The most important thing to remember about adorning one’s body with a tattoo is that the ink is at least semi-permanent. Even if it is possible to remove the tattoo you will be fortunate if the most that you are left which is a patch of scarred, sensitive skin. Typically, this is not something that many people want to happen, but if for some reason you find yourself with a tattoo you can’t stand the sight of it will ruin part of your life. Either way it’s a pain, so think before you ink. There are some tattoos which look great and demonstrate something important, but you’d better be sure your reason is permanent before you go for it.
A lot of people like to get a loved one’s name, but relationships end. Some people will reflect the name of a band they really like, but if they then release a few bad albums and are found to be horrendous people then you will want to disassociate yourself from them rather than carry around a permanent reminder. As people, we change and our tattoos can not change with us, so it is important to find something that is permanent before reflecting it in a tattoo.
Things that are permanent include kids – a tattoo with their name is good, or a star representing each child – and ancestry. A flag representing your home country can be a good way of demonstrating your allegiance, and something to remember it by if you move away.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two years, it will be hard for you to have escaped the book and film that has been the subject of conversation both positive and negative for much of that time. Twilight, the book by Stephanie Meyer, has become absolutely enormous and has spawned a crowd of fans who go beyond the normal realms of obsession and come out the other side in their own reality. These people are known as “Twi-hards”, and they have been known to immortalise their love for the story by getting it indelibly inked on their skin.
As Twilight has been both a book and a film, there has been no shortage of possible subjects for a tattoo. The popularity of the book inspired the film to be made, but it was the release of the film that saw the fan-base rise both in number and obsession. The results are tattoos with quotes from the book including “and so the lion fell in love with the lamb”, a reference to the story of the book’s central characters, a vampire and a late-teenaged girl.
There is an interesting story to all of this. Twilight and its sequel books are absolutely the kind of story which grasps an audience in its spell and keeps them spellbound for months, even years, but is scarcely present in those aged thirty-five and above. So as the next few decades pass, it will be interesting to see the reactions of those who realize they don’t actually like Twilight that much anymore.
Getting a tattoo should not be about following the crowd, but this does not mean that it is unacceptable to get a popular tattoo. Some people like a familiar style of body art because it looks really good – which will be why it is so popular. In this case, they should not be derided for following the crowd. They just happen to know what they want.
Perhaps the most popular tattoo design is the tribal mark. This kind of tattoo is the source of much controversy, with some people being of the opinion that a tribal tattoo on someone with at best a tenuous link to that tribe is a sign of cultural tourism. This often leads to debate between fans of ink. How Irish do you have to be to get a Celtic cross? How close does your Japanese ancestry need to be before you can get Japanese script drawn on you?
Another form of tattoo which has gained massive popularity is that of angel wings, or indeed any other form of wings. These can be drawn anywhere on the body, but are particularly popular when drawn on the back. The idea is that the bearer has wings sprouting out of their back and is ready to take flight. The tattoo symbolises freedom and elevation, popular themes with a link to escapism.
Fair enough, if someone simply gets a tattoo because they want attention then it is a little bit boring. But what cannot be denied is that the most popular designs keep getting chosen, regardless of anyone else’s opinion.
Among the most popular types of tattoo for an individual to get are sporting tattoos. These are common just about everywhere in the world that has tattoo parlors and sports teams. There are many potential variations as well, thanks to the nature of team sport which has uniforms, players and competitions which can all be depicted with a little bit of ink and an expanse of skin. Getting a tattoo to reflect your love of your team is in some ways a rite of passage, as the permanence of the tattoo is testament to your strength of feeling for a club.
There are ways this can go wrong, of course, because players have been known to change team. Robert Nesbitt, a fan of English soccer club Newcastle United, got a tattoo of their free-scoring star player Andy Cole on his right thigh. Two days later Cole was sold to English champions Manchester United in a British-record transfer, leaving Nesbitt with a permanent reminder of his own hubris.
It is perhaps wiser if you wish to demonstrate your support of a club to stick to a depiction of something that cannot be moved to another club. The date of a significant victory, a depiction of the club’s uniform or stadium would be good examples of this. Although a club can move to a new stadium or change its uniform, there will always be an historic link with the old stadium or uniform, and this connection with the history of the club can even win points in the “true fan” contests that sports fanatics are prone to have between them.