No ID? No (Good) Tattoo.

imageAt least once a fortnight this happens.

Whether it be a friend of a friend, a kid on Facebook or a “cool kid” at a gig, they come out with it expecting me to feel impressed: “I’m totally getting a new tattoo next week”. Not one of these kids look a day over 16, but of course, if there’s a place where they can get a tattoo from, they don’t really care much. The main offender where I live is a terrible place which uses a man in an ape suit with a billboard to advertise their butchery. This studio is the Poundland of tattoo studios. They’ll charge extra if you’re under 18, but the hepatitis and regret come at no monetary cost.

I used to think the blame was completely on the studios who’ll do this, but I can’t help but feel negatively towards some of these kids too, after a while. Every time I’ve told them to keep away, and warned them of the dangers I feel I don’t even have to mention in this blog (we do have a search box if you’re unfamiliar, however), and every time I’m ignored and shown a terrible tattoo which they believe is amazing. All their friends love it. For the price of your self respect and dignity, you’re one of the “cool” kids.

I’m going to stick my neck out here, and tell you kids for once: tattoos aren’t cool.

Nothing is cool. Cool is an idea, and a subjective one at that. What’s cool to me may not be cool to your grandma, and I’m sure as hell not going to be interested in her Donnie Osmond CDs either. If you kids want to know the truth, my friends think I’m a complete dork for having tattoos, and being so excited about the artwork. It’s a nerd thing to them. Similarly, I don’t see some of their interests as cool. It works both ways, with pretty much anyone of substance. You can be cool to yourself, in a way, but it’ll never be the same. That’s okay, kids, that’s life.

If you want to be your idea of cool, however, gain some interests. Pick up a book. Get a hobby. For crying out loud, don’t let some idiot with a tattoo machine undermine your body with a terrible tattoo for the sake of some street cred. Learn to respect yourself, and the craft and art of tattooing, and go to a great studio when you’re 18. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

Sorry for the discourse in our usual tone, but I really felt like this was worth saying today.

4 Responses to “No ID? No (Good) Tattoo.”
  1. Lucb69 says:

    So very true. Here in the states it is illegal to give a tat to a minor and without proper ID (I mean an updated REAL state ID or drivers license) one can be fined heavily or have their license removed. Unfortunately some places are more interested in making a fast buck and disregard the laws.
    As you stated though, it is NOT all the establishments fault. Way too many kids think they look grown up if they get some ink or do it because their friends have done it. TATTOO’S are something people need to think long n hard on before getting (no matter ones age). They may be a wonderful art form and a way of expressing oneself but they do not go away in the morning.

    • Mel Noir says:

      Well said, babes! A Fosters advert I just saw put it well, actually: you can’t wash that tough-sticker off! I think it works both ways, really- or even, in a number of ways. In my opinion, the responsibility lies with the studio, the kids and to a degree the parents. You can’t always blame the parents though, a lot of the time they have no idea! Too many people are taking advantage of tattooing at the minute- it’ll all catch up with them though ;)
      Thanks for such a great comment ;)

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] No ID? No (Good) Tattoo. « Tattoosday UK […]

  2. […] Well, let’s finish with one more. To be honest I’m only choosing this one because a heck of a lot of people went truly mad at me saying tattoos aren’t cool. They’re not, we’re all dorks! Oh and there’s some serious stuff about underage tattooing too, whatever. Read more >> […]

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