Getting A First Tattoo That You Won't Have Removed Years Later

Kathryn Gordon

You've finally decided that you're going to get a tattoo but you're not sure what you're going to get. Don't go into this process blind or you'll end up with a tattoo you'll want to get removed only a few years from now. Follow these three guidelines to get a great first tattoo.

Stay Away From Tattoo Cliches

Are you looking at a rose tattoo and thinking it'll look great on your shoulder? Or perhaps you think you'll really rock a hardcore barbed wire tat. Chances are you're wrong: these tattoos and many other popular ideas (such as "This Too Shall Pass" and "Mother") are way overdone. They've become cliches at this point, making you look like any other person with a tattoo.

Try to think of something really unique and specific to your personality. For example, maybe your favorite animal is an octopus and your favorite show is Star Trek. Have your tattoo artist create "Captain Octokirk," a Captain Kirk and octopus hybrid that will combine two of your favorite things in a unique way.

Think About What Your Mom Would Say

There's nothing wrong with having a cheeky or dirty sense of humor. Off-color jokes are fun, but would you really want one tattooed on your body forever? Tattoos pointing out bodily functions or trivializing sexuality probably seem fun when you're young but imagine trying to explain them away to a potential love interest when you're 40. Yikes!

The best gauge here is to think of how your mother would react to your tattoo. Would she be offended and upset by it? Then don't get it. Of course, if your mother is offended by tattoos in general, just try to avoid phrases or imagery that would truly upset her.

Run Your Idea Past Spellcheck

So you've considered the first two points already and have an appropriate tattoo that is creative and unique. Did you carefully check your spelling ? Even if you're a pretty good speller, it's possible that you might make a spelling mistake. A good tattoo artist should ask you about any obvious spelling errors, but may will simply do your tattoo, thinking that is what you want.

You should also make sure you go to the best tattoo parlor that has a good reputation and which is known for accurate tattoos. In this way, you can protect yourself from tattoo mistakes that will create art you hate and which you want off of your body as soon as possible.