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More Teenagers Are Getting Tattoos

Is It OK That More Teens Are Getting Tattoos?

More people in general have tattoos these days (a full 40 percent of the population between ages 18 and 29 now have some ink), but apparently the trend is especially strong among high schoolers, an increasing number of whom are getting body art before they reach legal majority.

It's a tricky thing to get inked so young. I love my tattoo, but I thought about getting it for years, and even as an adult there's always the specter of future regret lurking. Even if you love your piece, there are still pockets of people who think a tattoo makes you look unprofessional, which is hard to run up against in job interviews. Do you think it's OK that so many kids are looking to get stamped, or do you think it's a fad they'll be desperate to laser off in 10 years' time?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Burkina Burkina 7 years
NOT cool. All my friends have ended up regretting their tattoos but can't afford to remove them.
Carri Carri 7 years
I'm not a tattoo fan, especially on women. But it's their choice and not mine! I personally think 18 is too young because I remember how I was at 18 - extremely fickle and into fads! Just think of all the people who have "Bad Boy Club" tattoos.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
I got my first, and only, tattoo at 18. It was meaningful and I still think it was a beautiful illustration. By 20 I had started the laser removal and it was gone by 22 or so. I think it was a beautiful tattoo and people still tell me how much they loved it, but I just couldn't stand having something ALWAYS on my body. Oh well. Lesson learned. No matter how badly I like something, I will never get it tattooed on me. There is a faint scar where it was that is mostly only visible if I have a tan. I don't mind it though. :)
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
If I had gotten tattoos of things that were important to me in high school, I would be regretting it badly at this age. That's the reason I still don't have any (I'm in my twenties). No doubt, I'll feel a lot different about life and have different perspectives when I'm in my thirties, forties, fifties, etc. I guess maybe that's part of the point of tattoos, to mark what's important to you at any given time, but the regret factor is the thing that always stops me whenever I think about wanting one.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
I don't think people under 18 should get a tat. I know about a dozen people who got tattoos in high school. Now, two years after high school the majority of them regret their tat. 5 of the people got their tats covered with another tat. One of the girls got 4 stars near her neck and when she got tired of it she got a freaky green skull to cover it up. Now she regrets that one and there isn't anything that will cover it up.
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
A lot of the kids in my high school had tattoos. (I didn't, and neither did any of my friends, but I knew three guys and a girl who were inked.) The things these kids would come up with to have permanently* etched on their bodies were so mundane. One boy had our state tattooed on his pec. The kicker? He also had our area code with it's precise location tattooed within the outline of the state. Another guy had a bear claw and scratch marks tattooed on his shoulder. Every time they showed them off I would think, "Seriously? At least get something meaningful." I will say this, my parents always thought that tattoos were a sign of being "white trash". I went to our area's premier prep school so after more and more kids got body art, they stopped saying it was white trash and started saying it was "nouveau riche". Ah, tattoos. Breaking down socioeconomic stereotypes since the beginning of time! I definitely think it's something that should be waited on. I honestly don't think Mr. Area Code is going to love his tattoo ten years from now. For starters, it's going to look like shit when he's older. Second, wtf? If you're that stumped for ideas about what to get inked that you ask for your state to be tattooed onto your body, you shouldn't be getting a tattoo. *Don't tell me that tattoos can be removed. Most people can't afford laser or microdermabrasion treatments, and even if they can, sometimes there are little bits of ink left over, or worse, a scar. Getting a tattoo is a bit like marriage: You can't just go in there thinking, "Well, if it doesn't work out, I can get a divorce/cosmetic treatment." Sometimes that's not always the way to go.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
Teenagers are more likely to get tattoos that they won't want later than someone somewhat older. Do they mind having to pay for the laser removal they're likely to need in the future? Imagine all the teenybopper tattoos some might have gotten? They might find them embarrassing as soon as just a couple of years later.
stephley stephley 7 years
I think many teenagers will be desperate to laser off tattoos they get in high school, and parents should insist it's a choice that can wait until the teen is at least 18. There's a lot kids don't get about the permanence of a tattoo or how their feelings about many things are going to change with age.
SimplyDanija SimplyDanija 7 years
I think that it is a personal choice. As for teenagers getting inked, I think that's for them and their parents to decide. Yes, it is looked down upon but if they (teenagers) still wish to get the work done after hearing about how certain people are regretting doing so later down the line that's their choice.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
I think that the chances you will regret a tattoo you get at 18 are very, very high. I considered it but never went through with one and I'm so, so happy about that today. That said I'm not sure what's to be done about it except maybe stricter enforcement of IDs at tattoo parlors. People getting and removing tattoos is probably good for the economy, anyway :)
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