Getting your first tattoo is always a scary, but exciting prospect. It is something new that you are committing to for the rest of your life. And TBH, commitment for life is a scaaaary proposition. However, in some parts of the world (India urmgh), there are a few more steps between just wanting a tattoo, choosing one and actually getting it. There are a few more things that need to happen in between.
First of all, how do I tell my mom? Each and every desi millennial knows that our moms hate tattoos. They call them tramp stamps and stupid decisions. However, many of our mothers also have secret tattoos. We’re all scared of telling them, but it’s also easier to show her when it’s done because she will have to love us none the less. At the end of the day, it is always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
I want something that screams ME but, I can’t get something too big, log kya kahenge? Tattoos tell a story, just like paintings or books, but only on bodies. Somehow, this change in medium is also understood as a change in character. Even though society has progressed, tattoos still seem looked down upon in India, especially when it comes to nosy neighbours and more traditional job opportunities. We want to be ourselves, but what people say dictates our lives to an extent as well.
“Chal woh sab chod, I’ll check out Pinterest for designs anyway”. By this point of the tattoo contemplation process, we know we want a tattoo. However, what we want is still in question. While the in theory, ideas are abundant, most of us are not versed enough in how to approach our tattoo designs. Most of us don’t know that the best way is to straight away do some research and find a good artist who can understand us and draw our ideas out, and end up wasting time on Pinterest. For those living in a cave, and don’t know about Pinterest, it is a treasure trove of ideas to get started from, for ignorant fools who don’t know better.
“I’m getting thoda worried, my friends say that tattoos hurt”. A tattoo hurting is an overrated concept. It is always intimidating going in for one for the first time, and there are very few places on the body that actually hurt (it’s science). The people who say tattoos hurt usually don’t have tattoos, so who cares anyway.
I’m concerned, what if it gets infected and I die? Tattoos might seem daunting. They initially are often portrayed as a needle (i.e. the one you get injections from) is drawing on your body. For one, that’s not true and two, done from the right place and by the right person they can do nothing to hurt your body. Always ensure that your tattoo artist has sterilized equipment and is experienced enough to do his job. Also, you can donate blood as soon as six months after getting a tattoo. Always, take care of your tattoo as if it were a medical procedure and follow what your artist says about it. Freaking out about infection is natural for all of us, but it is super easy to avoid.
I’m 95% sure that this makes me one of the ‘cool’ kids. All the ‘cool’ kids seem to have a tattoo. Do you think they cried when they got them? Why does it look like a complicated ball of lines? All these are questions we have when we see a new ‘cool kid’ tattoo. What we want to know is that will having a new tattoo let me into that secret cult I’ve been hearing rumours of?
“I have a little money, but how much longer will I have to save up for what I want?” Since we’ve established that the family is against the tattoo, I definitely can’t ask them for money for the tattoo. Also, a good tattoo is not cheap at all. The best way to finance a new tattoo is saving up for a few months. Likewise, if you just want a small tattoo, go easy on a few date nights; it’s not that hard to pay to make something you will love forever put on your body.
Tbh, my body, my art, my rules. I’ll get one! At the end of the day, we all either have or would love to end up at a tattoo parlour getting the tattoo of our dreams. And, why should we shy away from that? Tattoos are a personal investment made from yourself to yourself and no one can stop you from doing something you love.