TATTOOS: Reasons not to have a tattoo

This might seem like an unusual topic for this blog, but it’s actually really relevant.
Yes, I have many tattoos, and I will get more. 

The are so many reasons to get a tattoo; in memory of someone, some time,  some place; because it represents you, your loved ones, your life; or because you love the design, theme, ethos. 

And I probably have a tattoo for each one of those reasons.

But there are also so many reasons not to go ahead with a tattoo.

First there is the technical and logistical aspects. Is the studio safe, healthy and hygienic.  If you have any doubts to any of those, DO NOT HAVE YOUR TATTOO.  At least not in that studio.  Walk away. Nothing is more important in tattooing than your health and safety.

Then there is the tattooist themselves.  Do you trust them? At the end of the day, your tattoo is coming from their hands. Will they give you the design you want? If you’re not 100% happy with your tattooist, then you need to find someone who you are happy with. Tattoos are a true test of trust. They’re work is going to be displayed on your body for the rest of your life.

And your design, the design you love so much. Is it actually tattoo-able? And does it mean what you think it does. Does the Chinese symbol for ‘love’ that you got from Google really say ‘love’, or does it really say ‘chicken soup’? Make sure your having a tattoo that reads right. The same applies for spelling in your text,  and using the correct punctuation.  There is a big difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and you don’t want that mistake on your body for life do you?

We all know location, location, location is important to a tattoo, and the individual.  Therefore it must be considered carefully. Yes that love heart would look super cute on your index finger, but will your boss think that too? A rose on your neck because it will look well rad, but you’re working towards a career as a director in a large law firm? Will the directors still want to work with you when you can’t cover that rose for client meetings? Yes, in some respects it is unfair that we have to make these considerations, when tattoos are becoming more acceptable.  But are you willing to take the risk? If yes, the  do it, you only live once right! But if you’re not, you need a contingency plan.  Either a ring or a scarf as a cover up, or move your design to locations much easier to cover.

Finally, why are you having this tattoo? I’ve covered some of my thoughts about tattoos and their meanings before, but what about inspired to have the tattoo in the first place? Commemoration? Adding to the collection? Because ‘such and such has one too’? To be cool?

The first two are perfectly acceptable. The latter two, are questionable at best.  If you’re getting a tattoo because everyone else has one, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. You should never have a tattoo because of peer pressure,  or to fit in. You’ll end up with bad memories and a tattoo you’ll regret.

They also aren’t fashion accessories. You can’t change it each season as the fashions change. Just because Rhianna has a tribal/filigree hand tattoo, does not mean that you should too.  The same goes for having a sleeve just because half the England football team have them.

Get your tattoos because you want to, because it was your decision. 

And remember, they’re for life, so don’t make your decision in haste.



  1. Amy Liddell
    June 16, 2014 / 9:38 pm

    Such a great post, a lot of things which people should bear in mind before being too hasty with a tattoo!xxSalted Roses // UK Fashion Blog

    • Rachel Bradford
      June 18, 2014 / 8:17 pm

      Thanks Amy, I do hope people find it useful when thinking of getting a tattoo. It's not something to be taken lightly.xx

  2. Erin
    June 18, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    I must be terrible, I have broken nearly every one of those rules! In fact, pretty sure Tuesdays session will be another big no as I'm doing it to help out a friend.Oh well. 🙂

    • Rachel Bradford
      June 18, 2014 / 8:32 pm

      Ha ha. Love your honesty. To be honest, they're more like guidelines, than actual rules. X

  3. S Heart
    March 2, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    Great advice. I wish I had seen this post before my first tattoo. I definitely did not trust the artist and rightly so because she ended up doing an absolutely rubbish job on my wrist tattoo. :[

    • Rachel Bradford
      July 13, 2016 / 12:51 pm

      Oh no that's so awful. Hopefully you can make it work. xx

  4. Danielle Eskdale
    June 16, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Yes, yes, yes!!! Especially at the fashion trend point. Crazy how many girls in my school went and got that hand tattoo that Cheryl (was Cole) had! xo

    • Rachel Bradford
      July 13, 2016 / 12:52 pm

      OMG yes. So many people with hand tattoos and no other tattoos – it's one of my pet peeves actually!xx

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