Piercing and tattoo expression do a great deal to boost bodily confidence and make people happier with their physical image. Unfortunately, tattoo and piercing stigma has been prevalent throughout society, though fading gradually. A lot of people have tattoos. Like, 47% of Millennials and 36% of Gen Xers all tout having at least one tattoo. While promoting confidence and pride in your image is important, there’s no denying the potential health risks involved in tattoo art and body piercing.
You’re about to get something fairly permanent done to your body, so treat your body with respect and do some research. An astonishing 11% of folks with tats have had one removed (or want one gone) and about 5% have gotten an undesirable tattoo covered by another one. Do tastes change? Absolutely, and that’s okay! It’s still important to think about what you want on your body (and where) before jumping under the needle on a whim and regretting your decision. That group of guys who gets matching McDonald’s tattoos on Spring Break because “Mickey D’s is everrrrything, bro!”? Don’t be those guys.
Your tattoo artist’s reputation matters. In fact, 49% of people with tattoos think artist/parlor reputation is the number one factor in choosing where (and from whom) to get a tattoo. Instagram is a good way to start by spying out the art and style of whatever famous tattoo artist inspires you. Intspiration is key. Then ask questions of friends who’ve had work done, what their experience was like, how they approached their decision. They’ll be your main first hand source! Once you’re set on getting a tattoo, visit the tattoo parlor and watch. Why watch? Most of the health/sanitation concerns can be assessed and addressed by watching an artist do their work!
Health and sanitation are where piercing and tattoo expression begin to come closer together. Both involve needles, bodily fluids, and, well, the creation and healing of purposeful wounds. Visiting a tattoo parlor or body piercer and observing is important for getting a sense of how well they control the health safety of their environment. Be on the lookout for proper bio-hazardous waste disposal (needles, cloths, etc.), proper licensing, ask about inks being used, see if their tattooing kits are sealed, single-use ones, the list carries on. Trust your gut. If you’re in an environment that feels off and makes you second guess getting a tattoo or a piercing, trust that feeling and wait to find a place where you’re completely comfortable.
It’s your body. Piercing and tattoo expression are awesome reflections of simple ways to make us feel beautiful! Anything that makes you feel better and more confident is wonderful. Remember to treat your body with respect. Do research, know what you want, and be comfortable with where you get any bodily work done. That way, when you’re 100% sure, you can hop into the chair with a smile that says let’s do this thang.