Responses To Asinine Comments About Tattoos

If you have visible tattoos, you are probably used to receiving various comments about them. Some are positive and usually come from people who are genuinely intrigued by your body art. Then there are questions you’ve grown sick of answering (“Did that hurt?” “What’s that mean?”) but generally don’t mind, provided you’re in a good mood. Finally, there are the egregious remarks that make you want to drink insecticide out of sheer despair because they make absolutely no sense. Here are a few of them.

“Tattoos are ugly.” That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But if you’re talking to someone with tattoos, why do you feel the need to be a rude bitch? I don’t like your whore makeup or cheap highlights, but I keep that to myself.

“Won’t they look bad when you’re old?” Here’s news: skin looks like shit after a certain age – how many 80 year-olds do you see with smooth, luminous, runway-ready skin? When you get old, your skin will look dry and crinkly whether it’s illustrated or not, so quit worrying and carpe effing diem. I’ll take my flabby, early-bird-special arms in full-color sleeves over the standard spider veins and age spots any day.

“Don’t they care at work?” Well I’m sure they would, if I showed up in tank tops and miniskirts every day. But chances are you’ll get sent home for dressing like that in most workplaces anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. Don’t get dressed like a drunken sailor in the morning and you won’t raise any eyebrows. It’s that simple.

“Why would you want to hide your body?” Excuse me, but since when is putting ink all over your body and therefore making it more noticeable on a busy sidewalk considered “hiding?” How distinctive do you look in your beige slacks today?

“Now you can’t get a government job.” Good.

“But you’re excluding yourself from certain social groups!” Listen, people who are freaked out by anything unconventional, unexpected or different are people I probably wouldn’t want to hang out with anyway. Luckily, there are also plenty of open-minded and laid back people in the world to hang out with.

“Won’t tattoos look weird with your wedding dress?” Nope. If I ever get married, I plan to wear whatever the hell I want, and I can tell you right now it won’t be a white dress -– I’m no virgin. Though I agree that my tattooed body probably would look a little strange crammed into a traditional ivory gown, it would look even stranger gliding down the aisle toward some white-bread MBA with a comb over.

“But they’re permanent. Show me anyone or anything permanent and I will give you two grand and a cookie. No, seriously -– I’ll wait. TC mark

image – ePi.Longo

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Responses To Asinine Comments About Tattoos is cataloged in , , , ,
  • Guest

    Defensive much?

    • Fjds

      Nah, it had to be said. 

  • http://twitter.com/#!/_soniastr Sonia

    I have one tiny tattoo you can only see when I’m wearing a bathing suit yet every time I go to the beach I have to deal with stupid questions like this.

    Thank you for these fabulous responses I can use next time people feel like being idiots. :)

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    Word up! People need to accept that tattoos on someone else don’t hurt them and shut their damn mouths.
    Or say nice things. I like compliments.

  • Guest

    How do you display your insecurity regarding your ugly tattoos?

    Oh I write a passive aggressive Thought Catalog article about it. 

    • Dgsfhsf

      get outta here

  • IALAY

    I love this! I’ve been thinking of getting my first tattoo, and this just made me want to get it even more…I can’t wait to bitch out these kinds of folks :)

  • Epherringtonhbc

    Perhaps the worst written and least amusing thought catalog post in recent memory. Go get your cold roses or twin peaks tattoo and consider yourself “different”. Tattoos are trendy in this culture – not statements of individuality or cultural heritage.
    Sarah Marshall: And you know what? Let me tell you something about these tattoos, okay. That is Buddhist, that is Nordic, that is Hindu, that’s just gibberish. They are completely conflicting ideologies, and that does not make you a citizen of the world, it makes you full of shit! 

    • Kobayashi

      They aren’t completely conflicting ideologies (t.ex.- in Sweden [a Nordic land, obviously] we have a concept called “lagom” and it’s basically using moderation and living in moderation which, to me, is very similar to some Buddhist and Hindu ideologies… just saying) Not need to get so snippy and hateful, there is nothing wrong with finding and embracing humanity’s similarities.

      • Epherringtonhbc

        Truly, though, what you call “embracing humanity’s similarities” is in essence syncretism. Why not respect religion and cultures on their own terms instead of attempting to co-opt them into a very western need for homogeneity?

      • Epherringtonhbc

        Additionally, if you have spent any time on this site you would have noticed that hyperbole is par for the course. People enjoy reading sensational opinions and; in turn, enjoy sharing their own exaggerated opinions with the webbernet. :).

      • Kobayashi

        I never said I don’t respect them on their own terms, I just have no problem with people finding the similarities in humanity. Looking for common themes among groups of people is only natural.

      • Lovely Rita

        You obviously didn’t get the part where the person was quoting a movie.

