To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo?

Hello all!  I know I have not been blogging lately but that is not to say I don’t miss it, miss you.  I think of you often but life likes to get in the way.  But, something happened last night and I really need a second opinion.

My oldest, Taylor, who officially turned 17 just two short weeks ago, was lying in my bed last night and we were talking.  She suddenly announces that she would really like to get a tattoo.

Me , pretending to think about it… Ummmm, no.

“But, Mom” she begins, “I already know what I want and I have been thinking about this for a long time!  I want a Japanese Cherry Blossom in rainbow colors with a peace sign in the middle.”

No brainer here…No, no, sounds gay, double no.

Look mom I’ll show you what I mean.  So, she starts looking up Japanese Cherry Blossoms on the internet and she is pulling up some very pretty pictures.  As she is looking at the photos, she says that maybe she won’t get rainbow colors, and after seeing the photos she doesn’t want the peace sign either.  She just wants a small, realistic looking, Japanese Cherry Blossom on her right ear.  Some examples below:

   

 

 

 

 

 

In a further effort to discourage her, I say “But, you realize that is what I want for my tatoo on my ankle?”

Oh, did I not mention that I want a tattoo also?  Yes, I do.  I have none, yet.  But I have wanted one for many years and finally chose the Japanese Cherry Blossom for its beauty and symbology.

She said, “Yes, I know.  How about we get mother/daughter tattoos!”

Uhhh…WTH! Did my 17 yo daughter, who usually does her dangedest to avoid doing anything with her family these days, just suggest spending an afternoon together getting tattoos?

Then she says, “What does a Japanese Cherry Blossom stand for anyway?”  I said, “Something about powerful women and beauty.  I don’t remember exactly, look it up!”

So, she does and this is what she finds:

The Meaning of Cherry Blossom Tattoos: Chinese

The Chinese feel that the cherry blossom is a flower that represent feminine power and beauty. They believe that the blossom is an example of extreme beauty. It is on the one hand very beautiful and even very delicate but yet it holds extreme power at the same time. In Chinese herbal lore the cherry blossom is symbolic of love and passion.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

For the Japanese the cherry blossom holds very different meaning. The cherry blossom is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time. For the Japanese this represents the transience of life. This concept ties in very deeply with the fundamental teachings of Buddhism that state all life is suffering and transitory. The Japanese have long-held strong to the Buddhist belief of the transitory nature of life and it is very noble to not get too attached to a particular outcome or not become emotional because it will all pass in time.

“Mom, this is so me!  This speaks to me!  Now I have to get it!”

We then talked about how painful it was going to be, especially on her ear and how tattoos were for life.  She is so young and was she sure this was something she wanted to have for the rest of her life?  What about what people will think in her career?  She wants to be a Dr. and she said on her ear, it would be something very easy to cover up if anyone had a problem with it.  It’s not a huge thing anyway about the size of maybe a dime or nickle at the largest.

I don’t know what it was, but all of the sudden, letting my 17 yo daughter get a tatoo doesn’t seem like a really big deal.  Especially because it’s small and pretty.  It also renewed my desire to get my tatoo.  It had never seemed like the right time in the past, but now?  Maybe is it because spending some one on one time with my daughter sounds good also?  I’m not sure, but right now, I am inclined to say yes.  Am I crazy for thinking this?  My husband is on the fence also so he is no help.

So, what do you think?

4 Responses

  1. I think this is a very personal decision, so it’s definitely your choice.

    My personal attitude is that nobody should ever get tattooed until they are at least 21 years of age, possibly even older. As people, we change SO much between the years of 18 and 21, and what we once thought was beautiful or cool suddenly becomes cliche and old school.

    I think that it will always mean something wonderful to your daughter because it would be a mother/daughter tattoo, but I still think it’s best to wait.

    I got my first tattoos when I was 17 and 18, and I am now in the process of finally covering one of them up (I am now 34 and heavily tattooed). I tell my own daughter to wait until she is older.

    IF you do go get tattooed, make sure you are very careful when choosing the artist. This is more important than anything else. You want to see their portfolio and ensure that you like their style and that they are a capable artist. Look at the lines of the tattoos they’ve done. Are they of consistant thickness or do they wobble from thin to thick to thin? Do they have a good understanding of light/shadow depth and perspective? Do all their tattoos look flat like coloring book images or do they look more like paintings with more realism? Do they enjoy the style of tattoo you are asking them to do?

    A tattoo artist will always do better on a tattoo that they actually like, or if it’s a style they admire. Get a tattoo artist who enjoys doing Japanese or Chinese cherry blossoms and agrees with your getting a tattoo with your daughter.

    Even though you and your daughter will always love each other, these tattoos may not be as nice to you ten years down the road. Think hard, there’s always lots of time for thinking!

    Good luck no matter what you decide!

    • Thanks! Some good advice. We do know a very good tattoo artist. My husband has several tattoos so we have one we know and trust. I had thought about maybe making her wait at least a year and if she still wants it then I would agree. It is definetly a forever decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly

  2. Wow. I’m a tattoo virgin too and planning for my first one in March. My philosophy is that I wasn’t going to get a tattoo until I could find an image that was relevant to me now and I thought would be relevant to me when I was 80. I’m nearly half way there and I *think* I’ve finally got it.

    I would suggest that you have your daughter wait until she’s 21. If she’s still that passionate about it, it will be that much more meaningful as a rite of passage into her full womanhood. I would also suggest that she get her first ink in a less conspicous place so she’s able to more easily cover it.

    As far as images and artists go, I’d recommend Dawn Grace. she’s out of Chicago and does some beautiful work with cherry blossoms.

    Good luck in your soul searching. Personally, I don’t think that, at 17, your daughter has lived enough of life to fully comprehend the permanance of her decision. But that’s my two cents.

  3. I think it is just a personal thing as tattoo reflect your personality so if anyone wants to have it, they should have it.

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