoo a preggo, and while the risk of getting an infection from a reputable shop is extremely low, it’s just not worth even the slightest risk.
Let your baby grow a little. Wait at least eight months before getting a portrait of your child. While it might be tempting to run out and ink that scrumptious newborn face on your body for posterity, Suerte highly recommends waiting until your child’s individual features have really developed, so it looks like you are getting a portrait of your child, not just a generic baby.
Check out the shop’s safety and sterilization procedures. If a tattoo shop is not willing to show how they sterilize their equipment, be warned. Shops should be happy to show you their autoclave (an instrument used to sterilize equipment), use a new needle for every procedure and agree to wear latex gloves when working on you.
Do your homework. Every reputable shop should have an extensive portfolio of their work, and individual portfolios for each artist in the shop, so study them to choose the artist and shop you like best. Make sure to look at photos of healed tattoos, which do not have red marks around them, to get the best look at the finished product.
Save space for other kids. It can be exhilarating to get an elaborate tattoo honoring your firstborn, but if you think there will be other kids in your future, save room for them, or designate another body part for future offspring. Beckham already has the names of his three sons -- Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz -- tattooed on his back and has multiple tattoos honoring wife Victoria.
We can only assume that Beckham, already a seasoned tattoo aficionado, carefully thought through his decision before getting inked. Fortunately for the rest of us, when he strips off his shirt going forward we can not only admire his amazing abs, but his love for his daughter, too.