      • Kobayashi

        Sorry I don’t memorize pop culture like a tool. Either way he’s saying he agrees with that quote and it’s bitchy and  flat out wrong, therefore calling it out is still relevant. 

    • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

      Maybe stop projecting the reasons that you think people get tattoos. You can’t get into the head of every tattooed person, it sounds like you need to stop worrying about why people do things and focus on your own thing.

      • Anonymous

        Aww, don’t take away his reason for living!

  • Timewarp

    Thank you so much for this.

  • lkitz

    this was awesome — funny and very true. i have several tattoos and have been asked all of these questions many times.  you have some great posts. :)

  • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

    I would never say any of these things.  I would just think the tattoo was stupid and then be grateful I never made such a mistake because everyone in my sorority was getting one.

    Also: http://www.oneyearintexas.com/2010/10/debate-tattoos.html

    • Fedfe

      You’re just too pussy to take needle pain. 

      • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

        My heroin habit of 2003-2005 would beg to differ.

      • Anonymous

        Yay! Someone who contributed to my coffers!

    • IALAY

      lol sororstitutes

  • Anonymous

    Damn this girl is crazy

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t even give a f*** about a goverment job

      • Epherringtonhbc

        HAHAHAHAHA. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.

      • FromTheFuture

        Rebel without a career.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Shafer/1169280047 Megan Shafer

    i’m getting my first tattoo friday. i’m getting really nervous about it but reading this made me feel so much better.
    mila, you kick ass.

  • Asdf

    Perfect! This title and article opens up my submission for “Responses to Asinine Comments about TC Articles.” 

    I will use my comments as examples of asinine comments.

  • Guest

    Thank you for this article!  I live in a very yuppie-ish area and I regularly get comments like these.

  • Anonymous

    Tattoos are played out.

    Like rap music, grillz, and Hummers.

  • FromTheFuture

    “But you’re excluding yourself from certain social groups!”
    Listen, people who are freaked out by anything unconventional,
    unexpected or different are people I probably wouldn’t want to hang out
    with anyway.

    It’s funny because you get tattoos to include yourself in a social group. These days being age 16-28 without ink makes you unconventional, unexpected and different.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Becky-Curtis/23326556 Becky Curtis

      This is a personal opinion. People automatically assign social groups, I don’t think anyone gets a tattoo to be judged.

      • FromTheFuture

        Sure they do. Within their subculture a tattoo leads to a favorable judgement.

      • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

        what fucking subculture?

      • Bottlemeasunset

        Why do you act like you fucking know everything?

    • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

      How exactly do you know why I got my tattoos?

  • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

    I like the tattoo debate because it’s the most perfect embodiment of peoples’ desire for others to conform to their own idea of what the world should be. Other common debates that come from that desire – abortion, gay marriage, religion, etc – there is at least a potential argument for the social ramifications and maybe a justification for why “I” want “you” to do the things I think are good. But with tattoos it’s SUCH a personal choice – a choice that REALLY doesn’t affect anyone but the bearer of the tattoo – it’s so laughable, so vain, so self-indulgent, so primitive for people to criticize others for getting them. I love it, people are so stupid.

    • FromTheFuture

      Eh there’s more subtlety to the “debate” than you want to acknowledge. What you’re saying is true for people who blindly hate tattoos but that’s just one segment of people who hate on tattoos.

      Some people just hate by laughing and shaking their head. I guess they didn’t meet enough people in the 90s with tribal tattoos to realize their sugar skulls/chosen flower/band symbol/koi fish/swallow/foreign language/math equation/chemistry symbol/pot leaf/etc (really it just goes on like this) will look just as ridiculous.

      I mean, 13 year old you would probably have better ideas for tattoo art than the faux-profound shit people get in their 20s.

      Do you *really* want that latin quote from boondock saints on your chest? OK bro go for it.

      • Epherringtonhbc

        Listen here brah, my newest tattoo says “hell is other people”. I don’t know if you read much, but it’s a sartre quote. Right next to it is a saves the day lyric I got in high school.

      • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

        no, there isn’t more subtlety to the debate. what you’ve just tried to give as “subtlety” only proves my point further that the tattoo debate is nothing but haters’ vanity.
        Why the fuck does anyone care if I have a a flower or a portrait or a swallow on my forearm/back/ass? Like okay cooool, you think a latin quote from boondock is lame! awesome! but I like it, and I’m going to tattoo it on myself for myself, not for you, not because you do or do not like the boondock saints. it doesn’t fucking matter what you think about something i have on my body. it’s my body, my choice, and what i choose to dye my skin with is really never going to affect you.

      • booty

        hate hate hate. spew it girl, spew it. it’s so attractive.

