3 Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

By Ryan Durden on November 14, 2012


In the past, tattoos were considered rebellious acts; anyone with ink was likely to be a member of the fringe of society. Tattoos aren’t nearly as stigmatized these days. However, as the practice has become more common, the number of wanton tattoos has increased as well. If you wish to get a tattoo, consider the decision carefully and consult these guidelines before acting:

Can you afford it?

Tattoos are expensive, even for something small and monochrome. You should expect to pay close to $100 for even the most basic designs. Judging the worth of that money is entirely up to you, but in many cases, people who spend that much money on superfluous bodywork would be better off spending it elsewhere. Do you pay rent or bills? Do you have school expenses to take care of? Are you dependent on someone else in any way? If you answered yes, consider postponing your decision and putting that money to better use. Your body is always available to be tattooed; your landlord may not be so patient.


What is the significance?

Most people have a personal story behind their tattoo explaining its significance. To the un-inked, the most understandable designs are usually memorial or military tattoos. It’s easy to justify getting a tattoo in memory of a deceased love one, and many tightly knit military units will ink their design as a symbol of their solidarity. In that light, how significant is your tattoo? If you’re considering a design because it looks nice, it’s a symbol of your hobby or childhood, or just because you want a tattoo, consider waiting. If the significance behind your tattoo isn’t very meaningful, not only may others consider it a poor choice, but you may also grow to regret it.


While potentially meaningful, you may have a hard time explaining this one to your boss.

Photo courtesy of Deanna Wardin via Flickr.com

Will it make you happy?

Simply put, if you believe a new piece of body art will make you sincerely happy, you should go through with your decision. On the other hand, if you want a tattoo for attention or because your friends have one, consider waiting. Once completed, this decision cannot be unmade easily. Those who are legitimately pleased with their tattoo should have no trouble justifying it, nor should they be upset if others find the tattoo objectionable or impractical. You should be absolutely sure that this tattoo would benefit you before proceeding. As mentioned before, you can receive a tattoo at any time. There is no risk in taking more time to think carefully.


Ryan Durden is a Clemson student who enjoys satire, travel, and complaining about Columbia, South Carolina. He would cherish any constructive criticism and baked goods you send his way. His inspirations include Dave Barry, Daniel O'Brien, and his muse, Natalie Portman.

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