Don’t get rid of a tattoo just because your mom doesn’t like it. Do get rid of a tattoo if one of these situations applies.
A young British man is in the news this week for getting a large chest tattoo removed because his mother hated it. Admittedly, it was a pretty cringeworthy tattoo, but “my mom doesn’t like it” is not a good reason to get rid of a tattoo. There are some good reasons to get rid of a tattoo, like these:
1. It’s a tattoo honoring a celebrity who does something awful.
If you get a tattoo of a celebrity you thought was cool but later turned out to be super racist (Brigitte Bardot counts), just go ahead and get that removed.
I used to know a woman who was deeply committed to loving and rescuing pit bulls. She was also a football fan, and her husband had Michael Vick’s number tattooed on him. After Vick was implicated in a dogfighting ring, they threw away all his memorabilia, and I believe the tattoo was covered up.
2. It’s someone’s name
If you get someone’s name tattooed on your body and then the relationship sours, removal, or covering is probably a good idea. This is why people tell us never to get names tattooed on our bodies, but we’re probably not going to listen to that. Thank God you can get them removed now, right?
3. It doesn’t make any sense out of context
As much as I support everyone’s right to get whatever tattoo they desire, I also deeply enjoy looking at roundups of terrible tattoo art. One day I saw two men who had their feet tattooed so that when they stood next to each other, their feet said: “Fuck Bitches, Get Money,” with one word on each foot. Now, the guy with the “Get Money” tattoo on his feet was probably fine, but the guy who got stuck with the “Fuck Bitches” part of the phrase probably had a lot of explaining to do whenever he was barefoot and his friend wasn’t around. If your tattoo requires you to be barefoot and to stand next to your best friend to make any kind of sense, it might be a good idea to have it removed.
4. You got it to piss off your parents
This is one of those “cutting off your nose to spite your face” type situations.
5. You’ve decided it was stupid
Kelly Osbourne has been getting her many tattoos lasered off lately. She said she got them to annoy her parents (I am surprised that you could annoy Ozzy Osbourne by getting a tattoo, but OK.), and now she thinks most of them should go. The first one to be eliminated was a piano. “I don’t even play piano,” she said.
6. You need to spend a lot of money very quickly
Getting a tattoo removed costs a whole lot more than getting one put on. If for some reason, you need to spend a couple of thousand dollars quickly, I would recommend just buying a lot of good Champagne. But scheduling a tattoo removal is another quick way to empty your wallet in no time.
7. It was misspelled
Hayden Panettiere famously had “Live Without Regrets” tattooed on her side in Italian, but unfortunately, the tattoo artist misspelled it. Oops! Like a champ, Panettiere kept it around for several years as a flag to her “no regrets” philosophy, but she recently had it removed. A tattoo artist error is a good reason to get a tattoo removed.
8. The presidential candidate whose logo you tattooed on your face lost
Sorry, your candidate lost. Really sorry about the Bob Dole face tattoo.
9. Your tattoo does not say what you think; it says
You got a foreign language tattoo at the start of your study abroad. By the end of the term, you knew enough of the language to know your tattoo says “Chicken Butt.” Make that appointment.
10. It was really trendy, and now it is not
That armband was awesome in the 90s, but now people keep asking you what magazine you got your tattoo out of. Maybe it’s time for the ink to go the way of your navel ring.
11. Your band broke up
Assita tells me that on one season of Making The Band, a guy got a tattoo for the band he joined and was left all inked up after it disbanded. If I had gotten a band tattoo in high school, I would currently have “Fauxharmonic Dorkestra” written somewhere on my body. But who am I kidding? I would have had that removed.
12. You feel like it
Maybe you just got tired of it. That’s cool. It’s your body. Go ahead and do what you like, and I hope you won’t have to deal with too many smug anti-tattoo people saying, “I told you so.”
Tattoo Removal Looks Way More Painful Than Any Tattoo
People who don’t like tattoos are always asking questions of the tattooed like, “What if you change your mind?” The answer usually involves being pretty sure one won’t change one’s mind or some variety of dealing with the regretted tattoo like a grown-up. And it’s an especially silly question because now people can just get them removed if they regret them enough, like Kelly Osbourne, who treated us all to a little video of her tattoo removal this week.
Kelly Osbourne has at least 15 tattoos that she got as a teenager, and she’s since changed her mind about most of them. She says she plans on getting almost all of the tattoos removed eventually, and this week she started with a keyboard on her arm. (Hopefully, the big anchor will go next.)
Getting the tattoo removed appears way more painful than getting a tattoo put on. Just listen to the pained little noises she makes in this removal video:
“I did the crime; I am now doing time! #NoPainNoGain!” she wrote.
It’s pretty awesome to see the laser at work. We were surprised to see just how quickly the tattoo removal went. But the speed does not seem to make the process any less painful.
Afterwards, she got a giant bandage and a starfish-shaped ice pack for the wound.
It’s pretty awesome to see the laser at work, though. We were surprised to see just how quickly it went.
The keyboard was the first to go, as Osbourne says she doesn’t play the piano and doesn’t even remember why she got it. She said she considers some of the tattoos to be meaningful and might keep those, but the vast majority she got just as a way of acting out against her parents.
“When I was younger, I really do think that tattoos were my way of self-harming because I really knew it would upset my mum and dad,” she said. “I was miserable, and I just went and got all these tattoos, and I don’t know why.”
She surely knows her life and her parents better than I do, but I was surprised to hear about her adolescent rebellion. Getting tattoos seems like a weird way to rebel against Ozzy Osbourne. That would be like my rebelling from my parents by getting really into Italian wine and Republican politics.