Styled Out: Inked up with skin art

Having a large back piece, I can find myself being somewhat of an advocate of tattoos, large and small. When my sister started getting tattooed as early as 17, I found myself defending her honor and getting into arguments with my parents, explaining that our generation was “different” and everyone was getting them; it wasn’t going to be one of those things that either her or I would regret, because all of the old folks were going to be sporting them when we got to senior citizen status anyway. I still think all of this is true but I am however questioning this major influx of ink that seems to be happening all around me.

I’m truly afraid that the younger folk are jumping on the band wagon without thinking things entirely through. When the trend hit, it hit hard and I can probably count on my hand the amount of friends that I have who don’t have some skin art, regretful or not.

My rule of thumb is to sit on it for a year. I know that seems like an eternity when you’re dying to sketch on your skin but if you’re still excited about getting that “tramp stamp” a year after coming up with the idea, you’re ready to get under the needle. It’s like any rash decision — you usually end up remorseful.

My friend and co-worker actually has a tattoo on her forearm that says, “Stop. Think.” This is an excellent idea to succeed at life and a pretty hilarious way to present it to the world. I’m a huge fan of ironic or hilarious tattoos, as long as they’re tastefully done. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone with something so horribly done permanent on their body. You can’t help but feel bad, so do your research!

Just like a good pair of shoes, a good tattoo is worth the money because you’re going to have it for a long time. Any good artist will have a large portfolio and its well worth it to wait a day or two for them to sketch out your dream piece instead of picking out some “flash” on the wall.

Tattoos can be gorgeous. When done as a themed piece, portrait or sleeve (and of course, done by a great artist) they can be the perfect color compliment to your body. Small tattoos are cool too of course, but if you accumulate too many of them they become less of a fashion statement and more of a faux pas — something that you actually will regret. Skin art is a permanent accessory — please don’t ever forget that important detail when and if you’re considering purchasing some.

The best part about my defense in the tattoo taboo argument is that it’s public — many a celebrity are donning them. Angelina was actually a bit of a renegade, at least being a woman and being so famous for showing them in the mid-’90s. It’s hard to believe that as few as 15 years ago it was still a bit of a “bad ass” thing to do (i.e. having majorly visible tats) but she was doing it. Now even Britney rocks a couple. “Stronger than yesterday”?

What do you think? Are tattoos a fad or new classic?

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