What is the problem with regretting a tattoo? That is a question that I along with other people in the tattoo community, and I would imagine other researchers looking at tattoos, have (hopefully), asked themselves.
It is something which I have given much thought lately, as well as previously in my research, and I would like to share some further thoughts I had on this topic with you guys.
Are Modern Tattoos and the Problem People Have with Regretting them, A Reflection of a Greater problem with regret in modern society today?
When I think about it more clearly as a tattoo lover and a sociologist researching it.
The problems with regretting a tattoo, that are so apparent today. Used to be a risk people took upon them when getting a tattoo. Though it still happens today and that the risk is still there no matter how much you reflect and how careful you are, before getting a tattoo.
It seems to previously, have been a part of the entire experience on par with the pain, you just knew you might regret it one day, it was a test of willpower, mental strength in a a way, as well as of physical endurance, getting a tattoo. Again much of this may still exist today.
But a huge focus today, especially from the world outside of the tattoo community, is on the terrible effects of regretting a tattoo and of the horrible possibility tattoo regret is.
But it seems this escalation of how big this problem and risk is, has originated outside of the tattoo community and environment. It has originated with the voices, that especially a few decades ago, wanted to stop people from getting tattooed.
However, is reverberates even to this day, especially with youngsters and it has indeed become something that I would say is a real problem today.
This isn’t just because of the regret propaganda, that has proliferated throughout media over the past couple of decades. It does play a part in it that would be interesting to research, which is why I write this short blog piece.
The main reason tattoo regret is a bigger problem than it used to be, is still the heightened importance of our embodied identity in our contemporary society, the role our embodied identity plays in regards to both our individual identity as well as how society views us and how we feel in relation to this. Our body image is more important than ever.
With that said, there are many people who still, despite not regretting many of their tattoo in their extensive collections and collecting quite beautiful tattoos, whom view tattoo regret in what I would call the old school way. Where it is just part of it. It is not that all these people don’t think before they ink, but for them being tattooed is an experience in and of itself, that is worth it all and every stroke of ink, is a lesson learned and forever remembered, even the bad stuff is worth remembering to many of these people, and in other cases it can be covered up with new and better ink.
It would indeed be fascinating and if you ask me, more than worth while, to look into the multi dimensional nature of tattoo regret, so that some myths and exaggerations may be better understood and other aspects laid bare. So that it is neither underestimated nor exaggerated, when one looks upon tattoos as a whole.
As always, remember these are just my personal thoughts and theories. I hope they inspire you to think more, especially before you ink, and to hopefully view tattoos in a new light.
Stay awesome people!