Should you get a tattoo?


Fact Box

  • Humans have been permanently marking up their bodies with ink and designs throughout history, with explorers discovering examples of permanent body art as far back as 3370 BC and 3100 BC
  • Tattoo trends through the modern era include women in the Roaring 20s getting permanent cosmetic tattoos, like cheek tinting, lip contouring, and permanent eyebrows; in the 1930s, when social security numbers came out and people were told they had to memorize them, many tattooed them on their arms; and the 40s and 50s saw elaborate tattoo designs take place and parlors became more common.
  • A 2019 Ipsos poll revealed that 30% of Americans have more tattoos today than they did in 2012, up from a reported 21%. 92% of respondents say they are happy with their tattoos, and 46% of them have had theirs for over a decade.
  • Of 600 people surveyed, 78% regret at least one of their tattoos, and 3 out of 4 people who regretted their tattoos say they “didn’t plan for the tattoo beyond a few weeks.” 
  • Disney announced in April 2021 they would allow cast members (employees) to “have visible tattoos and more freely express themselves with their clothes and haircuts as a result of a new initiative from the company to become more inclusive for its workers and visitors.”

Haley (Yes)

If you are on the fence about getting inked, you should definitely go for it.

The biggest argument you'll hear is that you will regret the tattoo in a few years. While it is true that people change, along with their aesthetic values, tattoos are a memory of who you were and what you were doing when you got them. Tattoos are also a powerful form of self-expression, whether you choose to get one with deep personal significance to you, or one that just looks pretty.

Another popular argument against tattoos is how it will be difficult for you to get a job if you have them. However, tattoos are becoming much more widely accepted by society, and many careers don't care whether or not their employees have tattoos, especially with the increase in virtual or work-from-home positions. If you want to get a tattoo but are concerned about job searching, you can also always get one in a place that is easily covered. Also, according to an article published by Cosmopolitan, there are several scientifically-proven health benefits to getting tattooed, including improved immune systems, as well as an increased number of endorphins and more. Getting a tattoo with someone else can also help you grow closer and bond with one another. That's a memory you will never forget—especially since it's one artfully commemorated on your skin as well.

But beyond what medical professionals, potential employers, or anyone has to say, you should get a tattoo because you want to. Your body is yours, and only you get to choose what to do with it.

Bonnie (No)

Tattoos are quite popular nowadays, but there are as many reasons not to get a tattoo as there are to get one. The most obvious reasons are the considerable pain and cost a person goes through just to get one. 

Some people get an allergic reaction to the ink used in making a tattoo, which can cause rashes that are hard to eradicate. There is also the risk of getting an infection such as hepatitis or tetanus or other cancer-related illnesses.

The possibility also exists that you won't be satisfied with your tattoo. Tattoo artists have health and safety standards to abide by, but no artistic or technical requirements. Plus, when seeking a new job in the future, it might be challenging to get hired if your tattoos are visible. And for women who have tattoos and then become pregnant, they may find the tattoo has stretched and looks different after gaining and losing weight.

If you get a tattoo to celebrate a memory, your feelings might change in the future. You may have heard of people that got a tattoo for that special relationship, only to have the relationship go sour a short time later. Some prognosticators have even gone so far as to suggest that getting a tattoo to celebrate a relationship will only jinx the relationship.

Tattoos can indeed be removed, but the process is grueling, just as painful as getting the actual tattoo, and more expensive. Just get a temporary tattoo! You can change it as often as you want.

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