I've done a handful of lists on tattoos before (South Park tattoos, Simpsons tattoos, grammatical errors in tattoos, Harry Potter tattoos among others that slip my mind) and each time I admit -- or should admit -- I'm not qualified to discuss tattoos. I don't have a tattoo, I won't ever get one, I'm scared of needles, I fear permanence, and, overall, I don't totally "get" them. But a lack of qualifications has never stopped anyone on the Internet from expressing opinions before and I'm not going to be the pioneer, so onward we go.
Dr. Maryam Zamani in London is a plastic surgeon who focuses on tattoo removal. Last week, she put out a list of the top 10 tattoos people regret and have removed; I asked for the 11th, and now, I've got a list.
Here are the 11 most popular reasons people regret their tattoos and spend lots of money and lots of long, painful hours having them removed.
A spelling/grammar error.
This is a great personal insight into the difference in my brain versus other brains. If I were to get a tattoo and it had a spelling error, getting it removed wouldn't be enough -- I'd want to chop off the body part. For the average person, it's less regrettable than a Frankie Goes to Hollywood neck tattoo.
Something they no longer like/dislike.
A tattoo is a permanent statement -- so it's probably best if the recipient of your permanent statement has some guaranteed longevity. If you're looking down at the tattoo of your AOL screen name or the Blockbuster logo, you know what I'm talking about.
I didn't even know these were a thing. I am so outside of tattoo culture. Isn't it a problem to get your eyebrows tattooed since it guarantees you'll always walk around looking surprised or suspicious or puzzled regardless of what you're actually thinking?
Musicians and bands.
If you must get a band tattoo, you've got to go for a classic -- REO Speedwagon or better. You don't want to bet your skin on the future of Charli XCX's staying power.
Visible ones that make job hunting hard.
Sure, having an inconvenient tattoo is bad if you're applying for *some* jobs -- but if you want to work at Starbucks, a neck tattoo is damn near a requirement. If you were going in for an interview at Starbucks and didn't have a neck tattoo, you might consider wearing a turtleneck to mask your shame.
You're taking quite a gamble that your tattoo artist is more qualified as an artist than your last sandwich artist. (Who, most likely, had a neck tattoo.)
Ones that have changed with body shape.
It was surprisingly hard to find photos of tattoos on sagging skin or, um, enlarged skin. I did, however, see plenty of tattoos on older people that looked just as pristine as tattoos on younger, tighter skin. So maybe this one's a myth. There's an entire generation hoping this one's a myth, at the very least.
Tattoo parlors clearly expect quite a bit of drunken foot traffic -- they stay open pretty late into the night and are generally open in areas that make it possible to stumble into them. Although all that's also true for FedEx Kinko's. If I'm ever bad decision-level drunk, I hope I have the good sense not to get a tattoo but rather to do some regrettable photocopying.
I feel like people's friends are generally supportive of the tattoos they get -- "Oh, it looks great! Wow! I never knew you liked butterflies that much, it's just that you've never mentioned them before, but, yeah, great!" -- but if any tattoo could elicit "Wait, really?" from your friends, it's a tattoo of the name of the person you've been dating for a few months.
There are some cultures where these designs have deep significance and tradition behind them. "White guy who played defensive tackle in high school" isn't one of those cultures.
Lower back tattoos.
Look, lower back tattoos get a lot of bad press, but I say let it ride. Eventually enough other women will get rid of their lower back tattoos and you'll be that unique rebel, thus fulfilling the ultimate goal of a tattoo -- right?
This post was originally published on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc.