Many of these urban legends were started a long time ago, when basically some truth did exist in them. Everything from the types of folks who would venture into a tattoo parlor, to the kinds of skin dyes used caused the myths to become popular in the first place.
Modern tattooing is much more about the art form, hygiene, and appealing to people from all walks of life, than about maintaining any outdated stereotypes and falsehoods. Let's take a few of these myths about tattooing and turn them into factual statements instead.
Having someone's name tattooed on your body, while not necessarily bad luck, is a personal choice. And while any relationship can fail, if you already believe that getting their name tattooed on you is a guarantee one way or the other about the outcome then you're doing it for the wrong reasons anyway. Relationships fail for all kinds of reasons, getting someone's name tattooed on you is not one of them.
Tattoos do hurt, and depending on your tolerance to pain, some will feel more pain, some less. The light colors are typically done last when the skin is most tender, so to most, these will be the most painful colors. As to other ink colors, tattoo ink innovations have come a tremendously long way. During the 50s and 60s, tattoo ink pigments were not as refined as they are today, so bright colors like red or blue would fade under the elements and normal wear. That is no longer the case however, and all tattoo colors resist fading if properly cared for when healing.
Tattoo needles are clustered together in soldered groups of odd numbers, 3, 5, 7, etc. While most tattoos bleed minimally during the outline, and up to as much as 10 minutes after the shading is done, by the time you leave the shop, the bleeding will have stopped. Your tattoo will be bandaged for hygienic reasons only.
With modern medical advances in dermatology and skin care, tattoos are no longer a forever commitment. Laser tattoo removal and fade creams can remove a tattoo leaving behind no trace.
Stereotypes for tattoos came about at a time when tattoo parlors were rare, unregulated, and often located in seedy areas. Many sailors obtained tattoos according to the myths and legends that said that tattoos and piercings were thought to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the wearer. The prevalence of motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy tattoos is merely a cultural bias. Today, anyone can have a tattoo and no one would even know, and conversely simply because someone does have a tattoo, does not mean they are part of a seedy sub-culture. The prevalence of tattoos in society and among more publicly notable figures has also done a great deal to bring tattooing into its place as a mainstream form of art and personal expression.
If you believe that anyone who can draw can tattoo and that you need to be bargain hunting for your tattoo, chances are good that you are getting one for the wrong reasons and need to rethink your decision carefully. There are truly exceptional tattoo artists who have adopted a style that they are very skilled in doing, and there are tattoo artists who are just that, tattooists.
While most artists do have artistic backgrounds, there are some who simply love the art and wanted to make their living doing something they enjoyed. Tattoo artists are normal everyday people, just like you or me. They have lives and good and bad days just like the rest of us. Examine the work being done, or better still, find someone who has a tattoo that you admire and find out where they had it done before you put your own skin under the needle. And remember to choose an artist whose style matches the tattoo you would like to get.
Finally, bargain shopping for your tattoo will get you a bargain tattoo. If you are concerned with how much it will cost, it is likely not a good time for you to be thinking about a tattoo. While they are not all overly expensive, and good quality tattoos can be gotten for less than you would expect, it is still the kind of purchase that you need only make when your wallet is not an issue. It is mostly permanent, and it is your skin after all.
Patricia Ross is a freelance writer and web content specialist living and working in the New England area.
Inflicting Ink Tattoo is a tattoo studio in Portsmouth RI and home of the Inflicting Ink Traveling Tattoo Truck. For more information on Tattooing in RI call the RI Tattoo Studio of Inflicting Ink at (401) 683-5680 or visit them on the web at http://www.InflictingInkTattoo.com
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