If you get a tattoo, you can be sure that countless people will feel entitled to make comments, pass judgement and share their unwanted thoughts, feelings and opinions on your body and personal choices. Like, more than usual. If you’re going to get inked, here are a few of the things people will say and some ways you can respond to them.
“You’re going to have that for the rest of your life, you know.”
There is really only one way to respond to this: Wait¦ you mean¦ this is permanent? with the most wide-eyed poker face you can put on.
“But what is that going to look like when you get old?”
Bad. Ass. It’s going to look bad ass. (If they need proof, just show them this, this or this.) Honestly, when you get old, your tattoo is going to look a little wrinkly and a little saggy but so will the rest of your body, so what difference does it make? You can also remind them that the inks, tools and techniques that modern tattoo artists use are far more advanced than the ones used by sailors in the first World War, so when you get old, your anchor and banner tattoo is going to look a lot better than theirs do now.
“But you’re so pretty!”
I am! And now I am even prettier.
“What did your parents say?”
If your parents happen to love your tattoo, say so. And don’t be afraid to be smug about it. If they don’t love your tattoo, feel free to remind the person that you are an adult, earning your own income and paying your own taxes and, honestly, your parents haven’t had a say in what you do since we were all wearing low-rise jeans and talking like Paris Hilton.
“What did your partner say?”
Again, if your partner happens to love your tattoo, say so. If they don’t love your tattoo, remind the person that it’s your body and you don’t need their permission to do with it what you please. You can also remind them that your partner loves you and is attracted to you, no matter what. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be with them.
“What about your career?”
Okay, if this is coming from someone who cares about you, it’s kind of a fair question. Some employers are still uptight about tattoos. But, the truth is, there aren’t many employers that don’t care about their employees having tattoos anymore. In fact, many employers have tattoos themselves. Besides, any employer who wouldn’t hire a smart, creative, capable candidate because they happened to have a tattoo doesn’t sound like the kind of employer we want to work for anyway.
“Please don’t get any more!”
You would not believe the number of people, including many that I hardly know, that ask me not to get more tattoos, as if what I do with my body is any of their business. There is really only one way to respond. Oh, I plan on getting many, many more tattoos. Even if you’re not.
“What does it represent?”
Number one, tattoos don’t need to mean a damn thing for them to be worth getting. If that’s the case, all you need to say is nothing, I just think it’s beautiful. Number two, what happens if the tattoo I just got represents a difficult and dark time in my life, random stranger at the bar? Do you really want to have that conversation while you wait for your mojito? If you want to teach this person a lesson, feel free to tell them all about what your tattoo means and describe each and every detail about that difficult and dark time in your life. If not, just tell them it’s personal, put on a blank look and wait for them to change the conversation.