A Contrast In Ink: A Comparison Of Different Tattoo Selection Methods

1273 words - 5 pages

The decision to get a tattoo is personal and different for everyone. Tattoos are generally permanent additions to the body. Rushing into a design typically ends in regret. Taking a considerable amount of time to find the perfect design and the positioning on ones’ body may not be a bad idea. Unfortunately, there are far more tattoos that are spur-of-the-moment rather than thoroughly considered, meaningful, or commemorative tattoos. In Beth Janes’s article, “Why I Rue My Tattoo,” and Stephanie Dolgoff’s piece, “Tattoo Me Again and Again,” the authors describe the different processes that they went through when deciding to get their tattoos. Both authors discuss their reasons for getting their tattoos, the designs they chose to get, and share their different opinions about the finished tattoos that they have chosen to live with for the rest of their lives.
Both authors have several tattoos and chose to get them for completely different reasons. Janes researched her first tattoo and appeared to have given it quite a bit of thought. Janes says, “Jessie and I got our first tats together to spice up our senior year at Catholic school” (73). Janes got her second tattoo a year after her first. “I simply made the decision right before the lower-back-tattoo trend took off” (73). She got her design from a friend’s T-shirt and decided that it would make a good tattoo that would represent a sweet-yet-bad girl image, or as Janes says “…the Sonic Youth-listening, beer swigging badass I also identified with” (73). Like most teens, Janes’ decision to get her tattoos appears to be a bit trivial and more for the sake of others than herself. Dolgoff’s reasons for getting her tattoos are quite different and she appears to have put much more thought into her decision to get her tattoos. Dolgoff said, “… my three tattoos represent a major emotional milestone or epiphany and serve as a bodily reminder of freedom…” (75). In other words, Dolgoff chose to get her tattoos to remember something important to her. Jane’s reason was rather shallow, immature, and a typical teen trend, while Dolgoff had a deep experience that she wanted to remember and her tattoo represents that part of her life. My experience with my tattoos makes it easy for me to relate to both Janes and Dolgoff and their tattoos. Much like Janes, when I was a teen I chose to get a tattoo on a whim, my boyfriend’s initials. I thought that I had considered the decision to get this tattoo over thoroughly. I even got a small tattoo in an easily hidden place on my body, and still no bells and whistles went off telling me to maybe reconsider. I went through with it and, when the relationship ended, the tattoo stayed as a constant reminder. It worked out in the end. Getting a smaller tat was a good idea because it was easily covered by another tattoo which held a lot more meaning for me.
Like most people, Janes and Dolgoff chose the designs for their tattoos to suit their individual styles and tastes. Janes’s...

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