– Matthew Long, Staff Writer –
So, you’re flirting with the idea of getting a tattoo. You’re scared, curious, eager, and excited all at once just thinking about it. Whether you want to get one in remembrance of a loved one, to tell a story, to symbolize your virtues or traits, or just because you’ve found a really cool design and think it would be totally sick to have, there are plenty of great reasons to get a tattoo. “Getting a tattoo is something I’ve always wanted to do, they’re a great form of self expression, and when done well looks beautiful on anyone,” says Cosby Junior Kari Hadland.
There’s something poetic about the permanence of a tattoo. Obviously, parental permission is required, unless you are above the age of 18, at which point you become free to do whatever you want to your body. We’re all aware of the various sites online with a plethora of information on why getting a tattoo is a bad idea; they give a “buyer beware” message and do all they can to turn you away from this growing trend. But what if I gave you five good reasons to go ahead with your ideas and get that tattoo that you’ve been contemplating, instead of discouraging you? Coming from someone who has one, I believe there’s always a good reason to go through with a tattoo. Your body is your own canvas and you should feel free to do what you want with it. So, here are five great reasons to get a tattoo:
1. Tattoos are an expression of your individuality. Adding artwork to your body simply adds to the uniqueness of who you are. When you have a tattoo it makes you different, but in a good way, and conveys whatever sentiment you choose to share with the world and those around you. Tattooing is a tribute and celebration of creativity and individuality all displayed in some kind of fashion on your skin. There is no one exactly like you, and every tattoo has it’s own story from person to person. What’s better than expressing that?
2. It’s a cherished and everlasting keepsake on your skin that you have the option of viewing whenever you please. There’s a sort of comfort to carrying around something with so much meaning in your life everywhere you go. Everyone you meet will suddenly be interested in getting to know the story of your tattoo, and you’ll always have that part of you. It kind of becomes like a child to you, this is your tattoo that you created and you are the only person with this exact one.
3. No one can take it away from you, it’s yours to keep forever on your skin. You can leave for college, lose a loved one, lose all of your material possessions, but what’s inscribed on your skin can be yours and solely yours until the end of your days. Obviously you can get them removed, but no one can take them away from you, no matter what.
4. Depending on where you get it, yes, it can hurt incredibly. However the pain only lasts for the time it takes to get the tattoo, which really isn’t that long. The arm, forearm, thigh, and back of calf are considered to be the least painful. The chest and back can be a hit or miss, depending on the amount of muscle in that area it can either feel like a soft pinch or a series of bee stings. Areas that are bony or where the skin is sensitive will be the most painful, like the ribs, stomach, spine, elbow, knee, hands, and feet. It really depends on an individual’s pain tolerance and whether they’re “thick-skinned” or not.
5. Get one, because you can. You won’t regret it (unless you get your girlfriend’s name permanently inked across your chest, and you’re probably going to break up). For a lot of young people, getting a tattoo is similar to an announcement or a transition to independence. You make a decision for your own body and make it happen. I don’t believe there’s any better reason out there than that.
Header Photo Courtesy of Matt Long