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Top 10 Reasons to NOT Get Tattooed

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As an avid fan of body art, why would I discourage anyone from getting a tattoo? Well, there are some circumstances under which a person really shouldn't get tattooed - at least not yet - and here's the top list of those reasons you should probably wait. 

10. You're Not Old Enough To Get One Legally

Young man with tattoos on his forearms
Nick David/Taxi/Getty Images

If you're not old enough to walk into a professional shop and get a tattoo legally, and your parent/guardian won't or can't give consent so you can have it done legally, then your only option is to get it done by some scratcher or do it yourself. Both situations could lead to serious infection, disease, and even death - not to mention a really ugly tattoo. 

9. You Don't Have Enough Money

The tattoo you want costs twice the amount of money you have, so what do you do? Too often, people opt to find someone who will do it cheaper and end up very disappointed with the results. When it comes to body art, you shouldn't be looking for a bargain. 

8. You're Not 100% Decided On the Design

If you're not absolutely sure about the tattoo design you want to get - or if you've only been absolutely sure for a couple of days after changing your mind several times before - you're really not ready to get the tattoo yet. There's too great a chance that you'll end up regretting it later on. 

7. You Don't Understand the Language or Symbolism of Your Chosen Design

The symbols may look pretty, but there are websites dedicated toward making fun of people who got tattooed in a foreign language they couldn't read, because the translation was clearly not what the person was going for. It happens all the time - don't let it happen to you!  

6. You Lost a Bet/You're Being Pressured Into It

Getting a permanent tattoo is a big decision and shouldn't be made lightly and certainly shouldn't be the result of peer pressure. Don't make any bets that end with someone getting a tattoo, and don't let anyone pressure or force you into getting something you don't want. It's your body, your life, and you're the one that has to live with it and see it every day. 

5. You Think That If You Change Your Mind, You Can Just Have it Removed

Getting a tattoo with the mindset that you can just have it removed if you decide you don't like it later on is like getting married with the mindset that you can just get divorced if it doesn't work out. If you're not in it for the long haul, don't do it at all. 

4. You Want The Name of Someone You're In a Relationship With

Name tattoos are such a risky choice when it's someone you're involved with. Relationships end, and if it does you're still stuck with a permanent reminder of a failed coupling. If you're not completely commited and in a long-lasting relationship, a name tattoo is a very bad idea. 

3. You Have Health Issues That Could Interfere With Your Ability To Heal

Some health problems could cause serious problems during the healing process of a tattoo. Diabetes, heart problems, and circulation issues are just a few that could make getting a simple tattoo very dangerous. The same goes for medications that thin the blood and/or could interfere with the successful implantation of pigment. 

2. You're Not Sober

You can't legally get tattooed while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, but it's in your best interests to be sober anyway. People make stupid decisions when inebriated and alcohol thins the blood, making for a messy tattoo that's difficult to heal. Not a recipe for success. 

1. It's an Unclean/Unsafe Environment (Tattoo Party, Outdoor Event, Home Tattooer)

Getting tattooed at a party or during a fun event may seem excited, but it's usually just a recipe for disaster. You have no idea who the artist is, what their qualifications are, how clean they are or what outside elements you might be exposed to. Temporary, fly-by-night tattooers who are here one day and gone the next have no responsibility for their clients safety or the outcome of their tattoos. It's best to go to someone you know and trust. 

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