Girl Should Wait and Think Before She Gets the Ink

A 17-year-old questions getting a tattoo in memory of a friend, but she has to deal with her strict father.

Dear Lizzie,

I want to get a tattoo, but I’m only 17.

A friend of a friend owns a tattoo parlor, and he said he would do it, but only if I have parental permission.

I live with my dad and not my mom. My dad is pretty lenient on things, and allows me to make my own choices.

I know he hates tattoos, but I know it’s something I want. I won’t regret it. The tattoo I want isn’t gaudy or tacky either.

My dad thinks tattoos make people ugly. He probably will be very upset if I do it, but I know he’ll get over it.

My tattoo isn’t going to be anywhere that you can see in public. The reason I want to get it is to remember a friend of mine who made some wrong choices in life.

What do you think I should do? Is there a good way to approach my dad about it, or should I just go and do it?


- Becca S., Norristown


Dear Becca,

I don’t know you, but from the bottom of my heart, I say to wait until you are 18. I am 100 percent supportive of tattoos, and they are a great way to place art on your body and honor people, and in some cases, it’s a great way to get over something or somebody.

Becca, if you can, wait a little bit longer. You need to make sure this is something you want on your body for the rest of your life, even if it is hidden somewhere.

A lot of my friends have tattoos. I think it’s great and amazing they express themselves in that way. I think you should be able to get a job with tattoos without facing discrimination.

My point is you will have it on your body for the rest of your life. Make sure it is something you really love and cherish, and you will be proud of it for the rest of your life.

Wait it out one year, at least. This way you can make a decision legally as an adult without parental consent. If you go to your dad now and ask, he will say no, and that’s it. Maybe in years to come you can show him the tattoo you want and you can talk about it.

Picture the tattoo in your mind as if you already have it. See how you feel in a year from now. You may want to get it in a different spot, and you may want a different design.

Just wait it out.

Do you have a question for Dear Lizzie? Write to dearlizziepatch@gmail.com.

Lucky Perrita June 21, 2011 at 01:18 PM
Dear Becca, Why not try a fake tattoo version of the tattoo you want, and see if you in fact really want that tattoo. I agree that tattoo art can be very expressive and creative, however, it is permanent. So, wear and re-apply a fake tattoo and see if you a)like how it looks, and b)if it is something you really want. You could even try a Henna tattoo design of what you want if you want to go the tattoo route. I also suggest looking at pictures of tattoos on people that are really old. Ok, I know that might sound odd, but remember, as you age so does your tattoo and it will not look the same as it would on you at 17-18 as it would at 80. If you want to remember what this friend did, there are a lot of ways to do that. You could wear a piece of jewelry that either belonged to them or that reminds you of that person. You mentioned your friend took a wrong turn in life, and you want to remember that... perhaps you could start a teen organization that prevents others from making the same choice. Good Luck.


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