  • guest

    I refuse to look at tattoos, especially when they’re on someone I love and care about. It hurts too much to look. I say nothing and try to hide my quiet dispair.

    The author of this piece certainly has a chip-filled shoulder. You truly protesteth too much, and I suspect deep down acknowledge the truth to certain remarks made in your under-employed, MBA-less, colorful direction.

    Most of the tattoo parlours in my area sport a TATTOO sign on one side of the building, and a TATTOO REMOVAL on the other. That ought to convince anyone, but it usually does not.

    • FromTheFuture

      Hey now I dislike tattoos as much as the next girl but lets not be crazy and start encouraging more people to get their MBA.  I”ll take someone who has a record and tear drop tattoo before another bland middle management tool.

    • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

      “Most of the tattoo parlours in my area sport a TATTOO sign on one side of the building, and a TATTOO REMOVAL on the other.” No they don’t.

    • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

      “Most of the tattoo parlours in my area sport a TATTOO sign on one side of the building, and a TATTOO REMOVAL on the other.” No they don’t.

    • http://twitter.com/tashny Tashny Sukumaran

      where the heck do you live?

  • Guest

    I get “are they real?” all the time. Baffles the mind!

  • kim-alice

    These days, tattoos aren’t really risque or cool, different or daring. Everyone and thir mom has some ugly blob that holds some really deep meaning.

  • Joe

    You have a lot of soul.

  • SquirrelGrrl

    “Now you can’t get a government job.”Lies.  There are plenty of people who work for the government and have tattoos.

  • Marcy Runkle

    I certainly believe that people are entitled to put whatever they want on their bodies – it’s none of my business, and I would never approach someone about it. But if I see someone with blatant tattoos, in my mind I’m thinking trashy, trashy, trashy, trashy. No different than a mullet, or a too-short miniskirt, or a camel toe. I just think it’s tacky. But hey, everyone has a different idea of taste. To each his own.

    • A.

       And I’m sure lots of those people thing your closed-mindedness is trashy, trashy, trashy.

      • FromTheFuture

        Maybe that does make her trashy but at least it’s not on her skin for everyone to see in the form of a treble clef.

      • booty

        at least A’s ignorance and hate isn’t all of the internet for everyone to see. boom.

      • Anonymous

        *think

    • http://twitter.com/tashny Tashny Sukumaran

      your face is a cameltoe.

  • Gordon geckbro

    I have an MBA and tattoos. Why do people hate me?

    • http://twitter.com/tashny Tashny Sukumaran

      idk, you sound kinda cool.

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    You had me at ‘I don’t like your whore makeup’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

    The “won’t they look bad when you’re old?” question isn’t referencing the age of 80, but the age of 40 – remember, these are twenty somethings who have no concept of age and time.  And frankly, the answer to the question is “yes”.  You will look absolutely foolish in between the ages of 40 and 60 with full sleeve tattoos.

    Also: whore make up?  That’s some misogynistic shit right there.

    • booty

      it’s people like you who just will never understand. People who have tattoos will not FEEL foolish. It’s people like you who will THINK that we look foolish. You can observe and think what you like, sir. Just know that judgement is not yours to pass onto other people’s lives and bodies, only each individual may judge themselves. My question is : Why would you waste your time even thinking these thoughts? Live and let live. And also remember that while you are judging people, others are judging you for being an uncaring person. Now what is more important, what we look like, or who we are on the inside? You may make assumptions based on how people have chosen to decorate their bodies, but people have made assumptions about different races being certain ways. Maybe being a different skin color isn’t a choice for some people, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are judging based on outside characteristics, which makes you quite the bigot. No sense of age and time? Get with it. We live 0-80 years or so, we have a limited time on the planet, we will rot and turn to dust, why not do with our bodies as we please while our bodies are still around?

      • FromTheFuture

        Calling the time we have on the planet limited is pretty stupid considering it’s the only time you’ll ever know. If there is nothing on the other side then life is an eternity.

      • Ellen

        No… that’s not how it works. “It’s the only time you’ll ever know”. That seems fairly… limited? To me? As in it has a limit?

      • Ellen

        No… that’s not how it works. “It’s the only time you’ll ever know”. That seems fairly… limited? To me? As in it has a limit?

      • booty

        look up the definition of eternity. thank you.

      • Anonymous

        I love your reply, but I will love the realisation that hits you when you’re middle aged even more.

      • booty

        how are you so sure of how old I am? And how are you sure of what my feelings will be when I get there? You remind me of the great many other people who try to convince others that when they make a change that is positive for themselves, but you view it negatively, that it is just a phase and we will ultimately see things your way. How does it feel to have the universe spin around you?

    • Pondo

      But who asked you? You think at twenty people have no concept of age and time? I work in dementia care. Also, I have a lot of tattoos. Say it again.

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