It seems like practically everyone has a tattoo these days, from your priest to your 18-year-old sister who did it herself in the basement with an electric toothbrush taped to a salvaged hypodermic. (Don’t try this at home.) I myself have nothing against tattoos; in fact, I have several of them. If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, or if you already have tattoos and are considering acquiring more, I have nothing but encouragement for you. I personally feel they are a meaningful and creative way of decorating your body, commemorating a significant person or event, or indicating that you live the Thug Life. The frame of mind that tattoos are trashy and are only for people who will end up in prison for bestiality is finally dissipating.
However, I think that, as a woman, there are things to consider before you get something emblazoned on your skin forever. It may not always be fair, but a woman with tattoos is a completely different creature to someone than a woman without tattoos. Far be it from me to suggest you should give a shit what anyone thinks of you, but a poorly thought-out tattoo can really come back to bite you in the ass someday. Here is my humble advice about what things might matter when ink is permanently being etched into your skin. Forever. And ever.
Tip #1: A tattoo on your ass is not slutty. Unless I can see it.
Girls (and old people, and your parents, and potential employers) love to castigate other girls based on the location of their tattoos. “Oh my God, did you see that ho’s tramp stamp? It was like, a mile wide oil spill across her crack. Guh-ross.”
What they fail to acknowledge is that a tattoo across the small of one’s back is not inherently skanky. What strikes them as skanky about the situation is that the tattoo is showing. These accusations of sluttery would be unfounded if the girl simply took the care to cover her asscrack. Really, the bottom line is that no tattoo is slutty, ever – if it’s covered. It’s when things start peeking out from their wrappings that you begin to look questionable.
Take, for instance, my least favorite tattoo – the tittoo. That’s right. A tat on your tit. And I’m not speaking of the gray area of the collarbone, where flirty meets demure. I mean the swell of mammary blubber that peeks out over the lip of your pushup bra if you happen to be well-endowed in the boobular region. This is where breasty women seem to enjoy putting tattoos of pawprints. Or butterflies. Or the birthdate of their third cousin Andre who died in a tragic hot air ballooning accident. I happen to think that these things look, well… disreputable. If I can see them. If I can’t, it’s probably because you have a well-paying job at the bank and you are dressed appropriately in a nice cashmere sweater that your mom got you for Hanukkah because you are a respectable person. Even if I knew you had tattoos on your jugs, I would be ridiculous to judge you based on them, because you clearly know that there is a time and a place for boob tats and it is not when I am depositing my checks. Based on the fact that I rarely enter strip clubs or biker bars, I find it slightly offensive and reasonably disgusting when I am forced to stare at some poor girl’s Radiohead lyrics right across her chest while I am trying to take communion. If you insist upon getting a tattoo in an area in which your grandmother would not affectionately pat you, keep the thing covered when common sense dictates you should keep it covered. Then all accusations of whoredom will be utterly slanderous.
Top #2: Don’t let your friends pressure you into it.
Say you’re spending a riotous weekend in Atlantic City with your 3 besties. We’ll call them Katie, Bethennie, and Hawa’a’ii-i. You did everything on your itinerary: You went windsurfing with that super hot instructor. (Oh my God, remember when Katie’s bikini top came flying off? That was soooooo funny.) You ate cheese fries for breakfast at the arcade. You got wasted off of Mike’s Hard Lemonade on the beach at four o’ clock on the morning and took turns puking into the surf like majestic whales spouting fountains of regurgitation. Now the weekend is almost over, and you want a souvenir of your fabulous trip together, other than those weird bumps you got down there after you 69’ed with that bellboy from the hotel. Somebody suggests – you guessed it – matching tattoos! You like the idea of getting a tattoo (you’ve always wanted one) but they decide on rainbow-hued, flower-encrusted toilets to commemorate the time when Hawa’a’ii-i clogged the toilet at the casino and you all got kicked out. You’re not really sure that you want something like that on your foot for all eternity… but they’re your best friends, right? And they’re all doing it. You’ll be the only one who doesn’t get it if you don’t go along. It will be as though your entire friendship was meaningless. Like that mai-tai you licked off of Bethennie’s cleavage so that guy at the bar could take pictures meant NOTHING.
So you plunk down your 200 bucks at Needle Shack. You sit there wincing in pain while holding your best friends’ hands. And at the end of an hour and a half, there it is: your technicolor toilet in all its glory. You all giggle wildly together and post photos of your matching badges on facebook, with the caption “BFF tats! Luv u girls!” After about a week, the novelty ebbs. And there you are. For the rest of your natural born life. With a fucking toilet on your foot. Your friendship with Katie, Bethennie and Hawa’a’ii-i wanes after you graduate from college. You resent them for what they’ve done to you. You begin to hate the tattoo. In a Vicodin-induced haze one night three years later, you are rushed to the emergency room after an attempt at lopping off the offending foot with the red plastic spreader from a Handi-Snack.
Moral of the story: it can happen to you. Don’t let peer pressure get the best of you.
Tip #3: Don’t get a significant other’s name.
This is advice as old as God himself, but it holds true. I don’t care if you’ve been married for thirty years. Do not get Geraldo’s name in fancy script on your flank. Even if you don’t break up, you will spend the rest of your life having the following internal monologue with yourself: “God, I hate that cheating, worthless, moronic, misogynistic close-talker. But laser removal is way too pricey.”