You should know the meaning behind certain tattoos before selecting them.
This is probably something that should have been mentioned first since the fact is that when you’re getting a tattoo you should be thinking at all times, especially when it comes to the meaning of the ink that you’ll be wearing for a long time to come. A lot of people have gone without heeding this advice, but a lot of them have either hated themselves or found out the hard way that not finding out more about the design they want is a regrettable decision when it comes down to getting a tattoo since the truth is that people will be merciless if you happen to get the wrong kind of ink and will even end up resenting those who decide that they don’t need to respect the ink they’re getting. Trust me on this, respecting the ink you put on your body is important.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who are going to be eyeing your ink up and down to make certain that it’s not going to bother them. This is something you might scoff at and think of as less than important, right? I mean, who cares about whatever tattoo another person gets, yeah? Well, there are quite a few people who will care, A LOT, if you decide to get a tattoo that belongs to another culture or has a serious meaning that you didn’t think was important. Much like anything else, a certain design can belong to a group of people, or be considered as a way of life, and it can piss a lot of folks off simply because the person wearing it thought that it looked cool and didn’t care enough to learn the history or meaning of it. I’m going to be using that word a lot ‘meaning’ because it has a lot to do with the ink a person puts on their body.
Like it or not, a tattoo carries at least some responsibility since it’s typically going to be out there for everyone to see, and if you’re representing something you know nothing about, then you kind of deserve the hate and ridicule you’re going to receive. If your attitude is that you can take it and keep smiling, so be it. But if you’re sensitive enough that you don’t want to be mocked relentlessly for getting the ‘wrong’ tattoo, then do yourself a favor and research what your design might mean and what it could be misconstrued as before getting inked. Seriously, the less aggravation when it comes to tattoos, the better. It’s one thing if your artist gives you a ridiculously bad tattoo, but it’s another if you give them a design that you have no ties to and no business getting in the first place.
Let’s take a look at some of the tats that you might want to avoid, or at least think twice about.
Barbed wire tattoos should be avoided unless you can pull it off.
This was one of the most popular tattoos around a few decades ago, along with tribal designs and a few others. But the thing about barbed wire is that while it might still be popular, its meaning has been changing over the years. The general idea however is that if you’re going to get a barbed wire armband then it means, to a lot of people, that you’re an unapproachable badass that a lot of folks might think of trying, meaning they’ll want to fight or annoy the hell out of you to see what happens. This is the type of tat that should only be worn by those who are really feeling it and have overcome adversity in a way, or are into telling people to f off without having to say the words. The meaning of overcoming hardship is nice and all, but it also stands out as a stark warning to piss off since the person wearing it isn’t going to let others in without taking a pound of flesh. If you can rock this tat with the kind of attitude that’s needed then go for it, but otherwise find something else, because people will think of you as a wannabe until you prove them wrong, over and over again.
Beware the pretty dots.
There are so many different interpretations for dots on the hand, forearm, or anywhere else that a person had best know what they mean to them and be able to explain it over and over, or they’re bound to look like a fool. A lot of dot tattoos have to do with prison time, while others might mean anything from a person’s belief system to something entirely different. Of course, if someone comes along who knows what the three dots mean to them, and when they’re arranged in a certain way, you could find yourself in a spot of trouble if you can’t explain save to say that ‘it looked cool’. Trust me, that’s one of the worst reasons to give for sporting a certain type of tattoo, especially if the dots happen to mean something sacred to another person. The last thing you want to do is piss off the wrong individual who thinks that you’re stomping all over their beliefs.
Pretty much any symbol or script in a language other than your own is an iffy proposition.
Let’s put it this way, if you’re some stupid kid that looked up a phrase that you happen to like and thought ‘Hm, that’ll look cool tattooed on my body’, then you are a MORON. Now, if you happened to research the symbols for more than a few minutes and are certain that you know what they mean, and have verified it, and have done at least enough research to state that you know what you’re talking about, then go back and do a little more just to be certain. One thing that will piss off a lot of people who belong to this or that culture that you’re having stenciled onto your body is a poor representation and something that essentially makes you look like a fool. Thinking that you’re getting a cool symbol or line of script on your body when it boils down to the equivalent of ‘soy sauce’ or ‘hot spicy curry’ is a serious insult to a lot of people and is just going to make you look like an idiot when someone actually translates it. Should you get this tattoo? Unless you’ve done your homework and know what it means, probably not.
An infinite blunder.
If you walk through a big city and check for infinity tattoos you’ll likely see more than a few since a lot of people love to think of infinity and what it means to them. You’ll also hear a lot of tattoo artists groan when being asked to ink this symbol on more than a few people in a week since the designs might be different enough, but the whole idea of infinity takes on a different meaning when an artist has to keep coming up with new ways to do the same old loop. Plus, the meaning behind infinity tends to become muddied when one thinks about the nature of humanity and how many people must feel like utter morons when they get this type of tattoo because they’re so madly in love with one person, only to watch that person leave them behind. Infinity takes on a much different meaning when you’re alone.
Some symbols have been appropriated multiple times.
I know, I know, go on and roll your eyes as you think about all the different symbols that are often appropriated by one group or another. Norse symbols aren’t the only ones that have been taken by certain groups to represent their hateful ideas, but a lot of people refuse to let the symbols they believe in and love stand for the hateful ideology of those that can’t pull their heads out of their butts long enough to remember what these symbols were originally used for. It’s still a reason to be careful if you decide to get certain symbols inked on your skin since the opinions and viewpoints of a lot of people differ so much that one can’t help but assume that once you’ve received such a tat that you too are a hateful individual. Just be cautious and do your research to discover the various meanings behind your chosen symbol.
Try to embrace the culture you’re taking from.
You know something that’s really funny? People might not like other people from different cultures and parts of the world, but they’ll ooh and awe over various parts of their culture. The problem with this is that some will have the nerve to dislike the people and the culture but will gladly take on the designs and other aspects that they think of alluring. No one’s saying that appreciating a design and wanting to display it is wrong but to openly flaunt something that has roots in other cultures while having a dim view of those said cultures is the kind of slippery, slimy slope that leads to being singled out as a true douchebag. Not a lot of people are going to ask you to live within the culture and experience it for a lifetime, but it’s wise to at least learn about it, speak to those who belong to it, and get a feeling for the design you like to show that you appreciate more than the aesthetic beauty of the piece. Showing that you enjoy more than just one aspect of a culture is a wise move when adhering a part of their world to your body.
Do NOT get gang tats…just don’t.
It’s inevitable that if you’re in a gang, you’re going to get inked a few times, and your tats will belong to the gang or show that you belong. But if you decide to leave or are kicked out, you’d better beat feet to the local parlor and ask for a cover-up, since it’s not too likely that your old companions are going to enjoy watching you flaunt the tats that identify you as a gang member. It’s a bit overboard in the movies and on TV to see a tat being burned or cut off, even though it’s likely that it might have happened back in the day. But if you are in a gang and you find yourself on the outs with them at some point, cover that bitch up, or there’s a good chance they’ll find a way to make you.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
Put some extra thought into the tattoo you want to get, and then do your research. It’s always possible to talk your artist into getting whatever you want, but a good tattoo artist will know when to agree and when to say no, especially when it comes to the overall safety of their canvas. You’re paying a good deal of money to get something that will last for a long time to come, make sure it’s something that won’t offend people in such an obvious way.