Why I Regret My Tattoos
I know, I know, I really have changed haven’t I? Odds are that if you’re reading this, then you know me. Well this realization is not a recent one. I have been having regrets about my tattoos for over 5 years now. I’ve even underwent a removal session for one(SO painful and expensive by the way). I just finally put together enough opinions on them for me to write down.
So here they are, my 4 main reasons for regretting all of my tattoos.
1. I am instantly judged by everybody when they see me. They don’t even see me, they just see my tattoos. Sometimes it’s people looking down on me like I’m trash, sometimes it’s other heavily tattooed people giving me their head nods of approval like we are in some secret cool club together. Either way, bad feedback or good feedback, I absolutely hate feedback of myself based strictly on how I look, but I understand it.
2. Jobs. I got all of my tattoos while I was in the military. The military is very heavily inundated with tattooed individuals. It’s a welcome haven for them actually. The uniform requirements are surprisingly lax on tattoo coverage. When I left active duty, the first thing I noticed when I was job hunting was the looks I received from potential employers. They immediately judged me for my tattoos. I can’t blame them, I do the same thing to people with tattoos and so does everybody else. There’s a small minority that gives me a chance to impress myself upon them without just staring at my tattoos. Anyway, I had to wear a lot of long sleeves to cover-up my tattoos. Not a comfortable thing in Texas summers.
3. Insecurities. I know a lot of people with tattoos. I also know a lot of people without tattoos. I have found from experience that the most insecure people, have the most tattoos. The most secure people, have little to no tattoos. The tattoos became a way for me to communicate myself without having to actually open up my mouth and communicate. I liked the illusiveness and wonder that sparked peoples interest when they looked at my tattoos. Now, I just see them as an easy conversation piece for anybody to talk about. Instead of relying on their own confidence, they rely on my tattoos to spark a conversation. If I had a dollar for every time somebody said, “Hey, cool tattoo!”, “What’s that mean?”, “Who’s name is that?” and my personal favorite, “How many tattoos do you have?”, I would be a millionaire. That might be an exaggeration but I would have quite a bit of money. Basically, my tattoos do me no favors. I get a lot of empty flattery from people who really have no interest in me at all. I used to like empty flattery.
4. My children. One day, my sons will ask me what they mean and why I have them. I will have to live with that and just explain that mommy liked to live in the moment and she was so insecure in herself when she was in her 20s that she thought permanent ink would make her feel like a confident badass.
I think to myself, if I had no tattoos right now, would I think back and say, “Man! I really regret not getting any tattoos when I was younger!”? And the answer is a laughable no. There is not one tattoo on my body that I couldn’t live without. They do absolutely nothing for me other than force me to work harder at explaining that my tattoos do not define me. Even when I wanted them to define me in my early 20s, they didn’t. I just thought they did. All they really did for me was make me feel edgy and cool. They made me feel brave and confident because I was not able to feel those things on my own. I had to pay hundreds of dollars for tattoo artists to mark some self worth on my body.
If I had enough money I would pay to have them all removed. That’s not a realistic possibility for me right now though. So until then, I will continue to receive stares and “Cool tattoos!” from strangers. I continue to shake off the stereotype that comes with people tattooed like me. I understand the judgement and I understand the approval. I just get nothing from them.