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Should You Get Tattooed If Your Loved Ones Don't Approve?

Q) Hi Jinxi, My boyfriend doesn't like tattoos and would be angry if I got one, but I have always wanted one and don't know what to do. What is your advice? - Nannette
A) I have touched on aspects of this before in my tattoo writings, but thought it was a great topic to revisit because so many people can relate to having a friend or relative who doesn't quite dig body art as much as they do.

Let me begin by reiterating that tattoos are permanent. They require a lifelong commitment and the decision to get one should be taken very seriously, every single time one is added to your skin. Take the time to think about all aspects associated with being a tattooed person, whether you have one tattoo or one-hundred.

- Take the time to plan out your pieces.

- Take the time to find a good artist

- Be prepared to take good care of your tattoos.

- And be prepared for some people to judge them from time-to-time.

Once you have taken the time to consider some of the aforementioned issues in a rational manner, I think it might be best to dig deep on a more personal level. What I mean by that is that nobody else knows your preferences, passions or aspirations like YOU do. Though I'm not of the opinion that all tattoos must have some deep significance to them in order to procure one (some of mine do have symbolic meanings, while some are just little mementos of things that I dig), I have found that the entire process and experience of getting tattooed, of inviting that piece of art onto your skin and into your life, is quite significant indeed. I think that making this decision should be ENTIRELY your own to make.

I am not saying that your boyfriend's opinion should not matter, but that he has his skin and you have yours. If he cares about you, he should be open to listening to your ideas and wishes to acquire ink.  I know that appreciating the beauty of body art is something that not everyone shares equally. He might have preconceived notions about tattoos or he might not like the way they look; while you see them from a completely different perspective. I certainly remember loving ink from a young age and dreaming of the day when I too could wear body art. I don't know why they appealed to me so much or why the images resonated so deeply with me, but they did; so I definitely know where you are coming from.

Take the time to sit down with your boyfriend and explain that you have carefully thought out why, where, what and when you want to get tattooed. Tell him that you hope he will respect the decisions that you make in relation to your own body and invite discussion as to why this is important to you. Hopefully, if you listen to him, he will listen to you, and you can mediate your way through it all while respecting each others feelings.
Photo by auleafGetting tattooed is a personal decision, no doubt about it. It's YOUR skin. Add what YOU like. Just take the time to be prepared and aware of everything that goes into collecting ink and wearing it for a lifetime.  Be a wise tattoo enthusiast and wear them proudly. If we set good examples and keep the tattoo community positive and inspiring, perhaps bias against ink will become a thing of the past.
Happy inkin'!

Last updated on January 16, 2012 by Jinxi Boo