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What It's Like to Get Your First Tattoo

The 16 Emotional Stages of Getting Your First Tattoo

What It's Like to Get Your First Tattoo
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Hilary White

Hi, I'm Tara. I'm 30 years old, and I just got my first tattoo. The earliest I can remember wanting a tattoo was when I was 15 years old and I cut out a magazine photo of Kate Hudson's tattoo — a tiny open star on her foot — and taped it inside my planner for reference. Years passed, and I researched shops and prices in college and even sat with multiple friends as they got their ink, but I never took the plunge. First of all, I'm just a teensy bit scared of needles and have some minor fainting tendencies. (I got pricked by a pin during a wedding dress fitting and had to lie down on the floor of the dressing room taking deep breaths for 10 minutes.) Oh, also, I'm the world's biggest baby when it comes to pain tolerance (and scary things in general). But then I turned 30, and I decided that I'm a grown-up, dammit, and I can handle getting a tattoo! Also, after thorough research, I found the perfect subtle tattoo idea to fuel my Harry Potter fandom. Surprisingly, it's not too far off from what I wanted when I was 15. If you're a tattoo virgin, let me walk you through my first time (it's not so bad).

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