To ink or not to ink?

To ink or not to ink?

There’s no denying that tattoos have entered the realms of mainstream cool, and are no longer the sole cultural property of prison inmates, Mexican cartel lords and spinach-swigging seamen. Those once suspiciously-brothel-like tattoo parlours with the neon signs and the reflective windows are now filled to bursting point with happy punters from all walks of life, offering up their skin like blank canvasses to the needle, putting the finishing touches to that totally anti-establishment barcode on their neck, or starting that epic Betty Boop sleeve tatt that You Think That Chick Will Really Dig. But much like Communism or a gluten-free diet, it’s important to have a really good hard think about whether or not a tattoo is for you before you commit.

So – to ink or not to ink?

THINK ABOUT YOUR BODY

You wouldn’t put a giant green flame decal on a vintage roadster, so don’t go spelling ‘LOVE’ or ‘HATE’ or for that matter ‘GARY’ on your knuckles if you’ve any aspirations of being a professional hand model. Likewise, if you’re going to undergo any radical weight loss or unexpected muscle gain in the next, well, ever, take a moment to consider how Che Guevara’s face will look on your bicep once it’s all stretched out like an evil Che Guevara / John Candy lovechild.

THINK ABOUT THE TATT

An anonymous source here at Strike related the story of a prominent tattoo on his right shoulder, which he says he only got because a friend had given him a voucher. Like almost any cosmetic surgery, hearing a waiting room conversation begin with the words “What can I get for” should be setting off alarm bells. With a tattoo, you’re paying for precision, personality and longevity – so no skipping to the back of the catalogue to see what’s half-price or “In Fashion This Summer”.

THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE

From our same source here at Strike: in the top three things he regrets the most in his life, his two tattoos rank 2nd and 3rd respectively (we shuddered to ask about the 1st). So, take a very deep breath, go for a walk in the park, maybe consult a psychic or fortune-teller who can offer some insight into how your whole-body leopard-print tattoo might affect your future prospects of being headmaster at a Catholic All-Girls’ School. A killer tattoo can be the ultimate in personal expression, but a bad tatt, like Communism or a gluten-free diet, can be a source of lifelong shame and endless embarrassing explanations: “Oh, that half-dragon, half-wolf version on my Aunt Gladys? There was some space left on my calf and I already had her on my shoulder as a half-bear, half-octopus, so…”