4 Inevitable Reactions to Tattoos and How to Respond to Them

16058781110_029032b185_zPhoto: Benjamin Balázs

If you have a tattoo or are considering getting one, you probably have heard the same reactions over and over. Rest assured that these reactions are most often due to ignorance, and I’m here to guide you through them.

There’s one reaction that seems to never leave the topic of tattoos:

Reaction #1: “Tattoos are permanent, you know.”

This is a sentence that seems to have been invented by someone that enjoys pointing out the obvious reality and then somehow twisting it into something negative. What’s interesting about it is that I am quite positive that every person considering getting a tattoo realizes that it is permanent and they’ve already taken that factor into their consideration.

If one was to take into account why that person chooses to state the obvious and disregard the fact that the person already has been informed that tattoos are indeed permanent, it is most likely due to that person’s own fear of commitment. Fear of commitment goes hand in hand with making permanent decisions and remaining happy with those decisions, so he or she will likely not understand why someone else would possibly make a permanent decision when he or she isn’t forced to.

A possible response: “It seems as though you believe I am not capable of making permanent decisions. Should I not get married, either?”

There’s also a phrase that is often a follow-up reaction:

Reaction #2: “You’re going to regret it when you’re older.”

Now, this is that part that always gets me. Not only is that person assuming that the person wanting a tattoo is definitely not going to like it in ten years, but he or she is also assuming that the person wanting the tattoo has the same fear of commitment as the person who said it.

A possible response: “Please inform me what else I am going to regret so I can make sure to follow exactly what you tell me to do.

Which then leads to the inescapable:

Reaction #3: “But imagine how it will look when you are old and wrinkly, it will look so bad!”

Newsflash, honey. The studies have been concluded and chances are that the rest of the person’s body won’t be all that pretty, either. Skin will sag, wrinkles will hang, and the ink will go right along with them. Personally, I believe my tattoos are just like my scars: they tell the story of my life, and I am fine with my body being buried with signs of life all over it.

A possible response: “You mean to tell me that I wouldn’t be able to do my granny modeling? Shit.”

Reaction #4: “Would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?”

I’ve heard this a thousand times over, and in my opinion, it is the most ignorant one of all. My response is always the same: “No, but I would definitely put a vanity plate on it.”


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