Opinion: Tattoos are not obscene

By Sloan Kyler — “You will regret it when you’re older!” is probably the most common phrase anybody hoping to get a tattoo will hear.

This past month, I just so happened to finally turn 18, and of course I did the typical cliché of most brand new legal adults: I got a tattoo.

No one in my family was very supportive of my decision to get a tattoo, which I found very confusing. I had been planning out the location and content of my tattoo years in advance, I was paying for it myself and it had a very significant meaning to me. What was so wrong with getting a tattoo?

One of the most frequent points of argument that came up was the suggestion that as I grew up, I would regret getting a tattoo in my youth. Well, I bet my mom thought that she would not regret her poofy 80s haircut, but look where we ended up there. I think I will gauge my own regrets, thank you very much.

Even if I did indeed grow up to think maybe my tattoo does not look very good anymore or is juvenile in some way, I do not think I would regret getting it.

I think tattoos are a sign that we were not afraid to do something risky and possibly foolish and as I get older, I never want to forget the feeling that at one time I was in fact, risky and more than possibly foolish.

As to naysayers who think that a tattoo will prevent someone as being seen as “professional” and “respectful,” that is one major set back to getting a tattoo. Potential career prospects may not find a visible tattoo as appropriate for the work place and this could lead to complications as an adult.

However, I think what is more important here is that such a negative stigma should not be placed upon tattoos. We are not supposed to judge others based upon weight or height or looks, and whether or not someone has decided to get a tattoo should not matter either.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]